Thursday, February 11, 2016

Winter 2016 Necessities

Though winters in Colorado tend to be sunny with swaths of unseasonably warm days, it is, nonetheless, around this time of year that I begin to tire of the season. For that reason, I've been making an even more conscious effort than usual to care for myself. Here are a few of the things and indulgences I'm finding necessary right now.
  1. A good book. I love browsing my Goodreads "To Read" list then sending several samples to my Kindle to read in the bathtub later. The only hard part is choosing which book to actually buy! I recently finished What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan, which was a perfectly suspenseful page-turner, ideal for curling up with on a chilly winter evening.
  2. And speaking of reading in the tub, a selection of bath salts is definitely a winter necessity. I rotate through different brands, but lately have been loving Soaptopia's Lavender Lullaby, Aura Cacia's Recover, and The Seaweed Bath Co.'s Eucalyptus & Peppermint. I also light a candle or two, and–if I'm feeling especially fancy–I'll make myself some spa water (i.e. tap water with mint and cucumber slices) to sip while I soak.
  3. My down jacket. I was due for a new jacket this year, so I did my research and decided to invest in Kuhl's Spyfire Down Parka (scored on major sale at REI). As I mentioned, we're lucky that it doesn't usually get too cold here in sunny Colorado, but on those chilly days, I sure am grateful for that 800-fill down.
  4. A slow cooker. There's something so cozy about having a delicious-smelling meal in the slow cooker on a wintry day, and it was a lifesaver during our Whole30. We made a big batch of bison chili recently (topped with chopped radish, scallion, cilantro, and plenty of avocado) and it was sooo nice having several nourishing servings ready to eat throughout the week.
  5. All of the moisturizing products. John Masters' Lavender and Avocado Intensive Moisturizer. Dr. Bronner's Lip Balm. Korres' Black Pine Serum at night. And Acure's Moroccan Argan Oil forever.
  6. Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. We don't have cable and try to limit TV in general, but enjoy watching certain series, especially during the winter when it's too dark or cold to be outside.
  7. My yoga studio and gym memberships. I absolutely love hiking and trail running during the Spring, Summer, and Fall, however I've accepted that I'm not going to be one of those die-hard people lacing up my sneakers at 6:00am when it's pitch-black and below freezing outside. I know it's super crucial for my mood to maintain a vigorous exercise routine during Winter, so to the gym I go, about 5x/week. Yes, running three miles on a treadmill is a bit of a grind, but I know, for me, it keeps the winter blues at bay. Lately, I've also been lifting weights and getting more into strength training, which has been really gratifying. I mix it up with a hatha or vinyasa class about 1x/week.
  8. Really good coffee. That first cup gets me out of bed on those cold, dark mornings! (Yes, my husband literally sets a mug of it on the nightstand to wake me up.) We alternate between using beans from local roasters Ozo, Novo, Corvus, and Doma.
  9. Vitamin D, both in the form of supplements and actual sunshine. Weather permitting, I try to step outside over my lunch break or take a few minutes in the afternoon to walk around the block. Sometimes, I'll grab a coffee or tea and sit on a bench facing the sun; even 15 minutes completely transformative to my mood.
What are your winter necessities?