Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday five: Surviving Winter

We've already had our second big snow and it's only mid January. I can't believe it's winter again.
Last year, I was intentional about surviving winter. I planned things and did things that helped winter go by faster for me. It helped. I am not a winter person. I like sunshine, warmth, and open windows. I can appreciate snow and warm fires, but after awhile, I need to go outside without putting on layers and layers. Winter is just too long for me here in the Northeast.
So, herewith a list of things that I hope will help me endure winter.

1. Not being a hermit. My first instinct is to stay inside and not go anywhere during the winter. I hate bundling up, hate bundling up my kids, and I hate the bitter cold. So I stay indoors and don't go anywhere. But I get so lonely doing this. I need interaction and socialization with people, especially during the winter months. I have decided to plan something fun to do every week with friends until it gets warmer. This gives me something to look forward to, and more importantly, gets me out of the house. Last year I did it and it was so helpful to have something to look forward to every week. Not to mention I am nurturing relationships and connecting with someone in person. Always good.

2. Warm clothes. This seems like a no-brainer, but I grew up in the South. We never had a winter coat. If it snowed, we wore ziplock bags over our shoes. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to dress warm in cold weather. This year I bought myself a long down coat. I am determined to stay warm. I get so grumpy when I am outside and freezing. I also finally bought myself some winter boots. Yes, I have lived in the cold Northeast for 11 years and have never had a decent pair of winter boots. I'm armed!!!

3. This body oil. Yes I paid $20 for body oil. And it is fabulous!! My skin gets so dry and itchy during the winter and it makes me sooo grumpy. I have been using this on my skin after the shower every morning and it smells so good and makes my skin stay hydrated all day! I honestly look forward to using it every day!

4. Referring to this article. Winter changes my mood. I definitely get depressed in the winter. Call it SAD, call it whatever, I just know my mood is lower in the winter.

5. Being thankful and practicing gratitude. I am so looking forward to receiving
Ann's book soon. It is perfect timing for me. I think that having a spirit of gratitude during this challenging time of winter will help me survive it.

Do you have things that help you survive winter? Are you a winter-hater like me? ;) Please share your ideas!

*Edited to add:
20 ways to stay healthy and happy this winter
Homemade body spray recipes
Candlelight (from the archives)
Thriving in winter


Anonymous said...

Andrea, that is exactly how I feel during the winter, too. I totally agree with all of your coping mechanisms, too; especially the sunlight and socializing. Maybe we can get together for something fun one of these frigid days and keep each other cheerful. :-)

Aimee said...

I learned about SAD when I lived in Eastern Europe for 2 years b/c I really really struggled with the cold, the snow, and the darkness. We would go several months without ever seeing the would be tucked behind dark gray clouds. If I had to do it again, I would probably be a goofball and buy a light box!!
Can't wait for Ann's book...I just bought the hardcover from Zondervan. And now I am off to check out your body oil :) :) And would you fb me a link for that post you wrote a long time ago about the makeup stuff that you liked??

Rachel said...

This is my first time reading your blog (I popped over from Elizabeth Foss's blog). But I'm actually a winter-lover, within reason. I grew up in Minnesota with very cold winters that began in Oct/Nov and lasted till April. Now I live in Seattle, where we get very little winter. I love spring and how it comes early here, but often I miss the snow and cold. Good job buying a good winter coat and boots! The other thing you should consider is snow pants. I know, I know, more bundling up time. But they keep you SOOOOO warm! It's no fun being outdoors when you're freezing. So anything you can layer on to stay warm helps. Also, if you're outdoors in the cold, you have to be moving! Sledding, ice skating, building snow structures, skiing, all these things will keep you warm. Standing around watching kids play while you are on the sidelines is simply misery. And indoors, candles! Days are so dark and gloomy here in Seattle's winter (the sun sets around 4:30pm here and some days when it's rainy or cloudy - most days? - it never really gets light), but lighting some pretty scented candles is easier than a real fire and helps make things cozy.

Christine said...

I love winter; I actually hate summer. But there are some things I don't like. I don't like being in a cold car for 15 miles until it's finally warmed up and I've arrived at my destination. So I warm up my car for a long time before going anywhere. I also bought some awesome fuzzy thick socks to wear around the house. My feet are always cold in the house during winter.

Another thing I love to do is spend quality time with my hubby after the kids go to bed. Things just feel so much snugglier with a fire on, a big blanket covering us and some Bailey's or Kahlua and coffee to warm up the inside.

I agree with the "having something to look forward to" thing. I actually need that all year long. I have a tendency to get moody and depressed when I don't have something to anticipate- like a vacation, or girl's night, or date with Jason- that's out of the house.

To spice up long nights with the kids (Jason often works evenings) we'll have a movie night, or a game night, or appetizers and snacks for dinner, or something else out of the ordinary. I've found that the hours after dark but before bedtime are the hardest.

You can do it!

Anna said...

I grew up in Ohio, went to college in Michigan, and now live in Florida with my husband. Although at times I miss the snow, I'm also SO over it and I understand what you mean about the weariness of winter! Those sound like great coping mechanisms.

Ohh, I haven't ordered Ann's book yet, I'm waiting to get a gift card or something... but I can't wait to read it!

Linda said...

I grew up in the north Andrea and lived there for the first 36 years of my life. It was the cold that was the catalyst for our move to Texas. I always wore a scarf and a warm hat. If my neck was snuggled and the cold wind couldn't get in, I was much happier. And thick, warm socks. I really wanted to try to keep my tootsies warm.
My friends and I used to get together too - taking turns. We all had little ones, and it was so good to get out once in a while and talk to other adults.
Long, hot bubble baths - nothing like them for getting you toasty warm.
I do understand Andrea. It has been in the 40's for several days here, and I am freezing!!

contented sparrow said...

Hi Andrea, Ditto, ditto, ditto everything you said! How about we ALL get together under some sun lamps with warm drinks in hand and chit chat for a while (with skin all moisturized and sweet-smelling, too, of course)! I so agreed with you that I wrote a blog post about it. Here's to having a cozy weekend!
Love, Megan

Amy T. said...

Bird-watching is a fun way to stay connected to the outdoors without having to go out into it. We recently put up a bird feeder and sprinkled bird seed on the ground, and we love watching the different birds come and peck around.

Karen said...

I completely agree with everything you said. I despise winter. I realy do. One of the things I am doing this year is training for a half marathon. This makes me get out of the house, keeps me active, and gives me something to focus on rather than winter. It should coincide with the coming of spring.

Next year, I think we are going to plan a trip to the beach in Jan. or February just to break it up.


I cannot wait to read Ann's book, as well.

You asked about ideas for winter. . . I just wrote a post on 50 things to do in winter (as we await spring.)


TAMI said...

I live in San Diego now and any 'winter' we can get here is soothing to my "grew up in Oregon" soul! So, surviving winter isn't really an issue for me. However, we're about 25 minutes inland - enough that our summers can be ultra-hot 100+. Maybe I'll post a 5 ways to survive summer when we get there.

Your ginger spray sounds decadent. Enjoy!

tonia said...

I use the Origins ginger scent too. I absolutely love it.

between Napoleon and ginger we're like...practically the same person, andrea! :)