We’re over a week deep into 2017 and we’re finally catching our breathe after the hustle of the holiday season. But now what? January and February are some of the toughest months of winter. The days are short, the nights long, the air is cold and we’re all a little prone to just hibernate and wait for the thaw. Well...maybe that’s just me, but this is my first winter in North Dakota. So being a foreigner to the ways of a true Norski, I asked around to find out some of the best ways to beat the winter blues and avoid cabin fever. One thing’s for sure, I’ll definitely be checking off as many of these as possible this winter.

1. Bundle up and get outside! Yes, it will be cold, yes your face will probably hurt...but there’s nothing more refreshing than a brisk walk in the snow. And plus, mom was right, we all need to make sure we get that Vitamin D. 

2. Find your go to coffee shop, lunch spot or happy hour bar. Hunker down and enjoy. Bonus points if it has a fireplace. Repeat weekly.

3. Get to the mountains. I’ve learned that North Dakotans define the word, mountain, a bit different than I would...but hey that’s ok. We’ve got one of these “mountains” less than an hour away and it’s got it all; skiing, snowboarding, sledding, fat biking and an adorable lodge for those days when it’s just a little too cold.

4. Get your butt off the couch and get to the gym. Seriously, get your blood pumping, take a class, learn how to rock-climb, swim some laps...whatever it is, it’s sure to help.

5. Rent some skates and do some twirls. What’s more fun than throwing on some skates and pretending to be Tara Lipinski?! Nothing I tell you, nothing.

6. Host a game night, a dinner party or a movie night. Winter can be tough, but being around people that make us laugh makes it a whole lot easier.

7. Pick up a new hobby, take a class, learn a new language, try a new recipe. There’s something about learning that renews us. Trying something foreign to us awakens a part of our brains that would otherwise often slip into monotony. So that thing you wanted to try? Give it a go!

8. Read a book. Get lost in the world of fiction or dive into knowledge through non-fiction. Books are so enriching, the perfect thing to do on those days when the wind-chill reaches record levels.

9. Head to the Hector Airport and jet off to somewhere warmer. If all else fails, just get the heck out of here and take some time to thaw out. Just be sure to check out the Fargo Stuff merchandise at the gift shop before you go.

10. Remember that spring is coming! No matter how endless winter can feel, we all know that it ends. Maybe a little later than the rest of the country….but it’ll show up soon enough.