Healthy Mind

Chicago Winter Challenge Update: Ice Skating, Sand and Sleepovers

January 17, 2014

I’m halfway through January and I’ve already tackled two activities and a BONUS on the Winter Challenge list. Feeling pretty good. Here’s what went down.

#4. Go Ice Skating

I left the office, in the middle of a cold winter day, to go ice-skating at the Glencoe community rink – an activity I haven’t done since I was 11 years old (one time). This experience could not have been more out of my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I did it. Because of our limits on time, it was short and sweet. But just the act of stepping on the ice and feeling as if I was walking for the first time, was incredibly exhilarating. I definitely had a huge grin on my face on the rink and returning to the office – which doesn’t often happen on a winter day. This feel-good high confirmed my theory that part of the reason I’m down is that I don’t move around enough – not because it’s cold. Hmmmm. What else can I do to move around during my lunch hour?

#5. Get Out of Dodge

I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to go to Cancun for a weekend – an unusual treat for me at any time of the year. The fact that my trip occurred the same week we hit record lows in Chicago was just a really lucky coincidence. Feeling the sun on my face again and flip-flops on my feet was an indescribable high. Walking the coast for a whole afternoon with my feet in the sand and the ocean splashing my ankles was a surreal moment. And sitting ocean-side on the hotel porch with a Corona in hand, by my boyfriend’s side, listening to Van Morrison was pure bliss.

Here is where I am tempted to say that everybody should try their best to go some place warm during the cold dark winters, but I’m not going to because:

A) I know what it’s like to be too broke to travel, no matter how desperately you want to get out of town.

B) Traveling to an exotic island kind of defeats the purpose of my winter challenge.

Of course leaving town made my weekend better. But coming back actually set me back from my healthy Chicago mindset. All it made me want to do was leave again. I will try to attempt this task again – this time, not leaving the Midwest so I can give a more realistic sense of how it helps to Get Out Of Dodge.

Bonus. Get Out Of Routine

I did not include this on my original list, but looking back on it, I wish I did. I think that another downfall of winter is that it discourages adventure and encourages staying at home in your comfort zone. Therefore, along with my Winter Challenge mindset, I am also trying to say “Yes” to more invitations from friends and co-workers. That said, I am very excited for this Friday. My closest friend at work and I have decided to have a Pancake Sleepover. That means pajamas, creative recipes and good conversation. She, like me, loves to eat healthy and find alternative ways to make traditional recipes. We plan to explore Garbanzo Bean flour, Zucchini Bread, and a few other treats. I can’t wait to recap on this one because I’m thinking it will include some good recipes for you fine people.

Until next time!

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