How to survive and enjoy winter… from someone who grew up in a desert


February 27, 2022

Hello everyone! This week’s post is kind of a fun lighthearted one! If you want to read some more of my more serious advice-style posts, you can find them all here, but this week I’m doing something a little different… We’ve been getting some randomly warm and sunny days here in DC recently, which makes me so hopeful that spring is (finally) almost here! This was my first real winter, and I don’t know if people who come from much colder states would even say we have a real winter here in DC, but it was the first winter I’ve experienced in a long time! As someone who grew up in Dubai, which is quite literally a desert, it was a little bit of a shock. I think the winter can be a struggle both physically and mentally because it’s so cold and gets dark much earlier. So, in this post, I wanted to share some of my tips for surviving and thriving in the winter.

Embrace the cozy vibes

I feel like this is very easy in the lead-up to the holiday season, but so much harder in January and February, especially when getting back into the routine of work and school. I am someone who loves sunshine and I love the summer when the days are super long, so the dark days in the winter make me kind of sad. Something that makes it a little better is fully embracing the cold and dark days and just making it cozy. For me, this means putting on my fairy lights, snuggling up in a nice blanket, maybe lighting a candle, grabbing a hot drink, and putting on a nice playlist.

Work out your warm clothes style

Something that I was super excited about in the winter was the opportunity to finally wear all the sweaters and cute coats that I never got to wear back in Dubai. I’m all for a fashionable look, but I quickly realized that practicality comes first in the winter. I’d recommend working out what kind of winter clothes work best for you; for example, I always wear a long coat while some people wear shorter puffers, I hate wearing hats while some people love them, and my neck always gets cold so I have a chunky scarf. Winter clothes were something I was severely underprepared for when I moved here, so I’d recommend sorting that out if you really want to ~thrive~ in the winter.

Embrace ANY sunshine

It’s true what they say, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I love the sun and I was so spoilt in Dubai because it’s basically sunny every day there. While I hate that winter days are darker, I kind of love how the mood instantly shifts when it’s sunny outside. The bar is really low, so when it’s a remotely warm and sunny day this time of year, the front lawn of Georgetown is filled with students studying, throwing frisbees, and sitting in hammocks – I love how it brings people together. I’d recommend embracing any sunny days during the winter, even if it just means sitting by the window or going for a nice walk.

Eat warm food

Don’t get me wrong, a salad is great, but on a jarringly cold day, you need warm food. I think there’s some kind of scientific theory that your body needs different kinds of foods in different seasons instead of trying to stick to the same things all year round. I didn’t really understand the importance of this at first, but I’ve realized that it’s SO true – there’s no way a cold salad could fill me on a snowy day.

Remember to hydrate

I feel like this is so obvious but you’d be surprised how much people forget it. I feel like because it’s not as hot outside and you’re not necessarily drinking to cool down, people kind of just forget to drink water and hydrate in the winter. Especially with lots of colds and the flu going around this time of year, it’s important to remember to drink water and stay healthy!

Let yourself take things slower

I feel like we’re all our own harshest critics and I know that personally I never tell myself to slow down, but it’s important to do in the winter! Winter is naturally a time to slow down, get some more sleep, and take care of yourself. Because we live in such an artificial environment, it’s easy to forget that this is the natural thing to do in the winter!

Make a conscious effort to go outside

In the winter I think it’s so easy to spend the entire day inside because the weather may not be super appealing outside, however, I think it’s important to make a conscious effort to go outside. Dress up warmly, but getting fresh air and being surrounded by nature is still important regardless of the season.

Re-work your indoor environment

Because you’ll most likely be spending a lot more inside, the winter could be a good time to re-decorate your indoor space or move things around, maybe get a plant or buy some flowers? I moved around a few things in my dorm room when I got back in January and it has made it seem new and refreshed since I’m spending so much time in here.

These are just a few fun pieces of advice for surviving and thriving in the winter; leave any of your advice in the comments!

See you soon,

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