- Rachel Reynolds
A Less Blue Winter
I hope you’re having a great week! I feel like I say this every month, but February is TRULY flying by! Like seriously, I looked up and it’s almost over. And it also made me realize, wow this winter really wasn’t so bad. Granted, the weather in Chicago hasn’t actually been too bad this year. Besides the crazy Christmas storm and a few gloomy, icy days - it really has been manageable. This is my 4th official winter in Chicago, and I really felt like I spent most of this winter in a productive and creative zone, so today I thought I would share some tips that have helped me!
First let me just say that I, like a lot of people, am really really really affected by the weather. It’s the first thing I check every morning and I feel like I write about the weather in almost every blog post without even realizing it, ha! Did you know Seasonal Affective Disorder affects over 10 million Americans a year?? And it is more common in women than men? It totally affects my mood, my creativity, and my health. I’m no medical expert in improving the winter blues, but this is what has helped me as a fellow sunshine lover living in Chicago. So let’s get into it!
Get outside even if it’s not perfect
I’ve been trying to walk the lake at least once a week the past few weeks, and it really puts such a pep in my step! I might have to bundle up a little more - but it feels so good to be outside for a while.
All the cooking
I’ve been posting more of my food on instagram recently, because I’ve really been having so much fun cooking! Winter is the perfect time to try new recipes that might take a little longer. We made so much homemade pasta with my parents the other day and had a blast!
I remember last winter my doctor messaged me after my annual appointment and said my Vitamin D was super low. I remember thinking - well yeah, have you seen the outside lately?? (From what I remember last winter was suuuper gray). Anywho, since then I’ve been taking a multivitamin that has a ton of Vitamin D in it and I think it has definitely helped my body feel better! I never really took vitamins before because they always made me nauseous, but I have been taking the Ritual vitamins and have been loving them! They’re known for being easier on the stomach and I really think they are.
Start a new project (with a timeline!)
Noticed I said “with a timeline”. This is coming from someone who is the queen of starting projects but horrible at finishing them. Whether you want to train for a 5k, launch a new art collection, or refinish your dining room table - write out the steps and give yourself a deadline. Time flies when you’re trying to meet a deadline.
Nothing wrong with the occasional lazy day
You know those summer days where you really just feel like catching up on all the netflix, but feel like you shouldn’t because it’s nice out? It feels like sunshine guilt - ha! Well, winter is the perfect time to just take advantage of lazy days and not feel guilty about it. I’m not saying spend every Saturday in bed, but hey - every once in a while it really is a treat. Curtis and I have been binging Better Call Saul and I’m loving it so much! We really don’t have time in the summer to commit to a full drama show, so it’s been fun to watch.
This is probably number one!! I feel like I get some of my best workouts done in the winter. I recently joined ClassPass and have been having so much fun bopping around the city and mixing things up. We’ve also been drinking a lot less and cooking at home a lot more.
See your friends
One of my favorite things about Chicago is weather be damned, we’re seeing our friends! I’ll never forget when I first moved here and Curtis and I were planning on hosting a super bowl party and it was supposed to be like -10 outside. I asked him if he thought they were still going to come and he looked at me like I was crazy and said ‘oh for sure.’ Put on your coat, scarf, and hat - and make some plans with your friends!
So there we have it! I realize now that maybe this post might be a bit late since March is right around the corner, but hey, it’s really never too late and we can always refer back to it next December. If you have any tips for fighting the winter blues / SAD, I’m all ears!
I’m so looking forward to spring and all that comes with it! Stay tuned for new artwork (Chicago Series!) and more information on the One Of A Kind Show, which I will be attending this April 🙂