9 Tips for Surviving (and Thriving) in Winter
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Winter’s lack of sunlight and chilly temps can drain you emotionally and physically, so we’ve rounded up our coziest tips and tricks for surviving (and dare we say thriving?) during the winter months. If for you winter survival doesn’t mean prepping for a week in the wilderness but rather hunkering down with some great books and fuzzy socks for a few months, then these winter survival tips are for you.
If you’re searching for more ways to thrive this winter, check out our cozy favorites to warm up winter and make this yummy crockpot hot chocolate recipe !
I’ll admit it, I’m not a fan of winter. Philosophically I understand the important of seasons, and hibernating, and emerging again anew in the spring– but my body wants to take this literally, and about November I fall into a physical and emotional slump that lasts until the sunshine starts streaming again in about, oh, March or April.
This winter, I decided to take matters into my own hands. If my body was going to be forced to hibernate, it would do so warmly, comfortably, and beautifully. I needed a winter routine that inspired happiness instead of slumpiness; one where I could lean into winter instead of fighting it.
Tip #1: Use something beautiful for an everyday ritual.
It started with a coffee mug. And no not the Irish AF one on the mug rack though I do get asked about that one all the time. 😉
I found a cute pink mug at a local store and drinking my favorite tea from it made my heart skip a beat. If you’re looking for fun mugs, they have handmade designs on Etsy (like these personalized handlettered mugs) but I have to say I’ve even found cute ones at Starbucks!
Tip #2: Putting something enjoyable in that mug is another way to embrace winter.
I recently found gingerbread coffee at Trader Joes, and it’s only available in the fall, and then THAT became a daily ritual of happiness. Here’s a little life tip for you: if you find a seasonal favorite at Trader Joe’s, BUY ALL OF IT because once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Maybe it’s a favorite tea, or gingerbread coffee, or a dash of Baileys on a snowed-in morning… but whatever makes your heart happy in there, go for it.
Tip #3: Add fairy lights everywhere.
We put fairy lights all over the house– in wreaths, on baskets, and in unexpected places. At night I’ll slip through the house and turn them on. Adding light to darkness is good for the soul.
Tip #4: Turn on the glow.
Our fireplace used to be reserved for special occasions, which is is silly, considering it turns on at the flip of a switch. We now flip it on every chilly afternoon and drink indiscriminate amounts of hot chocolate by the fire. The flickering of the flames and warm light is instantly cozy.
Another way to add light is with a Himalayan Salt Lamp. Mine has a dimmer switch so I can change the light setting as needed. It glows warmly in our bedroom while I snuggle in and read books at night… and it’s just as pretty when it’s not lit too. Plus there’s supposed to be something with salt and healing and ions and energy, so there’s that.
Tip #5: Curl up with a book.
I go through them as fast as a bag of my kids’ Halloween candy on November 1st. On my nightstand lately have been Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Nine Perfect Strangers, and The Great Alone. What are you reading (and loving) lately?
Tip #6: Heat yo’self.
One thing I truly hate about winter is that I’m always (and I mean always) cold. My body temperature runs on the low side, so even the slightest dip in temperature impacts me– my fingers are freezing and I want to curl up in a ball and sleep. So I invested in this cozy heated throw (quick review: it doesn’t get super warm, so it’s a subtle warmth but still nice enough we fight about who gets to curl up with it on the couch) and also this soft heating pad— and there’s no shame in my game, I use them all. the. time (like right now, while I’m typing this on the computer at my desk!)
Tip #7: Dress for the weather.
It’s hard to see, but that’s my ‘I am freaking cold’ sweatshirt I rock on special occasions like today when it’s 20 degrees. The sweatshirt itself is kinda boxy so I’m thinking about cutting off the collar and roll like it’s 1983… I hate having things tight on my neck!
I’m like a winter version of Mrs. Roper once the temperatures dip. I drape myself in every poncho, cap, and scarf I can find. Like this plaid cape/scarf, which is on sale right now if you hurry. 😉
As I lean into the new, winter-embracing side of me and I’ve upped my winter outerwear game. I have an outdoors ‘uniform’ that consists of this jacket I got at the Nordstrom sale two years ago and still LOVE. I’ve started wearing my pom pom beanie all the time too and it’s the best thing since sliced gluten-free bagels. If I’m going to be outside, I might as well love what I’m wearing, right?
ps- looks like they’re sold out of both of the items in this photo, but here’s a long version of my jacket by the same brand and these CC beanies are super popular and make a great replacement for the BP one above.
Tip #8: Infuse the air with mood-boosting scents.
While I used to love candles, I don’t use them anymore due to their toxicity and overwhelming fragrance that upsets the asthmatics in our house. Instead, I diffuse high-quality essential oils and here’s the blends that have been going non-stop in our home this winter:
- Christmas Spirit (smells like cinnamon and orange!)
- Citrus Fresh (mood-boosting blend of citrus)
- Peppermint and Lime for focus (plus it smells like a mojito, WINNING)
- Lemon and Lavender (my go-to all-time my house smells like a spaaaaaaaa favorite)
This little gem is also in my lineup as needed. For when we need to Breathe Again. 😉
Tip #9: Let there be light (therapy.)
Have you heard about light therapy lamps? It’s recommended for seasonal slumps. I just ordered this one on Amazon and can do a review if you’re interested. I’m hoping it helps add light to my heart and mind during January, which is really just one long month of Mondays, am I right?
While I’ll never love winter as much as summer, finding ways to embrace the season and actually enjoy the hibernating part of it has made it much easier on my mind, body and spirit.
Bonus tip: if you’re lazy like me, leaving up a holiday decorations like this deer print and calling them ‘winter decor’ totally works. 😉
Are you a winter lover or summer seeker? What do you love most about this particular season?
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