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A few months ago, I relocated from out west to one of America’s coldest cities. For my first six weeks or so, I was constantly exposed to subzero temperatures that I’m sure would kill me within an hour if I were to stay outside. Things have warmed up lately, and we’ve moved out of Arctic Death Season and into more conventional winter weather, but it’s probably going to be another month or two before I can put my coats and scarves into storage.
I’d make the argument that this part of winter is the very worst for those like me who live in cold places. The rest of the country is thawing out and starting to do things outside again, but we’re stuck with weekly snowfall and paying for coat-check at every bar. I’m not saying any of this to complain; I absolutely love it in the Twin Cities and I can see myself being here for a long time. However, I think I’ve figured out a solid strategy to minimize the seemingly never-ending Winter Blues.
The first component of this process involves pretending like things are warming up even when there’s snow looming in the forecast. Winter is a great time of year, but everything about the season is played out by this point. You’ve been drinking cider and seasonal beers for what, four months now? Your face might still hurt when you walk outside, but no matter; it’s time to move on. I’m not saying you have to drink Summer Shandys while braving the cold in a Hawaiian and chino shorts, but there are definitely some changes you can make right now.
When it comes to your wardrobe, mix in some lighter colors and fabrics. You’ve been wearing deep reds, dark blues, and browns for an eternity by now, and transitioning to a spring wardrobe will help you to feel like spring might actually be around the corner. Check out some of our new stuff on Man Outfitters and Rowdy Gentleman to start building your spring wardrobe.
Changing up your food and drinks can help too. My meal preps have consisted of heartier fare like chili and lasagna up until recently, and I’m in the process of making the switch to salads, tacos, and quinoa bowls. I’ve also swapped out my chestnut, caramel apple, and pine candles for fresh linen, lavender, and nectarine.
Last week, my roommate bought me a goddamn Rumplemintz shot, and I absolutely let him hear it. I get that it still is and feels like winter, but shots like that should be banned after December 25, if not altogether. I’m not about to start ordering Mai Tais when I go out, but I’m leaving porters, stouts, and any warm drinks behind and switching to lighter stuff.
Pretending can go a long way, but it hurts to check Instagram and Snapchat to see that your friends around the country are hanging out at parks and beaches without wearing so much as a light jacket. To mitigate the crappy feeling of seeing these people dare to enjoy themselves outside, I recommend blocking them for the time being. You’ll completely avoid the FOMO you’d otherwise deal with, and it will make no difference to you that the rest of the country is warming up without you. You can unblock them the first time it cracks 60 degrees outside, and I promise you won’t miss them too much for the time being.
You could always just fly down to a warmer locale for a weekend to get out of the snow, but this will hurt you in several ways. For one, returning to the winter wonderland you call home will take your hangover from annoying to catastrophic. Another problem is that you’ll have fewer PTO days and less money with which to enjoy your own city when it actually warms up. My current work situation is going to allow for me to take one trip this year, maybe two if I beg and plead with my boss and go without food for a week. I’m sure as hell not going to take a trip now when I know that returning is going to be a nightmare.
No matter what you do, the sad reality is that you live in a place that becomes a frozen wasteland for a good portion of the year. But we’re in this together, and we can make the best of it..