6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Winter
While some of us love the dark, cold, short days that are fast approaching, others, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, are dreading the arrival of Father Winter. As we turn away from the sun’s warmth and into the comfort of our own homes, it’s important to prepare for the upcoming months, both physically and mentally.
If you’re one to suffer from the seasonal blues, this post is for you. It’s no joke the affect winter can have on your psyche. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every year. So here are some tips to get ready (and dare we say excited?) for winter.
Prepare the kitchen. As the seasons change, so should the contents of your cupboards. Winter is the perfect time to embrace warm, yummy, and nourishing foods to help fight off the bitter chill. Try to also start stockpiling winter’s bounty, like squash, pumpkin, and potatoes. This is a great time to dust off your recipe box and pull out those casserole and slow cooker recipes! Our mouths are watering just thinking about the amazing smells that will be wafting through the house all winter long.
Switch up your beauty regimen. Winter can be harsh on your skin, so spend the next couple months pampering yourself a little bit more. The cold, blasting winds this time of year can wreak their havoc, so be sure to use plenty of gentle, mild moisturizers and never leave the house without some balm to ease the discomfort of chapped lips. Also, as your skin tends to dry this time of year, learn to properly exfoliate with a dry brush or safe, natural chemical exfoliator.
Focus on safety. With ice and snow accumulating, safety hazards tend to rise. But before the snow flies, make sure your house and vehicle are safe. Be sure you have plenty of salt or pebbles for the sidewalk and a good, sturdy shovel. Go through your hats, scarves, and gloves, matching pairs and ensuring there’s plenty to keep the whole family warm. Get your vehicle inspected and remember to check the tread on your tires. Finally, always have an emergency kit and warm clothes stashed away in your trunk. Better safe than sorry!
Enjoy a few seasonal luxuries. There’s no better time of year than now to burn the pumpkin spice or Frasier fir candles and you can’t catch a Christmas concert in July. These are some of the treats of the season that make it so magical and heartwarming. Look for opportunities to embrace the things that make winter so special, like decorating the house, roasting marshmallows in the fireplace, and driving around to look at Christmas lights. Maybe make some new traditions too!
Join a gym. Beat the January 1st crowds and join a gym early. Physical exercise will help beat those winter blues and getting your heart rate up will boost your health and morale. Exercise tends to plummet in the winter with falling temperatures, but it doesn’t have to. You can still get your body moving on a treadmill or stair stepper. By starting now, you’ll be feeling fit and lean come 2017!
Embrace the hibernation. After a summer chockfull of activities, plans, and trips, some of us welcome the slower days of winter. Instead of fighting it, embrace it, after all, rest and relaxation promote healing and restoration in the body. Take up hobbies perfect for a cold winter nights like knitting, painting, or reading. Try something new. Get plenty of sleep. And spend time with loved ones.
Schedule a mid-season break. Despite your best efforts and incredible preparation, sometimes winter is just a complete drag. When you find yourself in this scenario, book a holiday closer to the sun. Places like South Africa, Hawaii, and the Caribbean boast temperatures and sunshine that are reliable almost all year long. Just remember to take your sunscreen! That winter skin might be a little shocked!
Winter doesn’t have to be a drag. It’s an incredible time of year to turn inward and spend more time with friends and family. When you prepare yourself for winter, it can truly be the most magical time of year.
 Pyschology Today (2015). Seasonal affective disorder. Accessed November 10, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder.