Usually, when I tell people that I’m from Miami, the first thing they ask me is why would I leave the beautiful Miami weather for the cold Chicago winters? First off, have you been in Miami really anytime of year?? It’s hot, humid, and I am sticky all the time, not cute. In reality, I’ve gotten really lucky with the mild winters, I like to think I brought some warmth to Chicago, but others call that Global Warming. With the temperatures already dropping to a nippy negative 15 degrees I know this winter is going to be a slap in the face! Fortunately, I’ve been over-preparing myself since the first time my Abuela told me to PONTE UN SUETER in 68 degree Miami weather. Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting a few tips and tricks to surviving the winter.
- THE ESSENTIALS: VITAMIN D AND WATER
We’ll start with the boring stuff–but probably the most important one. During the winter, you are not being exposed to the sun as often and even when it’s sunny the rays are not as intense; the days are shorter, most days are gloomy and dull, and if you are anything like me leaving the house is very difficult. The sun is a great source of Vitamin D, so when we aren’t getting any is when we start our bodies to feel weaker and our moods start dropping. I recommend taking a capsule of Vitamin D everyday. It is great for your immune system and can help getting through the winter months.
Water also becomes so much more important in the winter, of course, you should be drinking water year round, but the winter is so dry and dehydrated that a little extra water makes all the difference.
- DIFFERENT SOURCES OF LIGHT The sun is out for what feels like 7 minutes of the day, and being deprived from sunlight is what also gives us that blues feelings. Recently I got a Himalayan Salt Lamp, and it has made all the difference. It helps clear the air in the room, and has made sleep so much better. It gives my room a little bit of brightness when the sun starts to go down at 3 PM.
The happy light is also a great source of additional lighting, which helps elevate mood levels and sleeping through the night.
- CREATE A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
This is for the people who now live in a colder environment than what they grew up in. In the winter is when I feel the most homesick. All my family and friends are in the warmth, by the beach and as much as I love living in Chicago, home is always home in my heart. So, I started to do little traditions that remind me of home and overall make my soul happier. I make more cafecito, I listen to my favorite Spanish tunes, and ask my parents to send me my favorite snacks. I try to make the effort to call home more often and talk to my family. Any reminder from home that keeps me from hopping on a plane and moving back home is helpful.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HAPPY PEOPLE
This is a given for anytime of the year, but I think it is especially important for the winter time to surround people who lift you up and brighten your day when the sun is not shining too bright. The winter time can feel very isolating as everybody wants to stay in every weekend, the weather can affect people’s mood, and simply getting out of bed can be very hard. Grab a friend to hit the gym with, or plan a dinner party in your own home. Keep the laughter and smiles going all winter long.
- SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE Going to the gym can get so boring after the second time. It’s too icy outside to run, workout classes are so fun, but they can add up and get expensive, but working out is as important in the winter months as it can help you beat the winter blues, and can even help you stay warm longer. This winter I’m working on trying more non-traditional workouts. A few weeks ago a friend and I went rock climbing for a challenging upper body workout, trampoline parks for a invigorating cardio workout, and ice skating! This way you are still getting the workout you wanted, but not dreading the time you are about to spend at the gym.
- EXPLORE YOUR CITY
A big city like Chicago is bustling with activities that a fun but most importantly inside. Cities are filled with so many cool museums, and often are giving free day passes to residents during the winter. As a student I’m always sitting at the library get homework done, or writing a blog post, and sitting in the same space can make me go a little stir-crazy, but I use the winter time to go and try new coffee shops, [I recently tried the WormHole in Chicago definitely a new favorite!] This way I’m changing up my location while trying new places and supporting local business! Don’t live in a big city? Maybe try visiting a local major city or a staycation at a nearby hotel. Planning a mini-vacay will help relieve the cabin fever with the excitement of visiting a new place.
I know the winter can be rough, but you will get through it! Spring time will be here in no time! What are some of your favorite winter activities? Let’s chat!
Sending you warm love,
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