5 ways to forget the Pandemic with a dose of fresh winter air

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Wow, wasn’t that the week that felt like a lifetime? With the barrage of bad news about the Coronavirus – cancelled trips, self-isolation, social distancing, panic shopping and remember the toilet paper hoarding (??!!) – we’re seriously thinking about only one thing: how to escape this madness.

The lightbulb went on when a wise friend posted pictures on Facebook of her idyllic cross-country skiing day at Lake Louise, saying, “Today, we went cross-country skiing at one of the most beautiful places on Earth. For one blissful day, we escaped the virus, the market crash, the politics and the general angst. Get outside, if you can, for some peace and perspective.

Amen to that. When the world feels like it’s going into meltdown mode all around you, the best cure from the craziness is getting outside and letting Mother Nature wrap herself around your stressed-out self, right in our own beautiful backyards.

So, put down your ever-pinging news feed and get outside away from the crowds. Treat yourself to a day (or even a few hours) of playtime away from madding crowds of Costco by communing with nature.

Of course, we encourage you to stay in line with Health Canada’s recommendations and your local health guidelines.

Photographer: Moostang Gurung

The silence of snowshoeing: The beauty of snowshoeing is anyone can do it just about anywhere -- in a mountain or city park, or hiking trail. If you’re in southern and central Alberta, there will be plenty of snow on the ground. It will feel like you’re walking on a cloud, and more snow is to come this weekend, according to the Weather Network. The best part of snowshoeing is the absolute silence, except for the sound of your own breath. That’s a good thing. You’re alive, feeling healthy and calm while you’re outside soaking up Vitamin N (nature), scientifically proven to lower levels of stress.

Suggested reading: New to Winter in Alberta? Lake Louise Ski Resort makes it easy

Cross-country skiing: The sound of your skinny skis swooshing across the snow is something that has a way of putting the world into a nice, slow-paced perspective. Alberta and B.C. have kilometres and kilometres of track-set trails, Bring your own bag of snacks and beverages (hot chocolate in a thermus) for an al fresco winter picnic. Check out some of our cross-country skiing stories, including the beautiful Nordic trails in the M.D. of Bonnyville

Photographer: Nick Nault

Outdoor Ice skating: When it's cold enough, and you have enough space to find an untouched pond or lake for a serene couple hours of ice skating. What better way to feel freedom than by gliding around in peace.

Ice Fishing: This is one of the fastest-growing winter pastimes in Western Canada, for so many reasons. It’s just you, a rod and reel and a frozen lake, and maybe a few close friends. Want to find out where to go? Check out these SnowSeekers’ stories about how you can hook into ice fishing in Cranbrook B.C or how to winter three ways in Crowsnest Pass

Photographer: Raj Sandhu

Sledding: If your idea of getting outside includes ripping up the trails in a motorized, fast-paced way, then there is no shortage of places to fulfil your need for escape in Alberta and B.C. Check out this story about sledding in Vermilion AB, for a little inspiration.

Once you’ve had your relaxing dose of nature, you can thank yourself for helping to “flatten the curve” while at the same time indulging in some much-needed self-care.

Check out our #SKiNorthAB and #SkiNorthBC pages for more outdoor adventure ideas and just get out there.

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