As I listened to another forecast for snow overnight, I wondered how about how Canadians (and others living in a Northern/winter clime) stay upbeat during the last few weeks of winter. I find myself watching the light grow brighter as the earth rotates and I know that spring is almost here. The change to daylight savings time is another sign that the season is about to change. But winter stubbornly hangs on and I admit that I am tired of looking at the gray ice banks left by many snow plows that have passed along my street.
It’s a challenge to remain happy without becoming a Canadian snowbird and flying away to southern destinations. So how can you find that elusive happiness and keep your retirement journey moving forward? To get through this last surge of winter I’ve kept busy with things that stir my passions and fully absorb my interest every day. Here are a few postworksavvy tips that are helping me:
Physical exercise every day
Whether is is a trip to the gym, participating in a yoga class or going for a walk, getting my body into motion stirs those ‘good’ endorphins that energize both body and soul. The bonus of exercise is that is usually involves socialization — often coffee or lunch with gym buddies — which provides further stimulation and fun. Of course, it also keeps the body trim and nothing helps the self-esteem more than fitting into those favourite jeans.
Staying involved with your networks
Rather than hibernate because the roads might be icy or because it is cold and windy outdoors, make plans to stay involved with social activities. Whether it is dinner with friends, playing your favourite sport, going to a bridge tournament, visiting family, attending a book club meeting or a volunteer activity, staying involved means that you leave your house. Participation in various pursuits keeps your mind active and keeps you involved with the world around you.
Learning a new skill
Winter is the ideal time to review that bucket list and tackle some of the items that start with ‘ I wish I could…..’ Because a retiree doesn’t have to think about spending many of the precious daylight hours working, this is the ideal time to take action to achieve those goals. By signing up for another course to help me become a better blogger, I find myself intrigued not only with what I have learned so far — but also by how much more I could do with my blog. One of my good friends has taken up curling this winter — she is totally consumed not only with a new sport, but with bonspiels and other events she had never dreamed of having time to pursue.
Engaging in hobbies
In early February I did a week of media deprivation and during this time re-discovered several drawers filled with half completed craft projects. When I tried knitting again, I realized that I had forgotten everything. I found a knitting class and re-learned the basics. Surprisingly I have become so absorbed with those needles and the endless types of yarn available that I sometimes have difficulty putting down the knitting! If you have a hobby that consumes you completely, you will forget about the weather and lose yourself for many happy hours.
Indulging in a bit of retail therapy and buying some new spring outfits or accessories, or a couple of best sellers, or splurging on theatre or opera tickets is another quick fix to get through those last weeks of ugly winter weather. Last week I bought belgian chocolate, a luxury that made coffee in the morning a special treat. Who says you can’t have some chocolate for breakfast? After all, retirement means you can break some of the rules!
Finally, be grateful
Taking time to express gratitude and appreciate each day is essential for happiness. Gratitude is absolutely linked with a sense of abundance, fulfillment and joy. Taking a moment to give thanks, to recognize your blessings, and to appreciate the bounty in your life shifts your outlook. Gratitude brings a smile and lifts your mood — it changes your day quickly and without effort.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please leave your comments, consider becoming a subscriber, and email it to a friend. Ciao, Jeanette