wisconsin winter

How to Survive the Effing Winter


I can’t take credit for this amazing pic as it was flying around the social media world.

It sums up most of our feelings in the Northern Hemisphere during this (fingers crossed) last hurrah of winter, and inspired me to write a sassy post on survival tactics.

This is not a post about rainbows and unicorns. It’s not about my usual good vibes and “Go Life!” mentality.

This is real man, and it might get ugly.

Some of you live in places where there is no winter. I remember, I used to live there, too. Foolishly happy in a land boasting sunshine, leaves, and a welcoming breeze.

Run, save yourselves!!!

This post is for the rest of us. Those stuck in the “cold, gray, bucket of suck” in the worst of all wintry months…DUN-DUN-DUN…February.

By the end of this fateful month last year, I was teetering on clinically insane when I wrote Winter, you can kiss my pasty ass.

I’ve arrived a little earlier this year. Perhaps because this winter was less than desirable.

Sunshine? What is this you speak of? No grey and gloom? I don’t believe you…just go, man. Just go.

Leaves? I only see crypt keeper looking branches covered in – you guessed it – freaking snow. They point and laugh at me when I bust my ass on the icy sidewalk and land in a greasy, muddy pile of slush.

Welcoming breeze? For the first time in life, I’ve battled snotcicles. Funny, I thought I was being cute creating this word and urbandictionary.com beat me to it.

Does this sound pretty…

snotcicle…nope, it doesn’t.

Okay, okay. You catch my snowdrift. (Sorry, it was right there.)

So, how do we survive these final days of dreariness and desperation? Hell, if I know.

But, here are some tips I came up with to share with you all.

  1. Listen to Latin Music  I can’t explain it, but it works like a champ. Spicy food, warm beaches, and strong drinks with those bright umbrellas are comforting visuals. Plus, a little rump shaking will help keep you warm. One of my faves is Argentinian singer Federico Aubele, who blends several genres brilliantly and takes you somewhere far, far away.
  2. Eat and Drink Warmth  Trade the salads in for soups and healthy comfort foods. I know it’s tempting to get ahead of ourselves with the promise of spring on the horizon and go for the cold, but don’t. You’ll be shivering…again. I recently came across a yummy warm drink that has been a lifesaver. It’s a lemony ginger tonic courtesy of the always wonderful Laura Plumb from Food: A Love Story. You can grab the rockin’ recipe here.
  3. Lose Yourself In Creativity The past few years I made the mistake of working on novels straight through summer. Never again will I hole up when I should be frolicking. Whether you’re exploring your own creative mind or somebody else’s through books, films, etc., take advantage of the somber mood to go deep inside your mind and gain inspiration.
  4. Oil Up, Tin Man  Cracked lips, bloody noses, and itchy legs sound familiar? It’s dry as hell, so oil up. One of my saviors has been an Ayurvedic health routine called Abhyanga, where you warm up sesame oil, optionally mix in essential oils for scent, and massage yourself from head to toe. It’s AMAZING! Also, coconut oil is great all around. To fight off those pesky snotcicles, give your nose some love by dabbing a little coconut oil and tea tree oil up there before you head out the door.
  5. Move Your Buns  Motivation is hard to drum up…I get it. But, any sort of activity will help keep you energized and less cuckoo. If anything, amp up your workout rather than abandoning it. Yoga practice, for example, should be heated and moving to not only make sure the bod is ready for postures, but also to revive your lethargic ass.

Alright, snow bunnies…your turn. How do you survive the effing winter?

snow bunny

(Next week on a physical perspective, we will return to our regularly scheduled POSITIVE programming. Promise.)

45 thoughts on “How to Survive the Effing Winter

  1. Something is really off kilter with the weather lately. I live in the Sierras and have been wearing shorts the last 4 to 6 weekends here. Does it know it is Winter here?!? States that do not get cold, snow and ice are getting it. We need the moisture here – too bad cannot truck in the snow there to here – ha! Stay Warm – love the outfit:)

    1. Shorts?! The memory of bare legs in my life is vaguely familiar.

      The weather has been super crazy, and though this is one of the worst Wisconsin winters I’ve had the happy privilege to meet, the previous ones were more out of whack for being so mild.

      If I had a truck, I’d be over there in a hot second, whistling and gratefully dumping snow.

  2. Love your tips, and they are very needed! I try to remain upbeat during the long winter months, but this one’s kicking my arse. To make matters worse, the new file I started in Scrivener today for my new WIP? Lost it. Everything I worked on today. Carrie is NOT in her happy place. So, I decided to turn off this laptop when I’m done with this comment, get a few M&Ms, and go watch some figure skating on the Olympics. Watching those hard-working athletes should help tame my complaining. 🙂

    1. I try to stay upbeat as well. It’s pretty kooky the things we do to survive not only physically, but mentally as well.

      So sorry to hear about your WIP!!! What a bummer! I’ve never used Scrivener. I have my own crazy organizational methods that are backed up five hundred ways…just in case. : (

      I like your M&Ms and figure skating combo. Sounds like a winning combo to soothe your writerly soul.

  3. Wait, first… No dancing?

    And second… Please tell me you’re not sporting a beard or mustache these days… : ) (Sorry… Lame referenced to the definition you posted… I know, back to writing. I suck as a comedian…)

  4. Your last tip about saving winter for those creative jobs is a good one. I’ve spent too many summers (like this one) holed up inside. Doesn’t make sense. But also, for what it’s worth, in Oz (when summer finally came), we’ve been suffering at the other extreme. So it seems there’s no middle ground anymore. Hang in there!

    1. For those of us with winters, it is crucial to get out there during the warmer months. Last summer for us was extreme heat for a couple of weeks, where we all holed up inside with our air conditioners. Unfortunately, the rest was very gray and cold. We got robbed!

      But, what are you gonna do? Mother Nature has a sense of humor and sometimes all we can do is laugh about it.

  5. I remember when I saw my first snotcicle – it was one of my son’s friends standing on the football sideline with me while we watched my son play (after they had broken the ice on the field so they could actually run). Winter = crazy times.

    Stay warm my friend and keep that beautiful smile on your face (not frozen on there!) 😀

    1. Aw, trading snotcicle memories…I love it! Crazy that they broke the ice just so they could play. I’m still learning about winter tactics all the time…it’s mind-boggling!

      I’m staying warm and still smiling. Thankfully, we have a “heat wave” coming next week.

  6. Britt I hope indeed that freezing weather over there is coming to an end. Here it’s not cold but we’ve had weeks of gales, rain and floods and no end in sight.
    It gives me some sense of control over the weather by going ahead with my tri-weekly beginner running group regardless of conditions. There a feelgood bring-it-on factor that helps us survive until the more pleasant times arrive. Take care there.

    1. There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. Once February is over, life becomes easier.

      That’s super that you’re keeping momentum with the running group. I’ve been diligently teaching my corporate bi-weekly Yoga classes and am happy to say that the students are attending steadily to keep their wintertime sanity.

  7. Love that photo! You make winter look fun. I never thought to heat up sesame oil. I’ll have to try that and the hot drink. So far I’ve mostly been surviving the cold by wearing the kittywampus hat indoors and drinking hot chocolate or tea or red wine or anything that’s hot.

    1. You should try the warm oil massage…it rocks! The hot drink is super yummy. I’ve been drinking it several times each week.

      You and I both know how imperative the kittywampus hat is. And, the other drinks you mentioned are staples around here!

    1. I would kill for a fireplace! Le sigh…one day.

      Comedies are a great winter survival tactic and now that I’m out of the editing cave, I’m looking forward to a reading renaissance.

  8. My winter is nowhere near as bad as yours. Sure it gets cold, but it never snows where I live! Stay uber warm!

    Also, snoticle does not sound pretty at all.

    1. I totally spoke too soon about the spam thing at your place, because I just fished this comment out of the pile! Hopefully we’re good now. No worries, me and my unpretty snotcicles will make it through. : )

  9. Hang in there Britt! Spring is just around the corner (so I’ve been told…). Thanks for recommending Federico Aubele – love discovering new artists. Will listen to him during tomorrow’s snowstorm.

    1. I’m hanging on for dear life, doll! This one’s a doozy.

      You’re absolutely welcome for the Federico recommend. Stumbled across him a couple of years back and have turned to him religiously for winter soothing.

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