Sunday, November 8, 2015

HOW TO PREPARE FOR WINTER WHEN YOU KNOW IT MAKES YOU SAD

I came to this realization a year ago: for me, winter is just one long bad mood. The after-Christmas slump hits me hard, and all the excitement I felt for chunky knit sweaters and warm drinks dissipates into chilly drizzles, empty trees, and the wind that constantly knocks off my hood when I'm trying to run home in the rain. Feelings of hope and freedom are replaced with the inexplicable fear that I will never find success, love, or my keys, so I might as well stay inside.

The deep, existential crisis is inevitable, but the little annoyances of winter always tend to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. You can worry about never succeeding in your desired field all you want, it's the itchy, dry skin and static hair that make you start crying in an Ohio Walmart.

But not this year, I say!!!!! Over time, I've collected a few foolproof methods for body and soul to ease the pain of the upcoming season.

FOR THE BODY

My winter mantra is simple: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and that keeps going until you run out of breath. Come every November, it seems like my skin is trying to peel itself off my body in search of warmer climates. These products*, without fail, keep it and many other issues all under control:

  • Dream Cream // LUSH. Does anyone else get INCREDIBLY itchy legs during the colder months? It's a weird but persistent side effect of the weather that makes me feel like my mind is slowly unraveling and that I'm going to start foaming at the mouth. The key is to start early. Don't wait until the itchiness has started, but rub a healthy dose of this cream on each leg after every shower the moment the temperature outside begins dropping. I did this last year, and the problem never reared its ugly head again.
  • R&B // LUSH. This was my first and is my longest-running LUSH purchase. I think I'm on my fourth tub, which is a lot and a little at the same time, since this stuff can last you almost two seasons. It's a hair moisturizer that completely eliminates winter static. I take a small dollop on one finger and rub it through my wet hair before blow-drying in the mornings. For the most part, this does the trick, but if you're out and about on a particularly static day, you can also apply it to dry hair just as effectively. 
  • Hand Food // Soap & Glory. I discovered this product, and Soap & Glory in general, during my year studying abroad. Luckily, this British brand followed me back to the States, and you can now pick up a majority of their products online or at ULTA. I was excited about that for this product especially, which I discovered to be hands-down the best hand moisturizer out there. I say that because 1) it works, duh and 2) you can put it on and go. It gets completely absorbed, and there isn't any residue or time spent waiting for it to dry. 
  • Balm Dotcom // Glossier. While I've mostly associated Glossier's products with the summer months (for no other reason than that's when I first started buying them), this universal salve is a new winter essential for me. Technically, you can use on it on any part of your body, but I like to put it on my lips before bed. I wake up and actually feel how moisturized my lips are. 
  • Lip Scrub // LUSH. Speaking of my luscious lips, this lip scrub is another staple. I like LUSH's Christmas edition of the product just because of taste, but any lip scrub will do the trick. This step is an important prequel to any chapstick. Simply moisturizing your lips is just half the journey, ya feel? 
  • Aquaphor // Eucerin. When I bring out the Aquaphor, which I should note I'm not sure is cruelty-free, I'm bringing out the big guns. This is for my most stubborn of winter symptoms: dry cuticles (painful) and feet (super cute). I rub this on my fingers before bed, and on my feet before putting on socks the next morning. 
I realize those are a lot of things simply to stop my body from rebelling against me, and I don't have a second part to this sentence. I'm as pissed off about it as you are. 

The remaining item, or items, is Uniqlo's HEATTECH line of leggings, shirts, and socks. I've yet to try them out, because the weather (luckily) has yet to get cold enough that I need them, but I'm excited to slip them on under my regular clothes and, presumably, become entirely impervious to the climate. 

FOR THE SOUL

Look at it this way: winter is an excuse to indulge in the things you've secretly always wanted to do all year long. I realize this is about as effective as saying "Chin up, kiddo!" but really. Winter is all about self-care, and it suddenly becomes perfectly acceptable to stay in and do all these cozy, selfish things at once:

  • Binge-watching. Bring your duvet to your couch and start a completely new show. I'd suggest Master of None, because I just blew my way through that this week, but any show that you always hear people talking about but have yet to start yourself will do. 
  • Crafting. I don't care who you are or whether or not you think you're "creative," having a crafty hobby is the most satisfying thing in the world, and will keep you feeling productive even if you never change out of pajamas. I'm, of course, partial to knitting, and Purl Soho just released a new yarn called Gentle Giant that is thick and cozy and perfect for beginning and experienced knitters alike. 
  • Journaling. Embrace the art of writing down your feelings in all its angsty glory. While sometimes I worry that anyone who reads my journal would think I was only ever unhappy, having a space to get out those feelings is crucial, especially when you know you're about to have a lot of them. Most of winter is the bitterness of the build-up, keeping angry feelings inside and allowing them to fester. Even if you don't know why you're upset, even if it's just "I'M COLD!!!!!!!!" write it all down until you run out of words. The goal isn't to stop the feelings from happening, but to deal with them when they do. 

Not pictured: long baths, because I have a post on those coming later, and hours spent cooking and drinking wine, because the only images that I could find were stock photos of spices. If you're looking for an example, then you can see it in action here.

*All products mentioned are cruelty-free unless noted otherwise!

2 comments:

  1. Hey, i just found your blog ... and i wanted to thank for your words. I could have written all of that - and i am going to try your: "NOT THIS YEAR" - approach πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ New reader here ☺ Love from Germany, Danica

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