Staying motivated this winter

Winter is coming, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get out of your warm bed in the morning, let alone going outside. I get it. 

The problem is, in this new era of working from home, it is so important to get out of the house. Agoraphobia is no fun, and if you stay indoors 24/7 for an extended period of time, you could eventually find yourself suffering from this form of anxiety.  

The question is, how do we convince ourselves to leave our cosy, heated homes and enter the cold, wintry outdoors? 

Honestly, as I sit here trying to write this blog… I’m finding myself at a bit of a loss. I’d love to write you a big, long list of ideas to motivate yourself to prevail in the face of frostbite, but I can only think of one thing. Keeping warm

So, let’s instead talk about how to keep warm outside in the winter. 

Keeping warm is a talent of mine, because I used to be an equestrian groom, and I have honed this skill having spent many a winter trudging through fields of knee-high mud, enduring icy-cold hose-baths whilst cleaning muddy horse legs, and facing the frost-biting, high-speed winds that come with winter. 

First, thermals. Thermal clothing is a gift sent from heaven. Between October and February, I seldom leave home without it. 

Tea – or coffee, depending on your preference – in a thermal flask. Those who know me will tell you that, come winter, you won’t see me without a tea in-hand. And, speaking of hands, a hot flask makes a great hand warmer.

Waterproofs. You can wear all the thermals in the world, but they won’t help you in a downpour. Yes, it’s cold outside, but do you know what’s worse? Being cold and wet. 

Boots. Now, a little tip from someone who knows about cold feet… wellington boots, in my opinion, are not the way to go. They’re flimsy, and they’re probably not going to keep your toes from becoming icicles… and you’re going to need your toes. If you’re a non-horsey person, you may be a little bewildered when I tell you to invest in some yard boots… but you’ll come to realise that I’m right. 

Dublin River boots are the best. They’re sturdy, waterproof, and thick enough to give you some insulation. 

Of course, we’re not amateurs here. So, even with your Dublin River boots, you’re going to want some fluffy boot lining socks. Not only will they keep your feet warm, but if you find yourself stuck in a particularly thick spot of mud, you’ll be less likely to lose a boot as you yank your foot free, if it’s tightly held in your boot by a thick sock. 

Gloves. Have you ever tried to keep hold of 5 horses with frost-bitten fingers? Probably not… But I can tell you it’s near-impossible, and the same principle will apply to almost anything that you try to hold with cold hands… including your flask of tea! So, wear gloves. 

People are now divided as to whether we lose a significant amount of our body heat from our heads, but just to be sure, wear a hat. It might give you hat hair, but at least your ears are going to be warm. Ears, much like noses, are particularly upset by cold wind.

While you’re there, chuck on a snood. It’ll stop that nasty wind making its way into your coat, and its useful for quickly warming up your frost-bitten, Rudolph-like nose with every few minutes. 

I trust that this is sufficient enough to keep you warm in the winter. Despite my painful memoirs of freezing-winters past, there is something so beautiful and peaceful about a stroll in the winter. The way that the frozen leaves crunch underfoot, and the wind whispers through the trees. 

My best piece of advice? Take that stroll, it’s worth it. 

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