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Snow! Coping with Winter Weather

Yes, as the old song says, the weather outside is frightful. It’s November, in Western New York, and the winter season has just begun. While the first big snowfall can look beautiful (from a distance, in small doses, it you really like winter sports and hot cocoa), there are some important things to remember about this big-time change of season.

Basic snowstorm etiquette:
  • Don’t overdo shoveling! It can kill you, literally, especially if you have cardiac-related medical conditions. Our current WNY snowfall is really heavy and water-laden, making it very hard to move. Take it easy, borrow help from neighbors or friends. It’s more than OK to ask for help.
  • If you own a snowblower, help your neighbors without them asking.
  • If you own a plow, help your neighbors without asking.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors and anyone with a disability you may know of.
  • Stay the in the house, unless absolutely it’s necessary, unless you’re a kid. Then it’s OK to bundle up and play.

With big snowstorms coming people with seasonal effective disorder (SAD) may start experience heightened symptoms. Self-care should start as soon as symptoms poke their head.

  • If you have a light lamp, use it.
  • Try to walk outside when it’s safe. Take in the beauty of that day-after-the-storm when the skies brighten up.
  • Can’t get outside for a walk? Exercise at home, maybe near a window. Listen to music or a podcast, or just dance! Endorphins love to boogie.
  • Spend time doing something you love (a hobby, reading, baking), whatever makes your heart sing.
  • Journaling, especially if you keep a gratitude journal, is good for you, too.
  • Catch up with friends or family who feed your positive energy. Make that phone call.
  • If the weather (and your sidewalk and driveway are cleared), invite a friend over, play games or just visit. Staying connected and social is a great help.

Even on the worst days, there’s someone to reach out to at Spectrum Health, too.

Remember… Ride it out, it melts.

Christin Estrada and Cherie Messore, two southtowns native snow angels

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