Michigan winters and mortgage interest rates have at least one thing in common—at least right now—they’re both frozen. OK, as jokes go, that leaves something to be desired, but there’s nothing that says your winter has to be as lame.

Winter in Michigan actually offers a lot of possibilities for old and young, rich and poor and everyone in-between.

So without further ado—or more bad jokes—here are eight tips for making the snowy season a little more fun.

WINTER SIGHTS. Frozen waterfalls and glittering icicles. Snow sculptures and horse-drawn sleighs. Snow banks as tall as a giraffe and twice as fluffy.

Winter offers a rime-laden cornucopia of beauty, and it only takes the willingness to step outside your door to discover the beauty for yourself.

WINTER SPORTS. Fat tire biking. Luge. Hockey on a frozen pond. Miles and miles of every type of skiing, sledding, and snow-required sport imaginable.

You may not be able to work on your tan at the same time, but winter offers nearly as many sporting opportunities as the summer. They’ll not only keep you in shape but also help the longer nights pass in a blur of pleasantly exhausted muscles.

EXERCISE. Friends don’t let friends skip leg day just because it’s cold out.

Don’t let your gym or yoga attendance go fallow. Indoor league sports like badminton or dodge ball not only keep you active but also keep you social as well.

Winter in general, and Seasonal Affective Disorder in specific make it all too easy to nest solo for weeks at a time, but lack of contact with people will drag you down.

LET THERE BE LIGHTS. Lots of them. No longer seen as something that’s “just in your head,” Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is now acknowledged to be a real, but treatable, problem for millions of Americans.

You can help prevent or lessen the symptoms of SAD by making sure you get out while the sun is shining for at least 20 minutes a day.

If your job keeps you indoors all day, you can keep your lights at home on their higher setting, buy newer “Daylight” spectrum bulbs, or make use of specialty products such as Philip’s goLITE Blu.

THE RIGHT TOOLS. Just as you wouldn’t use the handle of a butter knife to sink a nail, you don’t want to move snow with shovel meant for dirt or try to keep warm with cotton instead of wool.

Maybe you spring for a special-purpose shovel or upgrade to a nifty little snow blower or a fancy new pair of mittens made from the latest wonder fabric.

The right gear—be it tools or clothing—makes every job and everyday living so much easier and less stressful, and both are key to staying happy.

SLEEP IN A DIFFERENT BED. Michigan has countless beautiful BnBs and other getaways of all shapes and sizes that offer comfy respites to people who really want someone else to do the cooking and cleaning—even if only for a weekend.

INDULGE. Winter isn’t just a time to endure slate-gray skies. It also offers the perfect excuse to dive into endless cups of hot cocoa and snuggle by a roaring fire as a thick stew burbles away in a crock pot, filling your home with the kind of smells and reminiscences usually described in Hallmark greeting cards and prize-winning novels.

So go all in with every cozy winter cliché including making a snow angel. There’s a reason they become clichés, after all: they’re really fun.

BREAK OUT THE HOBBIES. Ever wanted to put together a 1000-piece all-white jigsaw puzzle? How about learning to play the ukulele? Or speaking a new language?

If you’re going to be snowbound, no law says it can’t be fun, educational, or even a little of both.

Winter Wonderland

There’s no denying that life gets a little tougher when the thermometer drops below freezing, but “tougher” doesn’t have to mean miserable. In fact, winter can be both tough and pretty fun at the same time; life’s funny that way.

Learn some more great tips for getting the most from Michigan winters from a real estate pro! Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you.

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