Let’s face it, this winter was freakin’ brutal. Between temperatures dropping below -30 degrees Celsius and the amount of snow that fell, it felt like winter would never end. Yesterday, April 27, 2019, Ottawa had snow! The chill came back with a vengeance and an awful reminder that we are only subjects (or should I say victims) on this planet.
I’d say we are mostly into spring now. Spring is supposed to be a time in life where living things are waking up from a deep winter slumber, and the weather is more tolerable for everyday life. However, throughout the transition from winter to spring, both Pat and I found that spring is more of an extension of winter. The sun is still covered, except our precipitation is more wet than frozen. We have been feeling a little cooped up in our basement, and for some people, the rain that this season has brought to us has been just as damaging as the amount of snowfall we received over the winter months. Luckily for us, we haven’t been affected by the recent flooding.
Here’s the deal: both Pat and I are solar-powered critters. The sunshine really brings out the best in us, and helps us become more active, motivated and all around healthier. We love to be outside on a summer day and make the most of our time running, spinning poi, slack lining, biking, and camping! (4/20 friendly, of course).
Our hobbies such as this were really hindered living in the basement this year, leading us to explore other ways of staying happy and busy. Pat and I really delved into yoga and meditation over the winter months (shout-out to Rama Lotus Yoga Centre!!). We really love Za-Zen meditation – a style originating from Japan. It really helped us cope with the changing of the seasons, as well as keep us calm and collected during some crazy transitional periods of our own, such as the application process for the JET Programme.
There’s always one thing that I keep getting reminded of whenever I revisit my reflections about self care. As each year goes by, there are many moments of downtime, and also so many moments of excitement and feeling alive. During the downtime moments it’s easy to forget how to take care of yourself. The world feels like it’s hibernating sometimes – including yourself. You begin to miss the exciting times of activity that keep you busy. I believe we need to savor the downtime. It really is a time where things slow down. This time is crucial because it gives us time to catch up to ourselves and prepare for the next time of high activity and change. Don’t wish it away so quickly. Next year, take the winter time to really reflect on the inside – I promise that it does make winter more tolerable, and when it finally starts warming up, you’ll be ready to go.