You heard me right, I said LOVE winters, in the midwest! Do you think I’ve gone off the deep end? If you don’t think that’s crazy, just wait until I tell you that I’m writing this literally in the middle of a polar vortex with temperatures that feel like -50. Okay, so this kind of cold might not be my favorite! But my mindset towards winter has really turned around since one year ago. I used to be filled with dread when the days started getting shorter. I’d spend my winter days hating the cold, despising the darkness, and wishing for summer. When I started to be more mindful about creating a lifestyle that I loved, I realized that I didn’t want to wish away any day or moment of my life, not even the cold, dreary, mid-winter ones. So I started working towards reframing my mindset about winter and I can happily say that it has become a season that I really do love.
Here’s five things I did to start loving midwest winters:
I started saying “no” to more things. If there’s one thing worse than rushing from commitment to commitment, it’s doing so in snow boots, slush, winter coats, and frost bite. Imagine instead, spending your Thursday night with warm bowl of soup, a candle, and a blanket to snuggle in with. We don’t need a polar vortex that keeps us inside to start doing this! Saying ‘no’ to more things helped me to appreciate winter for what it is, a season to reflect and recharge. Now I spend winter practicing stillness (and making plenty of time for naps), just like the hibernating hedgehogs and bears.
I re-learned how to create. As a kid I was always creating, playing music, painting, building imaginary kingdoms. In adulthood I’d lost the playfulness of creating just for fun. I’d become consumed with checking boxes off my to-do list and living for productivity. That left me feeling worn out and like I was never enough. Making the time for creating and play fills my cup back up when it’s emptied from the demands of life. It brings me joy in the simplest and most fulfilling way.
I learned to cooked with the seasons. Well, I’m learning to do this. My desire to eat fresh, local produce all year long has really connected me to the Wisconsin seasons. Summer is the time for fresh tomato slices, arugula salads, and juicy strawberries. But winter is the time for cracking open canned peaches, warming squash soup on the stove, and making pheasant gumbo like my dad used to. I’ve grown to love our warm winter meals and they’re something I look forward to all year.
I invested in my winter wardrobe. You knew I had to put something in here about my wardrobe, right? But seriously, you guys, what we wear is so powerful. Every single day, even these mid-winter ones, is a gift and I want to show up for them as my best. Investing in clothing that makes me feel comfortable and confident helps me to do just that. Clothing myself in pieces that are beautiful, sustainable, and functional for my life reminds me that these moments are worthy and I deserve playfulness, coziness, and rest every single day.
I focused on being present. Embracing where I am right now is something I’ve really been focusing on. Right now I’m in the snow, the short days, and the cold. But the thing is, I don’t want to wish any of that away. I don’t want to waist these beautiful days wishing for something different, like warmer weather and summertime. Some things that have helped me to stay present are slowing down, making time for play, and also practicing mindfulness. For me this looks like taking more time to meditate, journal, and read. Slowing down to create nurturing routines this winter has made all the difference in how I feel about this, what I once thought of as dreary, time of year.
If you want to start loving winter and feel like your wardrobe is a great place to start, check out our free guide on how to create your dream closet!