Disclaimer: This post was created as a part of my ongoing partnership with the apparel and lifestyle brand, Lake Effect Co. You can read more about their mission and movement here. Remember to use code WISCONSINISTA for 15% off any in-store or online purchase. As always, all words and thoughts articulated in this article are my own.
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I have a love/hate relationship with the cold (love until the end of December, hate starting January 1st). Maybe you feel similar? Despite the weather, though, winter remains my favorite time of year for a lot of reasons. It’s figuratively (but also literally) super chill, which means I have a lot more time to focus on my passions. Since I can’t go water skiing, I can focus all my energy on my love for content creation without feeling any guilt. It’s great. To be fair, I get summer SAD, so winter is my jam when it comes to mood, but I know that for a lot of people, SAD symptoms manifest in winter. If that’s you, listen up! Why?
Because there’s TWO kinds of Cabin Fever!
Maybe you associate ‘cabin fever’ with the winter doldrums, feeling cooped up inside, or actually getting sick. That’s super valid, but dwelling on it isn’t going to make you feel any better. Instead, might I introduce you to a new kind of Cabin Fever? This optimistic edition of your yearly winter feels provides inspiration to help you channel your pent-up energy and pursue your passions, as well as embrace a season of rest and rejuvenation. If that sounds like your perfect New Year’s resolution for 2020, read on!
If You Don't Want to Get Out of Bed... Start a Work-from-Home Side Hustle!
If you find yourself saying that you “just need to lay down” after every long work day or chore, it might be a worthwhile investment to find a fulfilling side-hustle you can actually do from your bed. I love that I can write blog posts, edit pictures, and respond to comments while wrapped up in a blanket! Even when it’s cold and dark outside, I still have inspiration to write, and even when I don’t want to be around people, I still find human interaction by going on social media.
Blogging is one of those awesome platforms that allows you to write about virtually any topic, so pick something you already love and it’ll make it way easier to find things to say and stay motivated! If blogging isn’t for you, explore the web for other options until you find something that inspires you. Freelance writing, video editing, and being a virtual assistant are just a few ideas.
If You Struggle to Stay Active... Spruce Up Your House!
During the off-season, I don’t work out a ton. It can be hard to find motivation to go to a gym or workout class when they cost money, and running on the icy sidewalks in my neighborhood gives my recently recovered ankle the chills. Maybe you have ambitious athletic goals, but if you’re just looking for casual ways to incorporate more activity into your winter lifestyle like me, it might pay to step away from the pilates DVD in your living room and stay active in ways that make you forget you’re working out.
I’m a “neat” person through and through, so I find that cleaning the house offers endless opportunities to do reps with the vacuum or work every muscle in your arm by scrubbing the floor. If you think about each room in your house and the types of cleaning you could do in it, the possibilities are almost endless. Shuffle around heavy furniture to get the dust bunnies out of hidden corners and stretch your triceps while touching up the paint on the walls. If cleaning is not really your thing, at least try to organize everything in your closet if you love clothes or your book shelf if the library has overflowed to stacks on the floor.
If You Think Winter is Boring... Embrace it as a Season of Rest!
If this is your biggest struggle in winter, I feel you. Hikes just aren’t the same when there’s a windchill and water skiing is literally not an option. We’ve likely all been told many times before to embrace winter activities (snow skiing/snowboarding, ice skating, snowmobiling, etc.), but that doesn’t solve the bigger picture problem, even though they can be really fun ways to enjoy the season. A new way to make the most of every winter day is to embrace it as a time to rest.
If you tackle a variety of outdoor sports during the warmer months, this is your body’s best opportunity to recover and renew itself for the coming year. Getting sleep when you can, stretching sore muscles instead of doing intense workouts, and eating hearty comfort foods that make you feel full and fuzzy inside are just some of the ways you can focus on your well-being. I always joke after ski season ends that it’s “Self-Care September,” because I schedule all of the doctor, hair, and other appointments I’ve neglected over the summer. This concept can definitely be extended into winter! Maybe we could call it… Wellness Winter?
If You Just Want to Go Somewhere Warm... Find Your Oasis in the Snow!
If you have the time and money to book an actual trip to a warmer destination this winter, by all means, feel free! If you aren’t in that position right now, though, there are other amenities you can enjoy close to home that will warm you up and provide the same luxury as a vacation.
Getting a massage, visiting a sauna, or even taking a hot bath are some of the coziest activities you can do almost anywhere! And honestly? Allowing yourself the freedom to turn the heat up to 70… or 75… for just a day or weekend is still way easier to budget for than a villa in Venice Beach. Other options include splurging on tickets for sports games that get you heated up or, if you city has one, visiting an indoor conservancy to enjoy an actual tropical oasis! In Milwaukee, that paradise is known as the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (aka “The Domes!”).
If You Feel "Stuck" Inside... Join the #PursuitOfCoziness!
My #PursuitOfCoziness initiative is all about finding and creating spaces (both physical and mental) where you feel calm and comfortable. If you go stir-crazy from living somewhere other than your dream home (cabin in the woods for me), you don’t have to suffer through it. Depending on your budget, you can reorganize and/or redecorate to make your dream home come to you! Here are 10 tips to help you create a cozy space. I personally surf Poshmark when I feel the need to stock up on cozy home items or visit cute local shops like Lake Effect Co.
I also scroll through warm-hued Instagram feeds and hashtags when I’m feeling anxious, especially in social situations, and strive to create that same space for my online community so that you all have a place to turn when you need a quick dose of calm. Want to help me spread the cozy vibes (I heard coziness is contagious)? Use the hashtag #PursuitOfCoziness to share your coziest moments and tag me (@thewisconsinista) so I can share it too! For more on Lake Effect Co., check out last month’s collaboration post about sustainable holiday shopping.