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Long winters are depressing at best and soul-crushing at worst, which is probably why we find ourselves gearing up for dark early evenings and brutal weather long before fall actually ends. It’s always good to enter with a plan of action. In other words, have a few tricks up your sleeve for when the winter slog makes you feel like you might just lose your mind.
Everyone has a different way of dealing with the season, so we asked our editors how they attempt to escape winter unscathed. It can be as simple as a pair of thick, fuzzy socks or as difficult as dragging yourself out of the house for an intense workout (the hardest thing to do!), but, hey, whatever works. If you find yourself basically moping your way through the next several months, give these tricks a try. They might just work for you too.
“I tend to get a little anxious when it gets dark super-early—it’s the worst—and several studies have found that the scent of citrus can reduce stress and improve your mood, so I keep a little vial of orange essential oil on me at all times during the winter months. I’ll dab a little on my wrists or mix a bit in with body lotion. While I can’t say it makes me forget that it’s pitch-black at 4 p.m. and a long night is stretching before me, it doesn’t hurt either. I also stay sane by buying way too many coats, but that’s another story.” (Perrie Samotin, site director)
“When I’m not crying over flurries that make my morning commute a living hell, I’m soaking up every ounce of sunlight I can. I make sure to jog outside because I think it’s important not to be stuck in my apartment or the office 24/7. I bundle up, watch for slippery ice patches (they’ve won, though), and get in as much of a run as I can. And then I drink hot chocolate or coffee, because I’m freezing.” (Victoria Moorhouse, associate editor)
“I’m a born-and-bred Floridian, so winters have always felt a bit foreign. The struggle has been real—from learning how to properly layer to figuring out which shoes are snow-appropriate. That said, the one thing I’ve come to rely on during the darkest and coldest of months is exercise, specifically tennis. As cliché as it may sound, it’s truly incredible what intense focus and hard-core movement does for your mind and body. Well, that and lots of time in the steam room at Equinox!” (Jessica Teves, editor in chief)
“Do you remember your grandpa saying things like, ‘In my day, I had to walk a mile in the snow…’ whenever you complained about going to school? Well, for me, that stupid tale has come true. I walk a mile every day to get to work (read: 20 blocks to and from the office), and it fucking sucks. To combat the freezing cold trek, I’ll slip disposable hand warmers into my boots. They keep my feet warm and toasty and help regulate the temperature of the rest of my body. It really helps make winter bearable.” (Samantha Lim, director of creative projects)
“I stay sane in the winter with a solid stock of tea. For some reason, a great warm drink cheers me up when it’s insanely freezing outside and I’m to the point where I’m wearing blankets as clothes. So I always have tea on me. A couple of my current favorites are David’s Tea in Berry White ($11.90) and Kusmi Rose Green Tea ($17.50).” (Rachel Adler, beauty director)
“In a word: chili. I get through winter by living in a one-entrant chili cook-off. I love it in a bowl, over rice, on pasta, as a nacho topping. It just feels hearty and fortifying. I also recommend having friends over for a chili bar. They do the traveling in the snow; you get the cozy get-together.” (Sarah Wharton, copy editor)
“I really hate the cold weather, and the only thing that stops me from hibernating like a cranky bear for six months is my dog, Oliver. When the weather gets cold, he turns into a champion snuggler—and it’s a scientific fact that you can’t hate your life when you’re cuddling a dog. Though it does sometimes suck to have to go outside to walk him when it’s slushy and gross, he more than makes up for it by how ridiculously adorable he looks in his coat. Plus, there’s nothing cuter than a small dog playing in the snow.” (Alle Connell, senior beauty editor)
“As a California expat, I’ve become adept at lots of self-care to beat the New York chill. I know that I’m prone to some serious Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I increase my vitamin D intake and use a light box. Another coping technique that I’ve developed during frigid winter times is to engage in something creative every week—whether that means trekking out to a gallery opening, heading to a movie, or journaling. It’s about making time to recalibrate my energy.” (Cady Lang, social media editor)
“I’m kind of amazed by how simply throwing on thick, fluffy socks can brighten my mood in the dead of winter. There is nothing better than coming home on a bitter cold day, putting on what are essentially sleeping bags for my feet, and curling up on the couch to defrost. My former coworker gave me a plush, fuzzy pair last Christmas, and I swear they’ve changed the game.” (Cristina Velocci, managing editor)
“Acupuncture! You feel like you could drunkenly jump over a car after. Great for feeling good all year.” (Melissa Medvedich, creative director)