First of all, I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday break full of rest & relaxation, and furthermore I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, if you are an individual who celebrates it.
It is no secret that winter came early this year – the ice storm tore through many parts of the GTA, causing the loss of power for thousands, millions of dollars in damage for the City of Toronto, and the cancellation of exams on the 23rd. Shortly thereafter, a few dozen cm of snow also decided to drop in for a visit.
All this was within a few days of the ‘official’ start of winter (but, then again, when does Canadian weather follow rules? The answer – NEVER).
With this in mind, a question arises – when it’s cold outside and when classes are cancelled – when it’s TIME FOR A SNOW DAY – what do you want to do?
Let me tell you all about my ideal snow day if I was stuck at home. Hopefully it can give you some ideas on how to make the best of the extreme weather, when the time comes!
In the morning, I usually wake up and check to see if classes are cancelled. The first weather update of the day from York University will appear by 5:30AM, if there is a weather emergency; the next will appear before 5pm to cancel evening classes and activities; the final weather update will appear by 9pm to cancel overnight activities and late classes.
As soon as I find out classes are cancelled, I make the conscious decision to not change out of my PJs all day. This step is integral in the Snow Day experience.
After this, I usually decide what kind of day it is today for me – that is, is it a day to relax, or is it a day to be productive?
If it’s a relax day, don’t just enjoy the feel of your couch under your butt – get outside! Just because there is so much snow outside that you can’t get to school does not mean that you won’t be able to climb out through your front door (or window) and make snow angels until your neighbours think you’re strange!
Get up, put on a jacket or three (it’s called layers, people), and get outside.
Some of my favourite outdoor activities on snow days are:
And, the most fun of all, SNOW NAPS!
Now, if it feels more like a productive snow day, make sure you use your time to get your school work done! Some easy tips to stay on task while that beautiful winter wonderland sits just outside your window…
- Make yourself a warm drink before you get down to work. Warm apple cider is by far my favourite warm winter beverage. However, if you are lacking that, just grab one of those leftover candy canes from the holidays and use it as a mixing stick in your morning coffee – delicious flavoured caffeine will be yours in no time!
- Set a time limit. Work for two hours, then take a break and grab a snack, or go for a quick walk. I generally try to aim for an hour and a half or two hours of solid work, and then I take about a 30 minute break.
- Create a plan, and reward yourself for following it. Who just finished five questions of stats homework? You did. Who deserves a week’s supply of chocolate? YOU DO.
- Just give up and go outside to enjoy the magic of winter. I do this all the time. However, maybe head inside and finish your homework once your neighbour tells you to stop making snow angels on her lawn.
Anyways, however you enjoy your snow day, just make sure that you are staying warm, checking the weather and the school weather status updates, and that you are having a great time!
~ Christopher Ford