This winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest on record. While most outdoorsmen and women appreciate the beauty and serenity of a walk in the winter woods, waking up to sub-zero temperatures day after day and nursing yourself back to health from your third cold of the season can leave anyone saying, “Enough is enough.” Buck up, we’re on the back end of this winter season. Here’s ten ways to stay happy and healthy until springtime finally rolls around.
A diet that includes lots of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamins B, C, and D will keep your metabolism cranking and your immune system functioning properly. Limit your caffeine consumption to avoid the quick pick-me-up/crash cycle. Remember that if you already have the blues, alcohol (a depressant) will not make you feel better.
Along with healthy eating habits, consuming the recommended eight glasses of water per day will keep you feeling your best. Drinking water helps rid the body of toxins and waste and prevents dry winter skin.
Get Some Sleep
Establishing a regular sleep schedule of 7-9 hours per day will improve your concentration, immune function, energy level, and mood. Sleeping in on the weekends may cause you to feel more fatigued, so get up and out of bed.
If you are cold all winter, chances are good that you are not dressing properly. Long johns, a hat, and a pair of gloves will help you stay warm and enjoy the outdoors, even in the winter.
Hit the Slopes
Downhill skiing and snowboarding are a great way to get some wintertime exercise. Outdoor exercise has been proven to increase mental, physical, and psychological health. Plus, skiing and snowboarding are just plain fun.
Embrace Your Inner (or Actual) Child
Kid games, like sledding, snowball fights, and building snowmen, are just as fun now as when you were young. Bundle up and take your kids (or your friends) outdoors to have a great time like you did as a youngster.
Go Predator Hunting
For many hunters, the wintertime blues are brought on by the lack of hunting opportunities. Predator seasons in most states stretch through the winter, prime winter pelts can earn you some extra change, and calling predators to the gun is a blast. Get out and give it a try.
Waterfowl hunters have another incentive to head to the field, snow geese hunting. Snow geese are overpopulated to the point that they are damaging their summer nesting grounds. For this reason, seasons are liberal and there is usually no bag limit. Figure out when the birds migrate through your area and you’ll be in for some wintertime fun.
Apply for Tags
Big game seasons are months away, but the time to apply for tags is now. Western limited draw permits generally have late winter or early spring deadlines. This is the perfect time to do your research and start gaining preference points if you have your heart set on a trophy elk, mule deer, sheep, or goat.
Plan a Trip
If you intend to chase some out of state game in the upcoming season, now is the time to start planning. Armchair scouting by calling game officials and scouring topo maps and google earth will cut days, or even weeks, off the learning curve in a new hunting area. Making a packing list early will ensure that you don’t forget something important at the last minute and dreaming of the trip you will take might help you overcome the wintertime blues.