From Barely Surviving to Finally Enjoying Winter

As featured on Trendwave 🙂

I’m super thankful to be living in the Philippines where I get to enjoy summer all year round. While I take it for granted sometimes when it gets really humid, I think of the blessings of not having to endure winter which for me is one of the most difficult to deal with of all four seasons.

I never liked winter but sometimes I have to travel on this season. Packing for travel can be enjoyable because I can be that lazy ass and jump in with all my layers; or sometimes when I’m on a date (hey, I’ve got to flaunt it sometimes!) I can choose to be creative with my layers. However, the joy of winter has always ended after that one picture-perfect selfie with a snow-covered surrounding upon airport arrival. I’ve always tried to be positive but when it’s just so cold and you feel like your layers are not enough, it can be difficult to think so clearly.

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How is it possible for my brother to be so happy in the middle of winter?

And so I made a resolve to make winter a more enjoyable time for me. I’ve tried all sorts of strategies to better equip myself, from drinking dairy and alcohol, to switching jackets, to making my own heat packs.

Here I’d like to share some tricks that worked for me based on my experiences:

  • Never use cotton. Using cotton traps the coldness under your clothes so it is the worst material to use for winter. Use synthetic fiber, wool, fleece or real leather for your clothes, pants, jackets, coats, gloves, scarves, bonnets/hats and socks. These materials can be more expensive but are definitely more effective in guarding you against the unpredictability of the season.
  • Use thermal wear. I swear by Uniqlo’s Heattech Thermal Wear. It’s very light and really helps keep me warm. When it gets really bad (like South Korea’s -25 degrees Celsius back in February 2012), I used two layers of thermal wear under one jacket and one coat.
  • Exercise and enjoy the sun. It’s so nice to sleep in during winter but oversleeping excessively can obviously be detrimental to one’s health. Make it a point to do even light walking and to catch up while the sun is up. Exercising in the gym is also okay when you really can’t tolerate the weather, however being exposed to the sun adds up to the positivity of your overall well-being.
  • Stick with your schedule. Sticking with your routine helps you get through winter which can be a bit too dragging many times. If you know you have to get up by 6 AM, go to work by 8 AM, work until 5 PM, cook by 6 PM, then sleep by 11 PM– just do it! Not only does your routine help with your productivity, it also gives you a sense of fulfilment that yes, you get through your every day no matter how challenging the weather can be.
  • Listen to your body. As always, your body knows more than you think you know. Winter can be that time of the year when you crave for warm chocolate drinks, warm soups, more hot coffees, or foods that you never really like on a normal working day. You also feel you need more sleep so you end up sleeping earlier. Not giving in will lead you to forcing yourself to stay awake, eating more junk, then leaving you still unsatisfied.

Most of all, enjoy your every day and be thankful. Don’t get into the “winter depression myth” because it will remain a myth if you choose to. Winter is a cycle of life and if you choose to enjoy the perks it brings, you will surprise yourself with all the changes once the dawn of a new beginning– spring– finally arrives.

Happy winter! 🙂

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