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4 Ways To Recapture The Happiness Of A Snow Day As An Adult

You maybe too old to have school canceled, but you can still take a partial snow day to refresh your sense of wonder and adventure.

4 Ways To Recapture The Happiness Of A Snow Day As An Adult
[Image: Flickr user L.C. Nøttaasen]

Perhaps the starkest dividing line between childhood and adulthood is how you feel about snow.

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When you’re a kid, a giant snowfall often heralds a day off school. In this windfall of time you scheme to do all sorts of fun things: sled, throw snowballs, build snow forts. There might be hot chocolate and cartoons and other activities you don’t indulge in on your average Tuesday. You secretly (or not so secretly!) hope for more snow so you can do it again tomorrow.

As an adult, though, snow is a lot less fun. You’re shoveling the driveway and doubling your commute time as you go 25 mph. on the highway. Or you’re stomping through the slush to wait in the wet and cold for the train–which is delayed as well.

In all this scrambling and unpleasantness, it’s easy to miss the beauty of fresh snow, and the sense of possibilities that a break from the ordinary can bring (not to mention the new ideas).

Here’s how to recapture some of the joy of a snow day, even as a grown-up:

1. Have back-up plans.

Being able to work from home isn’t just about work-life balance. It’s also about keeping an office semi-productive on days when half your team can’t drive down their streets without swerving into a ditch (or they can’t find back-up child care for kids who are home from school). Make sure everyone can access files remotely and that you have a good video conference system in place. Snow days are happier when no one is frantic.

2. Lighten the schedule.

Rather than be forced to cancel things on the fly when people are delayed, go ahead and reschedule anything non-critical in advance. You’ve got some slack in your calendar to accommodate it–right? That way you can relax when a meeting starts late.

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3. Bring boots and mittens.

Even the busiest people take breaks. If you’re still headed into the office despite the weather, a crest of new-fallen snow is a perfect excuse to take your breaks outside. If you’ve got a particularly fun-loving office, bring a sled, too. It’s an instant team bonding event (and cheaper than going out to dinner).

4. Open your eyes.

Even if you’ll be stuck at your desk all day, take a few moments to look out the windows. Snap a few pictures with your phone and watch the flakes pile up on the pine tree needles. Half of happiness is mindfulness, and when you pause to appreciate beauty, you become more aware of how abundant it really is.

How do you spend a snowy day?

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About the author

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time (Portfolio, June 9, 2015), What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio, 2013), and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Portfolio, 2010). She blogs at www.lauravanderkam.com.

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