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10 Simple things that make life easier in the winter


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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 01/13/24

Like it or not, we've gotta get through another winter. Luckily there are lots of little things that can help make winter a little more enjoyable.
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Ah, the snowy magic of a winter wonderland. Our favorite time of year, right? 

Just kidding. If you’re like me, you spend a little too much time during these frosty months looking up the cost of flights to the Caribbean and real estate listings in Arizona.

Whether I like it or not, I’ve gotta get through another winter. As I look out my window right now, I can see a blizzard whirling as the inches of snow pile up higher and higher. Delightful. But there are lots of little things that can help make winter better.

But first, a plug …

Before anything else, I have to put in a plug for the best thing I’ve done to get through winter. I’ve had seasonal depression for most of my life, but this year I’m taking it seriously to exercise regularly and get to the gym, and it honestly is helping so much. 

It kind of feels like a racket to find out that all the claims that exercise is good for mental health are true. But I have to admit, the soaring mood boost and focused calm last all day after a good sweat session, and that makes a world of difference during the gray winter months. Shocking, right? Who knew working out actually would make me happier?! (Don’t answer that.)

Besides exercise, here are my top 10 favorite little things to help make the winter months a little more bearable.

A humidifier

I can’t say enough how much these little machines will help if you have dry winter skin. During my last pregnancy, I had a really bad case, and no amount of smearing on lotions or drinking water made any difference.

Finally I had the idea to try a humidifier, and the difference was like night and day as I felt relief for the first time in months. It really is a game changer for the winter.

Boot dryers

Nothing is worse than going to put on your gloves or boots and finding out they are still wet from the last time you went out in the snow … three days ago. I put off getting boot dryers for years, but I finally bit the bullet this year and I can’t wait to have our snow gear dry off lickety-split.

A heavy-duty lotion and lip balm

Did I mention how badly this weather dries out the skin? A great lip balm and seriously nourishing lotion are essential. I also like to keep Vaseline and coconut oil on hand for healing dry skin, especially when my kids have runny noses.

Wool or fleece layers

A good pair of wool socks or some fleece-lined tights, leggings, or pants make going outside a lot more bearable! 

Hot tea

My friend from Texas visited me last week, and when I offered her a hot tea, she said, “Oh, I never drink tea! But I guess I’ll have a cup if you do.” By the time she left, she was drinking four cups a day of hot tea. 

The same thing happened when my grandma visited from Miami. There is just something about being in a cold environment that makes people crave hot drinks, and tea has health benefits that make it a great option to sip all day long.

If you’re not sure where to start, my favorite flavors are Tazo’s Glazed Lemon Loaf and Teavana’s Peach Tranquility. For the tea aficionados like me, I recommend a dedicated tea storage container.

Waterproof snow pants

Another thing I resisted getting for years — I used to layer leggings under sweatpants and put up with getting wet when I took my kids out to play in the snow. But this year we’ve been sledding and building snowmen so much that it didn’t make sense for me not to have proper snow gear. I’m so excited to go sledding with my kids without getting soaked!

Vitamin D supplements

An estimated 35% of adults in the United States are deficient in vitamin D, and it’s even more common if you live in a cold climate. Symptoms of this deficiency include fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness or aches, and mood changes like depression. 

Of course, consult with your medical provider before starting supplementation, but you might find it helpful to take vitamin D, at least while the cold weather lasts.

Hand warmers

We used portable hand warmers last year when we went on winter walks, and my kids keep asking for them again. They make being outside so much more pleasant! I’m adding them to my shopping list as we speak.

Flannel sheets

Few things feel better than cozying up under flannel sheets on a cold night. We like to switch out all the bedsheets in the house to flannel ones when the seasons change, and they do make winter a little better.

Bone broth

If you have not made homemade bone broth before, let me tell you, it’s the easiest thing in the world and super delicious. And it’s loaded with a mountain of health benefits

I like to use this slow cooker recipe so I don’t have to keep my stove on, and everytime my family has a meal with bones in it, I save the bones in my freezer until it’s time to make broth. 

Bone broth is the perfect cozy wintertime drink, can be used in countless recipes in place of chicken stock, and might even help your body fight off those winter viruses. Cheers!

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