7 Ways To Get Through Winter


Winter is tough.  The sun doesn’t shine much and temperatures are pretty darn chilly.

After Coeur d’Alene’s first snowfall, I quickly discovered that Northern Idaho winters were worse than the Missouri winters of my college years.  Maybe that’s because I knew I’d be flying off to sunny SoCal for a month during Christmas break.  Now, the six month trek through cold weather is more of a daily reality.

Since Southwest hasn’t given me free flights for life, I’ve been forced to face this arctic reality with a different strategy.

Here are my top 7 ways to get through Winter:

1. Bright Nail Polish – My first response to hearing that my Gramma had passed away was to purchase and eat a double chocolate muffin and paint my nails neon pink. (Not the most healthy coping mechanisms, I realize…) There’s something just happy about cheery colors smiling back at you from such an oft used body part.

My favorites: Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro Nail Lacquer in Cherry Fashion – AMAZING applicator. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Sonic Bloom – a vibrant coral color that actually does dry fast.

2. Car Snacks – Cold AND hungry? No good. I keep a couple Clif Bars in my center console for when I shiver too many calories away.

3. Flowery/Fresh Scent – I’ve read enough InStyle to know perfume should change with the season.  Winter lends itself to warm scents like vanilla, musk, and sandalwood.  The other day I picked up my summer scent instead of the Warm Vanilla Sugar I wear on a regular basis.  One spritz and I was in a meadow of wildflowers in May, despite what my window was showing me. From now on I’ll be letting my olfactory system tell me I’m enjoying a sunny day in Spring regardless of the temperature.

My favorite: Crabtree & Evelyn Lily of The Valley – If you don’t want to wear it, this scent comes in a room spray.

4. Electric Mattress Pad – Cold sheets are brutal.  Sliding into a warm, cozy bed at night is a simple pleasure.  Electric blankets freak me out (something about being wrapped in a blanket that could electrocute me…), but a heated mattress pad? Yes.  Turn it on 30 minutes before bedtime and you are guaranteed a toasty evening retreat.

5. Alpaca Socks – Staying inside does nothing to banish the winter blues, but going for a walk/hike/triptocostco only to have toesicles when you get home doesn’t encourage outdoor expeditions.  Wool is great; alpaca is the best!  It’s soft and stays warm even when  snow melts in your boots.

6. Take A Bath – I’ll be the first to admit that my winter showers are far from eco-friendly in length, but showers by nature seem a bit hurried.  If I’ve been outside, a bath is sometimes the only way for me to get warm.  Add some scented bath salts, light a candle, and let the heat transport you to Fiji. or Bali. or Hawaii. or… forgive me. I’m getting carried away.

7. A GOOD Jacket – Until two weeks ago, I was under the impression that layers were a non-negotiable and unless I was wearing four or five of them (not kidding) under my jacket, I wouldn’t feel anything resembling warmth.  My poor down jacket, acquired in 2005, was the warmest outerwear I owned and was losing feathers fast.

I believe my mom was appalled at my inability to get warm when she visited in November, so when we were visiting SoCal in the beginning of January, she graciously offered to help fund (as in pay for) the purchase of a better jacket.

There is hope for you, cold ones! I can now go out in the snow with my Columbia Parallel Peak Interchange 3-in-1 Insulated Jacket and be warm even if I’m only wearing a t-shirt underneath.  Spend the money and get a good jacket.  It’s worth it.

Did I mention that it’s a pretty blue color?  I would opt for a cheery color (see Nail Polish explanation above) instead of neutral.

How do you keep your spirits up and stay warm in the Winter? Inquiring minds want to know…

8 thoughts on “7 Ways To Get Through Winter

  1. I was distraught when I had to retire my 25 year old heating pad after it sent a spark across my bed a few weeks ago. Looks like I need to invest in an electric mattress pad!

    1. That is precisely why heating pads (though, on a lesser level than electric blankets) freak me out! I have a twin mattress pad and might just put it under my side of our queen bed :)

  2. I have to admit that I love sliding into a cold bed at night…curl up into a ball and then slowly stretch out as the bed warms. It’s probably one of my favorite feelings. Is that weird?
    Note on outer layers: colorful smartwool socks and my down jacket make winter fantastic!

    1. I like cold sheets during the summer :) Thanks for the outer layer suggestions, Janie. I’m going to look in to smartwool socks!

  3. I especially love the idea of wearing bright nail polish! :)

    I know exactly what you mean about electric blankets, but … I have one anyway, because my room is SO cold. Hot water bottles go cold at 2am or so the rest of the night is not a lot of fun. My faithful electric blanket keeps me warm and toasty all night. I just try not to THINK about the reality of sleeping on a layer of electric wires. Or … maybe what I have is a mattress pad? It slips between the sheets on my mattress. I wouldn’t want to be wrapped up in it … that would be too scary!

    I get cold really easily and I have two tricks – one is to eat little and often. Snacks keep my warmish. The other is to wear hats. At home and even in bed. They stop my body heat rushing out of the top of my head. I’m wearing one now and it’s helping me stay warm.

    I actually love the beauty of winter – frost and ice, winer dawns and dusks, the promise of snow while huddled round the fire. It’s a time for books and music. And, of course, the anticipation of an even better season, spring, around the corner!

    Have a lovely (warm!) day!

    1. It may seem weird, but the nail polish really helps. I suggested a couple pink colors, but I enjoy yellow and a pretty teal that my sister-in-law gave me.

      Sounds like you do have an electric mattress pad and I totally love those. I think its the curled up in electric wires that gets me about the blanket…

      On sunny days, like today, I can really appreciate the beauty of winter – looks like God dumped glitter all over the snow!

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