Let’s face it – for those of us who live in the Midwest or on the East Coast, it’s pretty dreary in the winter. Cold temperatures, grey daytime skies, and early dusk don’t make it very appealing to get out and about. Do you have the winter blues? I’ve been a bit of a hermit in 2013 so far, but I’ve actually been pretty happy and cheerful despite the weather. Without further ado, here are the five things that have worked for me in beating the winter slump…
1. Invest in a proper coat. So the thing is—if you’re freezing cold and ill-dressed for winter months, you’re probably not going to enjoy it. You may as well make the most of it and invest in a coat that is both warm and stylish. Unless you have a Navy issue peacoat or your body temperature runs especially hot, my preference is a down coat. My old army green one recently fell apart, and I replaced it with this three-quarter length down coat from L.L. Bean. Functional, fitted, well-priced, and well-made, I highly recommend it. (The sizing is a little generous, and I ordered a petite small, which fits perfectly with a bulky sweater.)
2. Pamper yourself. I commute to work on foot (even in the winter), and my skin definitely suffers from cold, dry air. I’ve somehow managed to get wind burn on my leg through my jeans, and my hands require almost constant care between hand washing and winter air. (Plus, there’s nothing more distracting at work than painful, cracked hands.) A good protective lip balm, thick hand/foot cream treatment, and coconut oil are three things I’ve been relying on heavily.
3. Move. If you’re anything like me, you usually spend your winters eating hearty carb-laden food in fleece pajama pants and a hoodie, only to end up with a little extra ‘padding’ by the time spring rolls around. Make good on your New Year’s resolutions now and you’ll be looking at sundress and bikini season without dread. I realized that a clean diet and regular exercise means that I’m a happier girlfriend, a better friend, and a more productive employee – win/win/win. Two things that have worked well for me include penciling in a Zumba date with a friend and trying out new ways to exercise.
4. Read a good book. Have you always wanted to read Les Mis, Atlas Shrugged, or Game of Thrones? Start now! I like to take advantage of these winter months by reading those really long books I never manage to find time for in the summer. Plus, apparently happier people read books (though you’ll frequently find me curled up in bed for mini marathons of Fringe too!).
5. Accessorize. I tend toward darker neutrals, rotating pairs of Bean boots, and warm pashminas to get me through winter, but I like the occasional sparkly things to keep me from feeling too drab. Don’t discount the power of a pretty pair (or three!) of studs or a fresh coat of polish. (I’m eyeing this evil eye necklace. Shameless plug: Want $10 off your first order? Sign up through my referral link.)
These ideas might seem obvious—but you’d be surprised how easily we forget them when we’re heading into work before sunrise and leaving work after sundown. Calling a friend, lighting that “someday” candle you have laying around the house, or experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen also help keep me sane through the winter.
How are you faring this winter? Any tips you have for making the winter a little brighter?