Combat the Winter Blues with a Trip to an Indoor Garden
November is probably our most dreaded month. Halloween is over but it’s too early to celebrate Christmas; it’s dark by 5pm and usually we get our first big snowfall (this actually happened yesterday). Needless to say, it’s normal to feel slightly bummed out. Which is why we try and get out of the house and do something fun this time of year. Last week we went for a hike and this week we paid a visit to an indoor garden.
Before we talk about our little garden jaunt, a quick word on feeling down this time of year. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is real. It’s known to be a kind of depression that usually begins in the fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter (November, you’re the worst). This is a good resource that explains SAD, including symptoms and what you can do if you think you may be suffering from it. About 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime. Another 15% will experience a milder form of SAD that leaves them only slightly depressed, but still able to live their life without major disruptions.
Honestly, sometimes we feel like we’re in the 15% bucket. It’s hard to feel cheery when it’s cold and dark, which is why we try and plan our best day of the week activities accordingly – it has to take us outside and get our blood flowing, even if it’s just a little bit.
In Toronto we have an amazing, free indoor garden called the Allan Gardens.Conservatory. It’s made up of six (!!!) separate greenhouses and open 365 days a year. It’s incredibly lush and given the volume of tropical plants they’ve got, they pump up the heat. Even the smell makes you feel like you’re in the jungle. It’s hands down the best winter escape in the city.
- Camera (because it’s the perfect photo op)
- A fondness of plants
- A willingness to explore
Hopefully you live near an indoor garden and can pay it a visit. If not, even a plant store creates the feeling of a lush garden escape, so it helps to hit that up.
If you do live in Toronto or plan to pay it a visit, make sure you have enough time to clock in 45 minutes to an hour or so at Allan Gardens. Each of the six greenhouses have their own characteristics you’ll want to take in, like papaya and banana trees as well as dragon fruit vines (!!!). So take your time to explore.
We’ve concocted the perfect cocktail for our garden adventure: the Aloe Spritzer. Made with vodka, ginger liqueur and aloe water and garnished with real aloe sprigs, if this doesn’t combat the winter blues then we don’t know what will. Grab the recipe here.
Walking on Sunshine
You can’t feel sad with this playlist on blast. It’s filled with shiny, happy tunes courtesy of Bob Marley, The Beach Boys, Jack Johnson and more.