Yesterday’s weather forecast said “snow changing to sleet and freezing rain” so of course my kids had a snow day. This happens at least 3 or 4 times every winter, but yesterday was different. Yesterday I took a snow day with them. I think everyone should join me, and here’s why.

1. Snow days are great exercise. A good day for me would include 20 to 30 minutes on the treadmill. A great day would also include another 20 or 30 minutes of stretches and core work. Most days are just good exercise days, but yesterday I walked for about an hour, including hills. Then I shoveled for more than an hour. I got more exercise than I’ve gotten in months. Who knew that sledding and shoveling could be such a great workout? My kids weren’t focused on this part, because they know that…

2. Snow days are fun. You may tell me this isn’t important. You may say, “Ooh, must be nice to take an afternoon off at a moment’s notice.” My kids are watching me run my small business, and I don’t want them to only see the long hours and working weekends (my choice, and enjoyable, but constant). They need to know that it’s not only okay to have fun, it’s important and necessary to their health. It’s also important to their work lives because:

3. Snow days are about taking a break. For kids, they’re about sleeping in and spending the day in your pjs…or getting dressed in eight layers of clothes and barreling down a hill on a sled. They’re about drinking hot cocoa and eating cookie dough and giggling until your stomach hurts—instead of learning about fractions. Then tomorrow when you go back to school, you’ll be ready for the fractions. Grown-ups need a break, too (as well as cookie dough) because grown-ups have a lot more than fractions to worry about. And even if it comes at the least opportune time, right in the middle of the work week, it’s important to take those breaks because…

4. Snow days teach us to seize the day. This is the first substantial snow we’ve had here in Maine this winter. The forecast threatened rain, which meant we had a little window to enjoy it. It would have been so easy to work all day instead of just the morning, but I would have missed these smiles, those laughs, the exercise, the fresh air, the cookie dough, the memories. I have learned that there is always time to work. I can always make up that time. But this time with my kids, these days that offer little opportunities for a few hours of happy? They are gifts. Take them with gratitude.

5. Snow days are a chance to show, not just tell. I feel like I talk a lot about telling people how you feel about them. I have designed hundreds of tags that say, “I love you,” or “Thank you,” or “I wish you the best.” It’s so important to tell people how you feel, and so easy to forget to show them, too. You have a lot to offer your friends and family, but the one thing you have that no one else can give them is your time. Your time. Your kids need it, and so does your spouse or partner, your family and friends. Make sure you are as generous with your time as you can be, on snow days and every day.

Are you ready for a snow day?