How To Ward Off The Winter Blues

While Ontario is home to lush landscapes with diverse plant and animal species, it is also a victim of winter’s cold and dark days. While the lead up to the winter with preparing for festivities can be joyful, and the end leading into spring is exciting, the middle months of January and February can be long and arduous. 

For many people who live in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area, winter is usually filled with long days at the ski hills and friendly banter next to blazing wood fires. However, with the pandemic in full force, people no longer have access to outlets that would usually keep them sane during these months. 

Outlined below are a few measures you can take to boost your mental health so you can forcefully take on the months ahead. 

Virtual Exercise Classes

One of the best ways to increase your mood during the winter and fend off the winter blues is through exercise. Through exercise, your body produces endorphins, which can have incredible effects on your brain. While getting exercise in the winter is difficult, especially with gyms being closed, you will have to think outside of the box. 

Following an online video exercise class can be useful. Still, the live feedback you would gain from an in-person class is usually a primary motivator for people who wouldn’t typically work out independently. However, how many fitness instructors are scheduling online, live virtual lessons. You connect your camera, and they can see and give feedback while you follow along in your living room. 

Eat Healthy Foods

You are probably eating raw fruits and veggies throughout the summer, going outside often, and breathing in the fresh air, but these behaviors tend to disappear in the winter. People often adopt unhealthy eating habits throughout the winter, eating heavily processed foods high in sugar, salt, and chemical additives. When you eat this way for a prolonged period, it can severely impact your mood. 

By subbing out processed foods with whole raw ingredients, you will notice that your mental state improves. You can look up some new recipes or speak to someone you know who eats healthily for some help. While it can take time to change up your diet, with a bit of determination, you will come to see it is well worth the effort. 

Try Supplements

If you are eating healthy but still find you are not getting all the minerals and nutrients you need, try supplements. Most people lack vitamin D during the winter, affecting mood, the immune system, and several other bodily processes. 

By adding a few vitamin D drops into your water each morning, you can combat the deficiency. There are also several other vitamins and minerals like B12 and magnesium that can help support mood. If you speak to your healthcare practitioner, they can steer you in the right direction. 

Defending yourself from the winter blues requires an adjustment. You need to carve out time during your day to prioritize mental health. By exercising, eating right, and supplementing, you will feel incredible by the time spring arrives when you can go out and enjoy your neighbourhood

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Community in Collingwood

The holiday season is the time of year where we catch up with friends, spend time with family, meet the neighbors for the annual neighborhood potluck, and take the kids into the town square for the tree lighting.  In essence, the holidays are about community and about cultivating connections.  They’re about coming together, uniting and celebrating. This holiday season – and in the New Year ahead – make every interaction count. Here are some fantastic ways to embrace your Collingwood community:

Support the Community

While many community events this time of year are holiday and Christmas themed, participating in any events organized by the community supports community mentality and of course, encourages community economic growth.  Head to the Collingwood Winter Farmer’s Market, where you can support local farmers and local small business owners. Happening every Saturday, it’s a great way to get out in the community, plus get some fresh food for the week ahead.  You can also take part in the local art scene. The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Annual Winter Gift Show and Sale is on until December 31st at the Arts Centre, and the Broadway Tenors are visiting Casino Rama on December 2nd.

Involve the Kids

The holiday season has an array of special activities and events that happen only once a year, and this is especially exciting when you’re a kid and have been waiting for it all year long. There is something special and heart-warming about being out in the community, surrounded by snow and seeing storefronts all aglow with their Christmas displays. It is the perfect setting to share with your family.  Head out to the streets for several Holiday Gift Market and craft fairs around town, or take in a performance of The Nutcracker.  You can visit Santa and his reindeer, or enjoy the Festival of Lessons and Carols.  All of these are kid-friendly events so they are a great chance to get the whole family out into the community as well as meet other families who live within the Collingwood bounds.

Relish in the Rich Culture

Whether you are learning about the history of the town, or attending culturally supportive events, holding onto culture and history is an important part of building a strong community.  You can think of it as building a foundation: when you understand the culture and seek to preserve it, this acts as the building blocks for a community everyone wants to support and maintain.  Support cultural awareness by attending events at the Simcoe County Museum, such as Christmas Past and Present or at the Meaford Hall Arts and Cultural Centre.  The cultural centre regularly has plays and concerts on, so be sure to check the schedule and get your tickets!

 

Despite the busyness of the upcoming weeks, put in an extra effort to show your support and get involved in the Collingwood community.  You’ll have fun, meet new people, and in the process, contribute to helping support this charming place we all love and call home.

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Collingwood Winter Farmer’s Market

Many of us Collingwood residents were sad to see summer come and go and along with it, the summer farmer’s market, held downtown every weekend. But, the good news is that the Collingwood Winter Farmers Market is going to be in full swing starting this weekend! It won’t be at its regular spot downtown, but instead it will be located at the Trinity United Church at 140 Maple Street in Collingwood.

Make your way over the Winter market every Saturday from 10am until 1pm every Saturday. The market will run until February 24th and from then until the Summer market reopens, you’ll have to settle for other ways of getting your local produce, baked goods, coffee, meat and so much more. The regular market reopens on May 6 at 10am and is a 100-mile market.

For the winter market, you can expect to buy local winter vegetables and produce, along with other items sourced or crafted in the Collingwood area.

The Trinity United Church in Collingwood also hosts a number of events, which means that on some weekends, the farmer’s market won’t take place. In addition to their regular church service, they also offer special events a space to take place.

In addition to the market, upcoming events include a romance and reality night, which is a speaker panel with free admission and open seating, although a ticket is required. Another day of exploring happens on November 4th called The Way Forward.

The 17th annual craft sale is happening on October 28th, which means while you can’t get your winter produce, you can get some great local crafts. On October 21st, their twice-yearly mom to mom sale will be held. Great for moms with kids of all ages, you can either sell or buy (or do both) and get some great deals on gently-used items for kids and their moms.

They also hold potlucks, strawberry suppers, silent auctions, country hoedowns, bbqs, dances, pancake suppers and so much more! The farmer’s market is just one of the very special events happening at the church.

 

 

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The Moonlight Market

With all of the hype over the solar eclipse this week, many in Collingwood may have forgotten about an important event – the Moonlight Market. This once-a-year event happens in downtown Collingwood and is just as magical as the solar eclipse. This year Moonlight Market will celebrate its fifth year.

Our very successful Saturday morning farmer’s market holds a special event every September called Moonlight Market. In addition to the morning market from 8:30am until 1pm, the vendors will be open and ready for business on Saturday, September 2nd from 6pm to 10pm in their usual location, which is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Second and Pine Streets.

Have dinner at one of Collingwood’s great restaurants or buy dinner at the market, then shop the other vendors for all the best in produce, meat, baked goods, artisanal foods, crafts and artwork. The market employs the 100-mile market mantra and all of the produce is grown within 100 miles of Collingwood.

The market isn’t just about shopping either! There will be a number of entertainers for adults and kids. Jimmy and the Extractions, a local Collingwood band favourite will be there to play rock, alternative, and folk music. The Stilt Guys (who you may have seen at the Collingwood Elvis Festival) will be there as well, in glow-in-the-dark attire, to keep both adults and kids entertained.  

U-Pick Parties will have some balloon twisting and face painting for the kids (and the adults if you dare). There will be free (healthy!) treats from The Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative that helps kids move, drink water and up their fruit and veggie intake with a number of great activities. If that isn’t enough, kids can play at the Imagination Playground, a block-based creative play system that kids love. The Mobile Active Play Trailer will also be there, offering free recreational activities for kids of all ages.

The regular market closes down after Thanksgiving weekend, so there isn’t much more time to enjoy this seasonal delight. Get out next weekend and check out the Moonlight Market, and revel in this time of harvest before the snow puts a damper on it!

 

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