Okay, so it isn't technically 'winter' yet, but let's face it. It's December. It's dark. It's freezing. It's frosting. It's winter.
I've always loved this season, but have discovered that with age comes a distinct dislike of all things cold. The days are short. The trees are bare. The mornings are frigid. Help!
Daily life can adjust drastically between seasons. Here are some of my essentials to get through a dark, cold winter in fairly chipper spirit.
1. Tea. It's great all year, but it's extra necessary now. At least two cups a day—green or matcha in the morning, chamomile or other herbals at night.
2.Books upon books upon books. Get that library card if you haven't already. Some of my favorite recent reads: The Desire Map; Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking; The Architecture of Happiness; A Room of One's Own.
3. A good friend. Fun summer weekend adventures turn into long winter discussions over dinners in diners. Or pubs.
4. Oil & lotion. Yup I got some, super dry, itchy skin, like the rest of ya. Been getting into this Aura Cacia Grapeseed Oil this year. I also enjoy this EveryDay Coconut body lotion, which was founded by a Togolese native as a way to generate funds to help community projects in his home country and other West African nations to reduce poverty and gender inequality. Moisturizer with a conscience!
5. Water. Drink up. I know this is super hard to believe, but as the air gets drier, we need more fluids to stay hydrated. I like to slip a dash of organic cherry or lemon juice in my glasses to keep it fresh.
7. A morning routine. Maybe it's always healthy to have one, but it feels even more essential in winter. Wake up early, with the sun, and start your day right. Mine typically goes (starting at 6:30 AM): 1) Water 2) Get moving—200 ab crunches, 30 push ups, 3 sun salutations, whatever else feels good 3) Read 4) Reflect/meditate 5) BAM. Ready for the day. Now get pretty.
8. A new initiative. Whatever you're passionate about. Whatever you feel is calling you at this moment. Maybe it's organizing a volunteer event. Or consulting on the side of your day job. Or starting a blog (hey, do it, and tell me!). Or taking that philosophy class you've been meaning to.
9. Candles. I know it's not the most eco-conscious thing you can do, but I love 'em. I typically buy soy candles, but I just read that there can be some unstated downfalls even to those labeled 'pure soy.' Your best bet is a pure beeswax candle, which can actually do some pretty cool things for your health. Read about it here.
10. A fun trip. Hey. Yeah, you. Get outta town! I'm sneaking off via train for Boston this week, and it'll be a much-needed change of scenery. It doesn't have to be far, just go! Explore. See something new. Meet some peeps. Leave the car at home and train or bus it up.
P.S. Cats always help.