While summer’s blazing heat may be a distant memory, wishing for it isn’t going to help us get through the coldest time of the year any faster. With a little can-do spirit and some fresh ideas, we’re here to help you reframe the way that you think about winter. Read on to find out how to make these next few chilly months more manageable and even, dare we say…fun!
Take Winter Walks
Perhaps you’ve done some winter walks with your new(ish) quarantine puppy already. For those without pets, please hear us out. We know it’s not as simple as taking a stroll down the sidewalk on a balmy 74-degree day, but if you layer up and mind the windchill (which has a huge effect on how cold you’ll really feel), this is a totally doable activity. The first 10 minutes or so will be a little bit of a shock to your system, but after that, your body acclimates to the temperature and you’ll be good to go. Want to get your body warmed up more quickly? Throw in some active stretches like lunges, arm circles, and high-knee steps to prep your muscles before setting off. Remember to dress for five to ten degrees warmer than it actually is if you plan to walk briskly and stay out for a while.
Consider a Fire Pit
Take a page from your favorite outdoor dining spots and add some heat to your patio area. No, we don’t suggest running out to buy a heating lamp; they’re expensive, sold out everywhere, and make us feel like a pre-cooked burger from a fast-food joint on their best days. We’re thinking that a fire pit is more the way to go. While they aren’t legal everywhere––check your local ordinances to make sure you’re allowed to build and/or buy one first, then be sure to follow the guidelines for size, safety precautions, location, and permits if needed––they present an appealing way to stay outside during the colder months. You can consider it an investment in your social life, too, since the safest way to gather right now is en plein air with plenty of distance between people.
Do Some Yard Work
City-dwellers are probably looking past this paragraph to the next cold-weather idea, but apartments often have balconies for plants––and shared yards, too! For everyone else, think of winter yard work as exercise that also results in a nicer, neater home exterior. You’ll have to do the basics like snow shoveling anyway, so you might as well dig up any remaining bulbs and store them for the winter. You can also tie burlap sacks around shrubs for protection, clean out your terracotta pots so they’re ready for spring, and restock the bird feeder regularly to get the best avian viewing from your window. It’s a good reminder that life continues to thrive, even in the depths of winter.
Participate in Winter Sports
If you live in a ski-focused state, then you know how to make the most of the snow. But there are plenty of places to try downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding that are off the usual snow-shoe-trodden paths, too. Powder fans aren’t limited to Colorado; downhill is doable in unexpected locales like West Virginia and North Carolina; you can even hit the slopes in states normally known for their heat, like New Mexico and Arizona. Additionally, some of the best cross-country skiing routes in the U.S. are scattered around the upper Midwest in places like Wisconsin and Minnesota!
Level Up Your Layers
You didn’t think we’d leave out an opportunity to flaunt your fashion IQ, did you? Stylish layering is an art, and one that you’ll have ample time to practice in the next few months. Allow your imagination to go wild thinking about texture and proportion. Don’t forget to utilize items you wear in warmer months, either. We love the unexpected way that a piece like the Black And Floral Maxi Dress works in a winter outfit. A pair of leggings and a fitted mock turtleneck or long-sleeve bodysuit underneath keep your limbs warm, while a slouchy, chunky-knit sweater or an oversized shacket (that’s what everyone’s calling a shirt-jacket, the latest “it” item) over the dress’ bodice adds more edge. If you’d rather keep bulk to a minimum, try pairing something like the Red Zip Mock Neck Dress with substantial tights underneath it. Clever outwear elements on top, something like a blazer or a faux-fur vest, ensures a feminine and shape-conscious look.
Do a Home Spa Day
While you might be able to partake in spa services depending on where you live, a home spa day is still a great way to treat yourself without the hassle of leaving your abode. A warm shower or bath––not too hot, though, because super-hot water dries out skin––kicks things off the right way. A conditioning treatment for your hair is the next step. We all have one languishing in the cabinet that requires what normally seems like an eternity (aka: 15-30 minutes) before you can rinse it out; now’s the time to use it. Throw in a sheet mask for your face while you wait. Once you’re done with that, it’s time for a proper at-home pedicure. Break out the pumice stone or foot scrub to remove calluses before clipping, filing, and buffing for smooth, neat toenails. Skip the polish to let your nails breath and incorporate a foot mask instead for a little extra skin-boosting moisture. Finish with a soothing layer of body oil all over to prevent wintertime roughness.
Shop Post-Holiday Sales
While gifts are great, it’s not the same as shopping for yourself. You are the only one who realistically knows what’s missing from your closet and which fads are better left to your trendy best friend. If there’s something you really wanted (but didn’t get over the holidays), or you’re simply ready to replenish the basics, we encourage you to take advantage of the post-Christmas deals. A word though: stay focused on what you need, since the thrill of clearance prices can lead you quickly astray. A coat that’s marked down from $500 to $100 is a steal, but it’s still $100 less in your bank account...and you probably have a whole closet full of coats already. Be sure to check the return policy, too, since “final sale” means you’re keeping it whether or not it fits.
Cozy Up the Place
If you haven’t heard of hygge, the Danish and Norwegian term that (roughly) translates as cozy feelings that make your heart full, now is the time to discover it. Hygge is all about the contentment you feel while watching a favorite movie, cuddled on the couch on a cold, rainy day. Or how you get the warm fuzzies when you’re inside sipping a cup of soup and watching snowflakes flock to the corners of a windowpane. These are examples, but you get the idea. Our mental states benefit from embracing the pleasure of having a warm, comfortable place to be when the world outside is dark and frozen. Enhance the hygge vibes in your home with snuggly blankets, fluffy pillows, and the soft glow of candlelight. Further escape to the great indoors by playing card games or figuring out puzzles while sipping on spiked cocoa. Ideally, a fireplace (or a fireplace video, if needs must) will be roaring in the background while you’re settling into all this winter well-being.
Plan Your Future Beach Wardrobe
We totally get it: reveling in sweater weather...actually, make full-length puffer coat weather…is not for everyone. If the only way you can get through winter is to focus on the spring and summer months to come, just do that. Since you’re dreaming of higher temperatures and jaunts to the beach, you might as well plot out a plan for your swimsuit drawer at the same time. To do so, weed through your existing swimwear to see what bikinis have passed their prime and which one-pieces can be permanently retired. Once you’ve got that all sorted out, check out Cupshe’s new styles to find inspiration for the seasons ahead. Up-and-coming trends like happy, sunset-inspired colors (check out the Orange Bandeau Bikini Top & Low Rise Bikini Bottom) and ruffles galore (the Dark Green Floral Ruffled Bikini is a winner) will have you ready to hit the beach as soon as the mercury climbs back up to tolerable levels again.