As we all know, winter is making itself ever so present with the first snow falling upon us this week. Stuffing our faces with comforting food while binging on Netflix is one way to beat the cold. As much as that is one of my favorite things to do, there are lots of fun activities to do in and around Montreal to help you beat these winter blues. With the snow, the darkness comes at a much earlier time. With the lack of sunlight more people are finding themselves moody and slightly depressed. These types of emotions are typically brought on by SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder). A disorder that many people tend to brush off, but it is unfortunately a real disorder and it does affect a lot of us.
Why was winter so much fun when we were little and now we dread the inevitable? Staying positive and active is the best and healthiest way to go. The trick to beating this is by taking matters into your own hands and making an effort.
Depending on the type of person you are you may want to consider a few of these things.
For my outdoor people I've recently discovered, thanks to Mtl Blog, is a place located about 3hrs outside of MTL called Via Ferrata (aka Iron Road). Canyon Sainte Anne, located 206 Route 138 East, Beaupre, QC is one of the only uninterrupted Via Ferrata's in the world. With a combination of Hiking, climbing, ziplining, suspension and the list goes on. This is definitely an activity that gets people into nature, lets people connect and be physical all at the same time. These are the elements that keep us going in the winter.
Find Your Sunshine!
If you don’t feel like driving 3hrs outside of the city you can visit the Quartier des Spectacle for some Lumino Therapy. The city provides your daily dose of Sunshine through innovative interactive light Therapy. The inauguration this year is on December 7th you can get your tickets with Event Brite!
Fun Fact: Most people suffering from SAD need about 24x the amount of sunlight than the average person to turn Melatonin (sleepy) to Serotonin (happy). So go find your sunshine!
For another fun outdoor activity you can also make your way to our beautiful
Mont-Royal. This incredible landmark offers you many different activities such as hiking, cross country skiing and skating on Beaver lake. Grab a crazy carpet and a thermos full of hot chocolate or baileys (whichever makes your hearts happy) and get your slide on! Remember how happy it used to make you when you were young?
You can visit http://www.lemontroyal.qc.ca/en/activities-and-services/outdoor-activities.sn
for a list of outdoor activities and prices for the winter.
In an era consumed by technology it's not just something you think might do you some good but nature is healing, so just get back to the basics.
Find Your True North
For those of us that would rather bear this winter in more of an indoor scenario there are definitely some options for you.
Something important for everyone to do is get their Zen on at least once a week. Try to re-group, stretch and breathe. Our lives are full of noise and stress and without noticing our energies are being sucked out of us by the daily lives that we chose to lead. So my solution for this is some well deserved R&R with hot Yoga. Many people think that it might be out of their price ranges but there are many community class options. Enso Yoga located downtown offers a community class at 10$ and Moksha which has several locations offers a 5$ community class. Most of us spend 7$ on a coffee nowadays so maybe switch that to something that benefits your body instead.
In need of a bit more action and an illusion of being in the south? Why not take up some salsa dancing? Just being around the music, the vibes and the people are enough to put a big smile on your face and motivate you to start moving. Or saving for an authentic experience with white sandy beaches. But until then, check out a few of Mtl's best spots to go dance, or take some dance classes. A few on MTL Blog's top places to go are club 6/49 also known as Latin Groove. Located at 112 Rue Saint-Catherine here you can find a variation of classes and intro classes start Nov 27th-30th. Another classic is Salsatheque located at 1220 Rue Peel, a place that some of my friends and I may have frequented a few times. It's always a good time and there’s always someone to dance with.
Despite the constant bombardment of orange cones, below freezing weather and snow banks higher than our cars, Montreal does have numerous and wonderful things to offer. So go ahead and explore, you never know what you're going to find!