How to Enjoy Long Winters

During the summer, many of us dealt with COVID-19 restrictions by going on walks. This allowed us to stay active and connected while remaining physically distant. As winter approaches, you may be wondering how you will handle isolation.

In the winter, it’s easy to stay wrapped up in a cozy blanket watching TV. Who doesn’t like to be warm and comfy during the winter months? This season, opportunities to get out of the house, like commuting to work or attending an event, will decrease. This means we will be spending a lot more time cooped up in our homes and not in the sunlight. The absence of sunlight can contribute to seasonal affective disorder or the “winter blues”.

Mental health issues have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Making use of the outdoors is one way we can stop our pandemic blues from meeting our winter blues. Did you know that Alberta is one of the sunniest provinces in Canada? There are many physically distanced, low-cost or free activities to do so that you can still enjoy the outdoors and the limited sunlight.

6 outdoor activities to help boost your mood

  1. Walk in the river valley: Edmonton’s river valley is a great place to go for a winter hike. You’ll feel like you’re out of the city and get to enjoy the beautiful, white scenery while soaking up Vitamin D.
  2. Skating: When you don’t feel like walking, there are many spots in the river valley to skate for free with low-fee skate rentals if needed. 
  3. Winter family photoshoot: The river valley is also a great place to have your own family winter photo shoot. Make use of the natural light and capture silly photos with the loved ones in your immediate bubble.
  4. Snow contests: With an abundance of snow, you can have contests to see who can make the best snowman, or whose snow angel looks the most angelic.
  5. Snowball fight: One of the best ways to feel better is through movement. Get running around and have a friendly snowball fight. The best part? Your ammo is free and refillable!
  6. Volunteer work or act of kindness: Lift your spirits by helping someone in need. You can remain physically distanced while shoveling snow for someone who is unable to do it themselves.

After you have spent time in the cold have a pajama day, video call family, and enjoy some hot chocolate. The key to enjoying the winter is walking out your front door!


Mental health therapists are available if you would like to talk about seasonal affective disorder or other concerns. Counselling sessions are available virtually, over the phone, or in-person.



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