Well, it has been an eternity since I have written. But, alas, what will break the silence (that honestly isn’t silence at all, but a very bustling house of 6) is something that I am VERY excited about:
The 2015-2016 Winter Survival Plan
My friend Courtney and I have bemoaned winter for years. I am a native Floridan (no I don’t wear jean shorts…anymore). But I grew up thinking “winter” was 60 degrees and sunny….and I had to wear a jacket with my
shorts and flip flops.
Disclaimer: I KNOW Georgia can hardly claim our weather in December through March as “winter” compared to our fellow states of Indiana, Colorado, Missouri etc. BUT friends, its cold..and its cold FAR longer than I am ready for. I belong in 75 degrees and sunny.
Courtney and I met at Jason’s Deli and wrote down our brainstorming plan on my notes app on my phone. After that we sensed a growing giddiness about winter. Ok maybe it was more “acceptance” rather than “giddiness”. We created our own hashtag… cleverly #welovewinter. We can’t tell if we are pretending or if its real…because its too early to tell…but I have joked about our “winter plan” with my friends and have had so many people say, ” I want in on this! Will you send me your notes?”
So, of coarse in my head I started a full scale women’s movement in the city of Athens…with a great name and tag line and everything…but then I realized: I forgot two meetings I had scheduled today, I have 4 kids and I never ever follow though on my exercise goals and dreams. Probably launching a full scale city wide women’s group isn’t what I need to do right now.
BUT I DO need to share with you our Winter Survival Plan! We refer to it as our “HAPPY Plan” as in opposition to “SADD Plan”. I’m not joking about Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder here, its a real thing. I’m sure that we are no where near it, but I know that we, along with a number of other friends get a serious case of the winter blues.
Because everyone loves a top 10 list… I tried to simplify it to 10.
- NATURAL SUNLIGHT: Winter brings shorter daylight hours and its cold. We don’t want to go outside-but we need to. So #1 is: Everyday, we need to try as hard as we can to get outside and have our bodies exposed to natural sunlight. We may or may not be investigating one of those Vitamin D lamps. Now that I have boys I have seen first hand the value of “put on an extra layer and a hat and GET OUTSIDE-in the cold/rain/sleat/snow” We are all better for it.
- VITAMIN D: It’s one of the reasons why we are biologically happy when we are laying on the beach in the summer. We are not doctors but we are increasing our Vitamin D intake. I’m taking 2 extra a day. I think it also has added benefits of boosting your immune system too. Your body only holds Vitamin D for a day, so thats why daily natural sunlight and Vit D are important daily habits to keep.
- WINTER CANDLES: We have a sweet tradition of welcoming each new season by running out to Bath and Body Works during our lunch break when their 3 wick candles are on sale and buying the most perfect scent for the upcoming season…yet somehow.. not intentionally, but consistently, we SKIP winter! This year, we bought Twisted Peppermint and the most wonderful one of all…”Winter”. Winter needs candlelight and wonderful smelling living rooms. Check them out here: Bath and Body Works 3 Wick Candles
- FOCUS: We realized that we all do ok until December 26th. The holidays are fun and busy …and cold….but who cares because we have our Christmas tree up with sparkling lights and presents! …but once December 26th hits, I’m ready for summer. SO we realize that yes, the plan starts in December (for us we started in November), but we have to really buckle down in January, February and sadly even March. I am also trying to enjoy the season for what it brings, and call it good.
- MANDATORY MOVEMENT: I’m terrible at this, but we all know that our bodies need to move. Endorphins are a real thing. Every winter I find myself puddled up in my yoga pants for days in my chair and realize I have only moved from my bed to my car to my desk to my sofa to my bed. So in order to help our physical bodies, we must move-even if its walking around the inside of our building for 20 minutes a day. Ideally, this is outside…which helps with #1 and #2. We want to do a monthly group yoga class…but I’m having a hard time finding someone who can come at the time when we can make it happen (Thursday afternoons).
- CLOTHES WE LOVE: Winter=pants and I hate pants. Correction, I hate that skinny jeans have waistbands that dig into my former baby apartment. Sure if I was 20 pounds lighter that might not happen, but honestly I think maybe it still would. SO this winter, I am buying a few things that I really like to wear. ((Get yourself to Old Navy and get the amazing gift from Above called the “Rockstar Jegging”. They are jeans, with pockets, but NO button/zipper…. and GLORY: an elastic waistband…and no they are not maternity pants.)) Old Navy Mid Rise Jeggings . Also on the list: a plaid blanket scarf, some tunics to wear with real leggings, and a new winter coat..and boots. The last winter coat I bought was before Matt and I got married…15 years ago. Not good.
- NO SWEATSHIRTS AT THE OFFICE: This might not be an issue for most of you, but I am lucky enough to work at a place where I can wear jeans to work. We don’t have a strict dress code. We have to look neat and professional, but there are times where we can dress up a t shirt, or in the winter, can wear a (clean, nice) sweatshirt. BUT, sweatshirts were designed for the gym, walking outside OR snuggling in your yoga pants–and when you live in a sweatshirt you feel… like, well, you are living in a sweatshirt. Which is glorious, but makes me personally feel like inertia is setting in. So yes, I can run home and change into my “winter uniform” as Matt calls it (yoga pants, t shirt, sweatshirt and clean white socks) but I have to “dress” for work .. at least in the winter. …It’s December 1 and I have already had to confess to this desire 3 times.
- HAPPY NAILS=HAPPY HEART: We are committing to get our nails done every 3 weeks. In the winter one of the only things you see are your hands–why not make them pretty? Its worth the cost. Even if it happens once a month, this will be a great investment…and fun with friends. (Fridays at 10am every 3 weeks for me-come join the party!)
- EAT A FRUIT OR VEGGIE AT EVERY MEAL: When winter comes we just want to eat carbs and lots of them. Carbs are warm and fill us with momentary happiness. But carbs also make you feel bloated and can tend to put on extra pounds over time. So we are committing to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal. Its just good for everything. I just started the Transfit 14 Day Recharge which is packed with whole foods, fruits and veggies. Also, we are drinking lots of water because hydrated bodies are happy bodies.
- FIND A WINTER PROJECT: My friend Josh said the key to winter is finding a whole TV series and watching it season 1 episode 1 until the end. Thank you Netflix for making this possible! We are taking this season to LEARN something or PRACTICE something or TACKLE something… so when spring comes you can say, “over the winter I….. (insert: learn to knit, watched all of Glee, hosted a weekly supper club, took a weekly tai chi class, or my choice: used the content of Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to completely declutter my whole house (and maybe my in-laws if I make it though mine!)”
SO there you have it! It is a lot of common sense but for us, we have hung our hat on these 10 things as gospel truth for surviving winter. I would love for you to join us and hear any of your winter survival techniques!