Surviving winter

Winter is particularly hard on people after the new year. After the holidays pass, all we’re left with is snow, frigid temperatures and perpetual gray for four months. And let’s not forget the cranky moods.

I’ve seen it—and experienced it—firsthand. The long stretch of winter makes grumpers out of the pleasantest of people and recluses out of the most outgoing. These days, I don’t want to leave my apartment. I don’t want to write in this blog. I don’t want to do anything, except curl up in front of the TV and rot my brain.

That’s why I’ve resolved to not to let winter win. We’ve got three more months of winter to go, and we must carry on.

Though they may not be the same as Bear Grylls’, here are my winter survival strategies:

Mix up the wardrobe

Living in a semi-tundra, your first instinct getting dressed is probably to throw on jeans, a hoodie and warm boots. Mine is. And (un)luckily, I have a job where I can get away with this. BUT I’m not going to do that. I resolve to wear dresses, jewelry, goldy gaudy chain belts, lipstick and even heels. It seems silly, but stepping up the wardrobe a notch does wonders for the mood.

The best part of this resolution is that you might need to do a little shopping to make it happen. Prints and colors, voila!

Stop complaining

Here’s the thing, we chose to live in Chicago or other respective cold locations. Not Florida, not California, not Mexico or the Caribbean. And complaining about how cold it is isn’t going to change the thermometer. Only make our cranky moods worse. So, let’s resolve to not complain.

Start a project

As mentioned, winter transforms me into a lazy bum. I feel uninspired 98% of the time. For instance, it’s taken me a week to finish this post. So, when the hankering to start a project strikes, I run with it. Like these New Year’s cards. My procrastinating self failed to get Christmas cards out or even addressed. So, I made these instead. I had grand ambitions to send them to all fam and pals, but they ended up going to the peeps who sent us cards. (Sorry)

Make yourself get out of the house

There are some days on the weekend where I don’t have a need to leave the apartment. Like today. My friends came to me since we were hosting brunch. I didn’t get around to leaving the apartment the rest of the day. Too busy sipping bloody marys, watching movies and napping. Joe just suggested getting Thai delivered. The restaurant is a block and half away. I vow to leave the apartment and pick it up, thereby saving $5 on tip and delivery.


I’m tempted to add “Remind yourself of Chicago in the summer,” but I get annoyed when people say how great summer is during the winter. Because, let’s be honest, that’s just mean. We’ve got a lot of winter left.

What are your winter survival strategies?

If you are miserable and pissed off at Chicago, this week, Time Out Chicago had some nice reasons to love/hate Chicago.



Filed under Chicago, city life, weather, winter

2 responses to “Surviving winter

  1. Thanks so much for this post. Winter is indeed a tough time for many people, a hotspot on the “emotional calendar” of life, if you will. I really like the strategies you’ve outlined for not letting winter win. One of my favorite things to do in the winter time to beat the blahs is to bake. Recently on my blog I posted one of my recipes for winter-weather inspired molasses cookies.

    I actually helped write a book that talks specifically about why winter and the new year are such a hard time for people. It’s called “The Emotional Calendar” and it offers solutions to help deal with mood changes in the cold winter months. I’d love for you to check it out!


  2. I love your wardrobe point. This gives me all the justification I need to get out of the velour track suit and go out and get some pretty, brightly colored clothes.

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