Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tips for Surviving Your First East Coast Winter

It has been almost a year since I moved to New York and have experienced so many new things, including my first East Coast winter. Having been born and raised in California, winter meant a totally different thing to me. Snow, slush, and single-digit weather? Clearly I had no clue what I had signed up for. However, I've come to realize that its not all bad. With the right attire and a positive attitude winter can be a little more bearable.

Now that winter is (hopefully) almost over, I look back and think: what would I tell myself now if I had to relive my first East Coast winter all over again?

Get the right gear.
Let's face it, winter apparel can get pricey real quick but it's an essential part to surviving the chilly winter. Wool coats, puffy jackets, ear muffs, beanies, gloves, scarves, and snow boots are just some of the things you should have in your arsenal. My two life-saving items this winter were my navy overcoat and my ear muffs. Overcoats allow you to wear lighter layers below that you can rock indoors and earmuffs keep your ears warm without having to commit to wearing a beanie all day. A good trick is to buy these things right when winter season is about to end and save them for the following year – there are bound to be sales.

Go out and do things.
When the weather started getting really cold my initial reaction was to stay indoors as much as possible. Wake up, go to work, go home, go to sleep, and repeat – the human equivalent of hibernating. This got old really fast and put me in a grouchy mood. When I finally started braving out in the cold, I realized it actually wasn't that bad. Dinners, happy hours and coffee shops can definitely help make the winter blues go away. After a few weeks I realized that the trick was not to go home right after work, instead coordinate to go out with friends and co-workers directly from the office. We've all been there – once you get into your warm apartment there's no getting you out!

Walk on the sunny side of the street.
Yes, this is cheesy and I mean it in both the literal and metaphorical sense. The side of the street where the sun is shining really is a little bit warmer! It won't be a huge difference but when it's 4 degrees outside, every bit counts. More metaphorically, look at the bright side of winter. Sure, it's painful and makes getting around difficult but it is also beautiful and can make any ordinary scene extraordinary if you take the time to look for it. I made it a personal mission to take lots of pictures of the snow and post them on Instagram. By doing so, I realized that I am so lucky to live amongst so much beauty – something not everyone can say.

I'm not going to say I was the happiest person this winter but I definitely tried to stay appreciative of new experiences and had fun with it. Perhaps one of my favorite memories yet was having a snow ball fight in the middle of the street on our way home from happy hour followed by making snow angels on my rooftop. Take that, winter!

Do you have other practical tips for East Coast winters? Share them below or on Twitter via @mromja!

1 comment

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