Finding happiness below zero

I'm a native Californian living in Minnesota. You can say my relationship with winter is....evolving. 

We didn't start out as friends. It is very cold here. For months at a time. Have you ever been outside when it is -40? I don't recommend it. 

Do I love winter? No. I'm not going to lie and say that I do. But I have realized that winter in Minnesota isn't going anywhere and either are we. I can be angry for months waiting for the weather to change or I can find ways to deal with it. My choice.

It's been 12 years into my journey in the tundra and I've learned a thing a two about how to cope. My body's instinct during long, dark nights and cold days is to hibernate but when I do the opposite I fare much better, happiness-wise.  A few of my winter coping strategies involve yoga, cross country skiing, frequenting indoor playgrounds with my kids, and spending time with friends and loved ones. We intentionally host a lot of dinners and playdates in the winter and we are all better for it.

Happiness is a mindset. It is about looking at what we can and can't control and changing what is within our power. I can choose to be crabby and count the days until spring or I can choose to throw on long underwear, a down parka and a few pairs of socks, jump on a pair of skis and make the best of it. I'm choosing to find happiness mid-winter. It's just going to require some extra layering. 

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