Even though certain states were experiencing very strange, tropical temperatures (for December, anyway), or seeing rain in lieu of their usual snow, it seems that Mother Nature has finally decided it’s actually winter and she’s about to unleash its unpredictable mood swings on us again.
Unless you live on the West Coast or in the deep South, you know what this means: cold, snow, persnickety winds, icy roads and parkas and boots. It’s fun for awhile, isn’t it? I don’t mind the winter if it stays in the 30s, but you know it never will.
Winter usually lasts waaaay longer than the wonderful fall or the soppy spring, regardless of what that groundhog has to say, so don’t let it get the best of you. Stay sane and chill during the winter months with tips from a born ‘n bred cold-weather girl. Seriously, I grew up in almost-Canada North Dakota and now reside in Minnesota. I know my shit. Have you ever been unable to go to school for three weeks because of a blizzard, ice storm and flood in succession?
1. Make a list of projects, and work on completing them. Nothing feels better than crossing something off a list! Maybe you’ve been meaning to clean your closets or deep-clean your fridge, or organize your books by color. Do it!
2. Color. I was skeptical of the “adult coloring” phenomenon but guess what? It’s fun and helps you chill and calm your brain down.
3. Throw a party. A theme party! Don’t get too crazy with your theme, though, because you know you have that lame friend who won’t participate. We threw a “hat” party one year and it was a smashing success because all you had to do was wear a hat. Our friends showed up in some pretty creative and hilarious headwear. You could also go the cheesy route and throw an island-inspired party; pick up some cheap leis and coconut bras from Party City, make boozy punch and pretend you’re in a warmer climate.
4. Learn how to cook something semi-complicated. I like to visit the thrift store, get a cookbook and teach myself something new during the winter. Then have your friends over for dinner!
5. If you’re not into cooking, throw a brunch potluck one Sunday morning. I did this last winter and each friend brought something breakfast-y, from mimosas to pancakes on the griddle to breakfast hash in a Crock-Pot. It was super fun and the party lasted all day.
6. Spend a day on YouTube learning how to contour your face or change your own oil. You can find tutorials for pretty much anything you can dream on YouTube.
7. Work out! If it’s snowy outside and you don’t want to drive to the gym, or if it’s too cold to run outside or take a walk, slip your old Tae-Bo DVD in and go to work. (I’m kidding.) I like to do Blogilates videos, especially her POP series set to pop songs, or Ballet Beautiful, but there are tons of online workout series you can play around with until you find what works for you.
8. Read a book. Put your phone in a room far, far away and focus on reading pages, not Twitter. I suggest “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff; I read it in one day and immediately started it again.
9. Or dive into a great longread online. I just tore through this one about Anna Nicole Smith from NY Magazine 2011. Bless you, Internet.
10. Make a snow day makeout playlist, then invite your hookup du jour/BF/GF/whatever over to test it out.
11. Invite your friends over for an old-fashioned game night. I don’t mean Catch Phrase + beer. I mean Monopoly. I mean Aggravation, or Royal Rummy, the kind of games you played for hours as kids.
12. Marathon “Sex and the City” or “Say Yes to the Dress” with your best girlfriends, a lot of fancy cheese, potato chips and bubbles.
13. Spend a few hours deep-cleaning your apartment.
14. Go out! I know it’s cold, and I know it sounds way less fun to layer up and venture outside than it does to stay in your warm, cozy bed, but if you don’t go outside, you’re gonna go nuts. Make plans for dinners, nights out and winter activities. Just bite the bullet and do some winter karaoke.
15. When it’s slightly above 30 degrees, go for a walk! Get out there and enjoy the chill and the way the snow glitters under the sun.
16. Have sex. A lot of it. Why not? You’ve got time, and it warms you up!
17. Remember when you were a little kid and loved to make forts with pieces of the sofa or blankets and chairs? Channel that energy and do something similar in your bed with lots of blankets, snacks and Netflix. If you’re gonna be cuddled up for an entire day, it should definitely be in the winter.
18. Rearrange or redecorate a room. When you’re finished, the room will feel brand new. This is one of my favorite things to do when the seasons change; even something as small as new rugs and swapped-out artwork make a huge difference.
19. Turn on your favorite pop music really loud and have a little solo dance party in your living room. Sometimes you just have to shake it off. (I’m sorry, I had to.)
20. Read a biography of a woman you admire, whether that’s Marilyn Monroe or Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
21. Go out for a long, leisurely lunch with a friend and pop into any little shops that strike your fancy afterward. You don’t have to buy anything, but being out and about with someone you love boosts your winter morale.
22. Buy a pair of cute snowboots. You’re gonna be wearing them, so they ought to be cute.
23. Make a snowman in your yard. Who cares if your neighbors stare? They’re just jealous.
24. Stock your car with winter survival necessities, like blankets, an extra hat and mittens, a good scraper and antifreeze. If something happens, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.
25. Sneak into a few movies during a day at the theater so you don’t have to go outside. (Or be a good person and pay for them, sure.)
26. GTFO out! Go stay with your uncle in Palm Springs or your aunt in Arizona. Pro tip: Set an alert for cheap tickets to the warm-weather locale of your choosing a few months before winter so you can snag the best deal for your getaway. I like to escape in February when it is cold as balls.
27. Do you live near a winter resort? Why not stay for a weekend with your significant other or a few friends? If you can’t afford a warm getaway, doing a weekend at a cabin is a fun change of scenery. It’s even better if they have a hot tub in the room!
28. Stay in and do all the girly beautifying stuff you’ve ever dreamed of: masks, bubble baths, hair masques, painting nails … you name it.
29. Play the Ouija board on a dark and cold winter night.
30. Get a few bundles of sage and cleanse your dwelling of any bad vibes. They’re bound to happen in the winter, I know.