Post-Holiday Winter

Let's just get it out there: I am a summer girl, through and through.

Growing up in California, the daytime temperature rarely dropped below 50 degrees, and snow wasn't even on my radar. My freshman year of college I moved to Seattle and was abruptly welcomed to a pacific northwest winter: my first January here I experienced a (one day short) record-breaking streak of rainy days (I think it was 29 and the record was 30). Some people love the rain. I am not one of those people. I appreciate it now more than I did that first winter, but I would still take a week of sun over a week of rain.

I always seem to notice the winter weather more in January than any other month. The fall here is beautiful, and full of football games, pumpkin patches, and gorgeous trees. I also really love the holiday season and all there is to look forward to with that. Christmas and New Years Eve this year were some of my favorite years ever. And now, January.

I think each January I'm reminded of my first January here, and the feeling that I am just so over the weather and am so ready for spring. Each winter since that first one hasn't been so bad, both in reality and simply because I know what to expect now, but I do have an arsenal of things that help me get through it. Here are my 5 post-holiday, long winter, January recommendations:

1. Plan a trip

For the past three years, my husband and I "fly south for a weekend" at some point during the winter months, usually to southern California. This year, we are doing something a little different and have flights booked along with my entire extended family for grand adventure. Hint: we're taking our passports. I'm so excited. These trips are great because you can look forward to them, knowing sun and warm weather are coming your way soon. And they fill you up after, and your tan and vitamin D replenishment seem to continue on long after you're back.

2. Candles

I make our house as cozy as possible during the dark months. I light every candle I can get my hands on, to add light, comfort, and warmth. I love beautifully scented ones like the Volcano line at Anthropologie. 

3. Treat my body well

For me, this means drinking lots of water, eating whole and real foods, stocking up on veggies, and being purposeful and aware of my daily choices. I will admit that I definitely drink too much coffee and eat my share of chocolate and treats, but I know that I feel my best when I'm fueling my body consciously.

4. Know the end is in sight

Daylight savings is on March 8th this year, which is 8 weeks from this Sunday. Simply knowing that helps me put a time frame on it. 8 weeks. I can make it 8 weeks. Living so far north, we are very much affected by daylight savings here. It gets dark way early in the winter (around 4pm during the darkest days of the year) and stays light long past 9pm in the summer. The shift to more daylight hours here always feels like a good enough reason to throw a huge party with sparklers and confetti, and a physical reminder that spring is just around the corner.

5. Get busy

Time flies when you're having fun for a reason; you're focused on the fun and not the time, and you're wonderfully distracted. Thankfully, I run well on "busy mode", and can keep up with a hectic schedule. (Side note: I realize this is counterintuitive to my "simplify" word for the year, but I think I will continue to stay busy to a maintainable level both out of necessity and as a strategy to get through the next 2 months.) If you find yourself with extra time this winter, now is the time to take up that hobby you've always wanted to try, learn a new skill, or schedule more time with friends.

What do you do to get through January and the post-holiday winter months?