It’s no secret that the start of a new year is a popular time to focus on health and wellness, but it can be challenging to fight off the seasonal gloom. We think the best way to beat the winter blues is through play…it’s in our name after all! Whether that means playing a sport, getting outdoors, picking up a new hobby, or finding ways to slow down, we’ve got you covered. These are our top ten ways to beat the winter blues.
1. Take On the 100 Miler Challenge
Every January, residents across the city take on the Roanoke 100 Miler Challenge to accomplish 100 miles over 100 days. Some participants tackle this in a literal way, by moving one mile a day for 100 days. Others mix it up by alternating between traditional miles and 30 minutes of human powered activity (like yoga, basketball, kayaking, etc.). However you choose to take on the challenge, the Roanoke 100 Miler is a great way to stay motivated and active through the winter months all the way into spring. Register here.
2. Find a Moment of Zen with EveryBody Yoga
If you’re seeking a bit of wellness this winter, look no further than our EveryBody Yoga series. Designed to meet the needs of all body types, we will modify poses to fit your individual needs while helping you stretch your comfort zone. EveryBody Yoga meets Monday evenings from January 9 through February 13 at the Historic Fishburn Mansion. More information here.
3. Keep Things Fun with a Game
Did you know that the best way to dodge winter blues is by dodging a ball? Okay, that may not be an actual fact, but we’re pretty confident in the positive effects. Join us for a Dodgeball Tournament on January 28. Gather your team, pick a funny name, dress up in wacky costumes and you’ll forget your winter blues entirely. Offering a co-ed and a men’s division. Teams can be between 6-12 players and registration fee is $55 for the whole team. Register here.
4. Find Personal Growth with Tree Steward Training
Find fulfilment this winter by taking on a volunteer position as a Tree Steward, caring for the tree canopy in the City of Roanoke. The training includes nine classroom sessions held on Monday evenings, starting January 23. At the conclusion of the classroom sessions, there is in-field training focused on tree planting, pruning, and tree identification. Space is limited. Learn more and sign up here.
5. Spend Time With The Outdoor Community
Round up the family and hang out with us for an evening of snacks, hot drinks, and outdoor fellowship at the Mill Mountain Discovery Center on January 13. Come relax around the fire pit as we roast s’mores, swap stories, and celebrate our wonderful outdoor community. Sign up here.
6. Make a Difference with Invasive Species Removal
It’s well known that a great way to boost your mood is by doing a good deed. On January 25, you’ll have the opportunity to make a big impact at our volunteer Invasive Species Removal on Mill Mountain. Join our group effort to say so-long to invasive plants on the mountain and help the native plants, wildlife, and ecosystem in the park. Work will happen between 9 am and 2 pm, sign up here.
7. Take a Hike
Winter can be one of the most delightful times to take a hike. Not only can you skip the crowds you’ll find other times of year, but winter hiking is a great way to stay warm. The physical exertion can keep you toasty even in the most bitter cold. You can also see mountain views more clearly without leaves on the trees, or enjoy frozen creek beds and icicles when hiking near water. We’ve got a handful of opportunities to go hiking with us this winter, more info here.
8. Just Dance
If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve got just what you need! Our Valentine’s Dance with Salsa Noke on February 11 is a great way to get your body moving and experience the fun of salsa! Register individually or as a couple. We’ll have appetizers, desserts, and a drink included with your registration (cash bar also available). Register here.
9. Get Outside by Going In…the Earth!
It may sound counter-intuitive, but crawling deep into the earth is a great way to get outside! Our instructors will show you how to tackle the adventurous world of wild caving. All gear, transportation, and leadership is provided. Come see why caving is one of the most unique ways to get outside. Register here.
10. Just For Kids: Join Nature Lab
While this last program is just for the kids, it’s one parents will also be excited about. Nature Lab is an environmental education series that gets kids hands-on with weekly science exploration. Through an in-depth six-week series, participants will have the opportunity to learn from a fully licensed teacher, based in Mill Mountain Park and Discovery Center. Offering both Tuesday and Wednesday sessions for ages 8-13, starting in January. More information here.