Wintertime Outside is an Imperative
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
With coronavirus cases on the rise everywhere, planning for your daily time outside this winter is really important. If you’ve had a hard time feeling cooped up so far during the pandemic, daily time outside is like a medicine - that is free - that you can prescribe yourself.
I hate being cold, but avoiding my kiddos bouncing off the walls inside was reason enough for us all to get out every day, no matter the weather. Daily time outside not only helped them, it was my lifeline too for sanity. With a little prep, you are warm within minutes and wanting to stay outside longer, and dare I say it, in those moments everyone feels GREAT. My two boys, who would bicker all the time inside, were best of friends outdoors.
Here are tips that helped me from my book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (coming soon to audiobook!):
Designate a specific pair of shoes or boots for outdoor play. If you can invest in waterproof insulated boots, even better. If you can’t, rain boots with thick, knee-high, synthetic/non-cotton socks (e.g. ski socks) will do. If you don’t have those, designate an old pair of tennis shoes just for the outdoors that get left by the door on a thick mat.
Keep old towels by the door. Dirty clothes can be stripped off right there when everyone comes inside, everything can be put in the wash, and the kids in the bath.
Waterproof gear like snow pants, jacket (with a hood is great), gloves are so wonderful and worth the investment and keep everyone dry and outside longer.
At the very least, a thin, synthetic/non-cotton base layer (top and bottom, think skiing long underwear) keep your skin warm and dry. I use my set all the time in winter with my ski socks to stay warm.
A neck gaiter (synthetic/non-cotton) can double as a face covering when needed and keeps you warm.
Organize each person’s outdoor gear in his or her own oversize reusable plastic shopping bags (e.g. a sturdy IKEA bag). It helps kids find their stuff and put it back.
If this isn’t enough right now, especially for you and your wellbeing - trying to hold everything together with what feels like no end in sight - seek support for yourself. I created an all virtual organization called ShareMyJourney.org where thoughtful humans connect in online member circles and are matched for 1:1 conversations for specific support. Life is tough right now - we need each other and you are not alone. Feel free to reach out to me to learn more or join today. ShareMyJourney.org has helped me feel really connected to wonderful people despite physical isolation.
Wishing you memorable moments outside every day,
Rebecca P. Cohen is author of the parenting book Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids and children's book, PJ's Backyard Adventures. Rebecca is also Founder of ShareMyJourney.org, the curated peer hub and community of mutual support that connects caring people by email and phone during challenging life circumstances. Rebecca has been featured recently on the Wonder Woman in Business podcast, People Helping People Podcast, and as a
Mom Boss in the Washington, DC area. Rebecca has worked with over 6,000 children around the world in making outdoor connections for a healthier life. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, and Backyard Solutions.