How to thrive in a Wisconsin winter (and live your life)
I am not a fan of winter. I kind of hate it. And when February comes, I feel like I am at the end of my rope. However, on my walk the other day I realized there’s some things that I am doing that make winter a lot easier. I am surprised at how well they work and I am also surprised at why it took me so long to figure them out. So here are my 8 tips on how to get though a Midwest winter.
- Wear snow pants at ALL times outside. I wear snow pants basically from November-March. Anytime its under 35-40 degrees. I wear them to the grocery store, to appointments, to the mailbox. I basically won’t go out of my house without wearing snow pants. Why do this? Because the cold makes me angry. So if I am constantly warm, the day is good. And just get the pants not the overalls. Those are harder to navigate, especially in public restrooms.
- Wear a headband with your coat hood. First of all, don’t be cool and not wear something on your head. A hat is essential. A coat with a hood is best because then wind doesn’t go down the back of your neck. If you add a warm weather headband with your hood, your forehead doesn’t get cold. Add a scarf to keep your cheeks warm. Scarfs are sometimes annoying because its hard to breathe with them on but its nice to have it and you can pull it up or down depending on how cold you are.
- Dress in layers. Okay so this isn’t just something that your mom nagged you about and you never did. This actually works! Don’t go out with a coat over a short sleeve shirt. Not going to cut it. I wear an undershirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater, and sometimes another sweater depending on how thin the first one was. With my coat. The layers hold the heat in.
- Wear wool socks. I wear a pair of cotton socks with wool socks over it. (layers again!) The wool is crucial. Otherwise, your feet will get cold super-fast. And it really helps to have a good pair of boots. Although it’s harder to find ones that are warm and fit your feet so that’s why the socks are so important. (Another tip is to wear boots whenever the snow is starting to melt because otherwise your other shoes get dirty slush and salt on them which is so gross.)
- Go outside and move your body. This helps prevent cabin fever, ie: staring at the wall and wondering if winter will ever end while staving off self-combustion because you just don’t want to be inside anymore. I love to go for hikes. I also try to sweat. (Again, why layers are important so you don’t get too cold.) My body feels warm, and my brain feels good.
- Take advantage of the “warmer” days. If its 20 degrees out, get outside for sure! The next seven days might be below zero. And if the temperature is too low, it’s just not safe to go outside. So take advantage of the warmer days! When the sidewalks are clear and the temperature is a bit warmer that’s when I make sure I get my runs in!
- Do things you enjoy. Make sure you’re doing things you like to do. It can be easy to think of all the things we can’t be doing in winter like swimming and gardening but that just makes me end up feeling depressed. So do things you enjoy, even if they’re indoor things. Light up that inner spark, that creative spirit. Read a novel, make a fancy dinner, paint a picture.
- Notice what is beautiful. There is a lot of beauty no matter the season, time, or place. Sun sparkling on white powdery snow. Bright red cardinals singing in bare bushes. Intricately formed snowflakes falling on a dark coat. Beauty abounds always and always makes everything better.
So, I hope this was helpful. Also, you may be wondering WTF I am writing about this. Haha. I’m wondering that too. It just came to me, so I am following the inspiration. I’ve been wanting to try out writing a blog for a while now and I never did because I thought it needed to be polished and I had to have the perfect thing to say. Well guess what? I don’t need to do that. Perfection never happens so if I’m waiting for that I’ll never do anything. The reality of it is- we can do whatever the fuck we want. Like swear on a blog and talk about the necessity of wearing wool socks. So, I hope this is a big permission slip (and maybe some inspiration) for you to live your life and live it your way.
Do you have any cold weather tips? What have you been putting off that you really want to do? Let me know!