Over the past few weeks, many, if not most of us, have spent much of winter indoors. Which can be cozy... but around this time of year, it isn't uncommon to hear people talk about wanting to see some green. Some garden blogs have a 'snowdrop watch' to track when the first bulbs have bloomed each year. Let's hope Wiarton Willie was right and we see some colour early this season.

That said, there're advantages to exceptionally snowy and cold weather, as we've recently had. For one, there's snow to play with! Snowballs, snowmen, snow angels, forts and igloos are all fun to make.

Secondly, if you can find a decent hill, there's sledding to enjoy. Part of its delight is knowing you're in the moment. Eventually, the snow will melt, or get worn down to grass and dirt from heavy tobogganing traffic. So enjoy it while you can!

Thirdly, when the weather is consistently below zero degrees, the ice stays frozen and you can skate outdoors. Also, if you happen to live near trails, cross-country skiing is fun. (Downhill skiing is great, too, but despite the escarpment, not in Niagara.)

Play is not limited to the outdoors. If you're inside, there're cards, puzzles and board games. You can colour, make crafts, make your own puppet theatre, puppets and put on a production! Or make costumes and act out the scenes in person! Play hairstylist, manicurist or make-up artist. Or push it all aside and start a tickle fight!

The whole point about play is that there isn't one. It isn't about winning or losing or achieving. It's about letting go, letting joy flow through you. It's kind of like active relaxation.

And even though play isn't serious, it's important to have some form of it in your life. It's fantastic for your physical, mental and emotional health, your relationships and your overall well-being and outlook on life.

After all, how good does a life without laughter sound? Or without creative expression? Add play to your life by trying new things. Stretch yourself and explore a new area of your town or city, just for fun.

Introduce yourself to new people by joining a special interest circle or attending events offered through your local library. There're websites for various organizations to check out, or visit meetup.com and join a group.


This Monday, February 21st, we wish you and yours a happy (and playful) Family Day!


February 15, 2022 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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