Winter is always hard for me. I hate the wind, the cold, the grey. I get all excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas, but then that’s over and I’m ready for summer–but there’s still 2.5 months of winter to deal with. Southern winters are generally mild and southern summers get a lot of hate, what with ninety six degree heat, sweat, 80 percent humidity, etc. I say BRING IT ON. So today, almost halfway through The Worst Season, I’m joining in with some readers of a blog I enjoy to share some of the things that are saving my life in the thick of winter.
Coconut oil face wash | For the past three years, the only thing I’ve done with my skin is wash it with water and a washcloth. This has worked far better for my skin than any of the dozens of cleansers/exfoliators/creams I’ve tried. But winter stills tends to make my skin sad and dry. Last year a friend mentioned that she’d been washing her face with coconut oil and loved the results. She pointed me to this blog post and I’ve been using that method 3-4 times a week since… and all dry skin problems have subsided. I’m a fan. (For what it’s worth, I also tried the apple cider vinegar toner and did not love it… smelly and made my skin dry.)
Homemade bread | Last winter I did a lot of baking bread and prepping lunches on Sunday afternoons. I love the way homemade bread smells… really, the whole process is kind of magic. This recipe is the one I use the most (I usually throw in some extra herbs). This year time is scarcer, but in a pinch I’ve been buying the multi grain sourdough from Birmingham Breadworks and it’s delicious.
Indoor plants | I have tried three times to be a plant person–and it’s looking like the third time is indeed the proverbial charm. I’ve kept four or five plants alive for several months now and just got some new friends (see photo above) last week. Having green things inside while outside is grey and dead has been so nice. (For what it’s worth, this trick is the only reason they’re all still alive.)
Vitamin D supplement | This has been the year of vitamins–I’ve finally gotten into the routine of taking them daily (the trick: water bottle by bed & buying in bulk) and I started taking Vitamin D back in November in preparation for winter. It seems to be working.
My fleece pullover | My parents gave me a dark green Patagonia pullover last Christmas and I then proceeded to wear it for about forty days straight. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) It’s like a more grown up version of a hoodie. Last winter I pretty much picked my work clothes out based on what matched this jacket. The heat in my new school building actually works, but the magical pullover still keeps me warm while I wait for my car to warm up every morning.
Washing my hands with warm water | I absolutely dread washing my hands with cold water in the winter, but I’m usually in too much of a hurry to wait for it to warm up. It sounds silly, but this winter I’m trying to take a minute to breathe and wait for the water to warm up. I’m always glad I did.
Vasaline Lip Therapy | I’ve had tons of different lip products–Burts Bees, Baby Lips, EOS, etc. When it comes to winter, this stuff is the only thing that does the trick. I only apply it at night, but even that keeps chapped lips away.
Recess | We go outside for the last 15 minutes of every day–rain or shine, freezing cold or blazing hot. If I’ve learned anything in my teaching career it’s that kids absolutely do not care about weather when outside playtime is at stake. If it’s a long work day then recess is my only outside daylight of the day. I usually find a student who’s willing to walk loops around the little gravel track–we talk and watch the other kids dance & play football. It’s a good way to end a long, busy day… even if it’s cold.
Does anyone else hate winter as much as I do? What are your survival tips? (I’m really interested in trying a happy light…)