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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Castro

Getting Outside in the Cold: 6 Tips to Help You Embrace the West Coast Winter

Updated: Feb 25

Snowy scene on a mountain, step tracks on the snow, clear blue sky, sunny day on the snow,

Winter is a season that brings lots of beautiful opportunities and also challenges, more so if you are new to Canadian life.

Adapting yourself to the climate can take time, but it is important to be able to go and enjoy some outdoor time while taking care of your mental health; besides, in the lower mainland we are blessed with the best weather in Canada.

So here are some tips to help you become comfortable and embrace the West Coast Canadian winter.

• Practice your favourite activities: There are a lot of activities that can still be done in the winter months, like going out for walks, running, hiking (check prior if the trail you plan to visit is open), biking. Also, golf courses keep open during this season. The idea is to not stop doing what you love, just gear up and keep on going!

• Find new interests:

Our brains thrive when presented with new information, so finding new interests can keep you motivated to go outside.

Perhaps learning a new skill like skating, skiing, snowboarding, or maybe trying snowshoeing. All this can be exciting and rewarding, plus you’ll realise that wearing the right gear makes being outside less intimidating.

• Get social:

Sometimes our motivation can come from others, and if you haven’t made new friends that share your particular interests, there’s now a powerful tool that can help you called social media. Facebook, for instance, has an enormous amount of groups where people can share ideas, gain knowledge, and connect with others.

• Adopt a catch basin: If you feel like it takes a lot of effort to make big plans, even a small walk around the neighbourhood can serve you well, and adopting a catch basin is also a good way to give back to the community. All you need to do is clear the leaves and debris from them.

Here, you can sign up to adopt one (or more) in the city of Vancouver.

• Join the 1000-Hour Challenge:

The main goal of this challenge is to match screen time with nature time, and even though it's geared towards children, there are a lot of people of all ages who are committed to spending as much time outside as possible.

On their website, you’ll find free downloadable tracker sheets, and you can follow them on Instagram or Facebook to check out ideas to go outside from people around the world.

• Check on your mental health:

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be at home when it’s cold outside; it can be enjoyable and relaxing; however, if you notice that you are not feeling yourself and aren’t enjoying the things you usually enjoy, you might be experiencing the “winter blues” or seasonal depression disorder. This is not always the case, but if you are concerned, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are a lot of resources available on the government of Canada's website to guide you and answer your questions.

At the end of the day your wellbeing is the most valuable thing, so it’s up to you to set the pace to move forward in your journey to adapt to the West Coast's coldest season. Good Luck!


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