Alright - we hear you. It’s mid-February and you’re sick of winter. To answer your question, yes, despite being in the business of all things cozy and winter here at STIK, the cold temps and grey skies can even get to us beanie lovers sometimes.
It’s no secret that the winter can take a serious toll on our bodies, our moods, and even our mental health. We’ve found that switching up our routines just a little bit can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding those winter blues. In Boston, we have *hopefully* about a month left of winter, but whether you live in Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco, we thought you might enjoy some of our tips and tricks to help you live your best life until the flowers finally push through the snow.
Take the time to invest in your skin
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times - Winter can turn every inch of our skin into the straight up Sahara Desert. This is only further exacerbated if we stick to the same ol’ skin care we used in the summer.
Think of it this way: in the summer your skin is the low maintenance, chill gf/bf that you just started seeing. But in the winter, it becomes the needy, jealous monster that you don’t even recognize anymore. Make one wrong move and it will lash out at you. Soooo, let’s treat our skin with kid gloves this winter shall we?
A few simple switches; first, I like to skip the harsh foaming cleansers and try out a milk/cream cleanser. Also, I find that a water-based gel moisturizer can actually help lock in more moisture than those heavy creams and balms. They act as humectants (aka they attract water molecules and stick to them) and help seal in any hydration you already have. I’m not a doctor, but these changes have made all the difference for me.
If you’ve already made the changes, but your skin is still mad at you I would recommend couples therapy. Sorry, did I take the metaphor too far? Couples therapy = a facial!! Seriously, a good facial will cure literally everything. So next time it’s unbelievably gross outside, treat yourself and get the glowing skin you deserve. These are some of our favorite facial spots in Boston: Andrea Sacco (Christina’s fav), Skin Spa New York - Back Bay (Franny’s fav).
Also, have you heard of a humidifier?
I honestly don’t know what I can say about this other than “You need it!” Enough said. Throw in some winter scented essential oils like orange spice or cinnamon and you are golden and glowing and cozy. No one has time for this kind of care in the summer because your social calendar is probably full. So take the time in the winter to humidify!
Brighten up your look
Of course, we absolutely love our warm winter beanies, but what happens when you eventually have to take them off? Here we are on the verge of spring and our hair is looking dry and frizzy and extraordinarily dull. Looking at your hair in the mirror at this point is just no fun and doesn’t help with the winter confidence slump. Coincidentally, I think one of the best feelings out there is walking out of the salon with a shiny new mane.
There are a few reasons I would recommend a trip to the salon around this time of year. For one thing, your hair is probably very dry and chock full of split ends. This means a trim is likely well overdue. At the same time your hair is dull and lifeless due to the fact that it hasn’t seen the sun in what feels like 50 years. The fix? Add in a few highlights to fake that you actually remember what the sun feels like on your skin. You don’t have to go crazy and bleach your whole head, but maybe switch it up and go for a partial foil that will leave you feeling so sparkly and new.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel like dropping the dough hundred on a new look at the moment, there are some at-home hacks I would recommend too. I will never ever ever suggest that you trim or color your own hair so just put that thought away immediately. However, to combat the dry ends on a daily basis, simply never let your hair dry without a light hair oil. You can find these absolutely anywhere and it is such a simple product to add in. Just remember, a little goes a loooooong way.
Also, if you aren’t ready to head under the foils and heat lamps, it doesn’t mean a future of lifeless locks. What is the only area of our body we never exfoliate? Our scalps!! They build up product and skin cells and oils and dandruff and dirt just as much if not more as anywhere else. Clearing up the pores will allow for new healthy hair to push forth. There are so many micro-exfoliant shampoos out there now, but you can also just chuck some salt in your shampoo and scrub it up. These two simple additions can really revive your winter mane just in time for spring.
Eat some food for your chilly soul
Fun fact: not only can our external body suffer from the cold, but our internal body as well. I know right?! What else can winter possibly throw at us? Fortunately, we can do a few things to maintain internal balance. Sticking to warm/oily foods not only tastes amazing, but can help coat and protect our organs from the cold. Think teas, veggies roasted in olive oil, blended hearty soups, etc. An added benefit? You’ll head into bathing suit season feeling healthy and strong.
Dream up your spring wardrobe
At this point I don’t even want to look at another chunky cable knit sweater, and I sure as hell am not about to buy one. I’m looking at swimsuits okay? And flowy maxi skirts and Ray Bans. But at the same time I would feel a bit absurd actually purchasing any warm weather clothes right now. Honestly, it helps me to just dream about it and put together a wish list. Maybe create a pinterest Spring 2020 board and pin to your heart's desire. Personally, as an avid Renter I’ve been heavily eyeing the new Spring lines. Rent the Runway even lets you create specific lists for your “hearts.” I’ve already made so many warm weather lists, from weekend trips to Florida to spring graduations and parties. Categorizing or listing these coveted pieces helps satisfy my shopping addiction without purchasing clothes I can’t wear for months.
Embrace the “night in”
Unless you're living under a rock, you’ve likely seen the memes about praying for your Friday night plans to get cancelled so you can enjoy a night in complete with pizza, Netflix, and a delicious face mask. Here’s our take - embrace the night in! One Friday night, go crazy and make your plans to be that you have zero plans. Enjoy the coziness of your sweatpants with absolutely zero guilt. Light up your favorite extra candle, I’m talking gingerbread spice, peppermint mocha, smoky fireside, winter wonderland bonanza extraordinaire. Pour yourself a generous glass of wine, slap on a moisturizing mask, turn on Netflix’s Cheer, and put your feet up. Boom. You are now having the perfect night and you didn’t have to hope for anyone to get sick and cancel on you. There’s plenty of time for fun when the flowers bloom and it’s above 30 degrees outside.
Spice up your daily routine
There’s something about the winter that I find to be incredibly monotonous. Between the freezing cold temps, the lack of sun, and maybe trying to stick with a couple of your resolutions - it just gets kind of….boring? Whatever it is, it can really throw you off, so I always find that changing up my routine a little can spice things up. It could be as simple as driving home from work at different way or as ‘complicated’ as trying to work out at a different time of day than you normally do. (Because changing work out routines is HARD!) Maybe try making iced coffee instead of hot coffee one morning. Play some music when you cook dinner. Treat yourself to a fast casual lunch during the week. It may seem silly, but sometimes changing things up can break the winter snooze cycle and brighten your outlook on your day-to-day.
Alright guys, that’s about all I got. Winter won’t know what hit it. And remember, a beautiful, sunny, WARM spring weather is right around the corner.