I know. It’s super cold outside and the beast of winter is just getting started. As much as we might hate it, or as much as we might wish this quick reprieve of “warmth” would stick around a little while longer, it won’t. We’re destined for another few months of unbearable cold and constant bundling up, but there’s one thing we don’t have to accept; the distance the cold and bundling up puts between us and our neighbors.
I’m a Southern boy who decided (maybe against his better judgement) to relocate to the frozen abyss of the Northeast. At first, this was a novelty because snow is pretty and anything beats the oppressive heat of a Texas summer (or so I thought), but over the last decade, I’ve come to realize that 1) not only is the cold the actual worst, but 2) it cuts us off from people.
It’s not just that we’re less willing to saunter outside and freeze our patooties off, it’s that when we do go outside, we bundle up, put our hoods on, and lower our heads to protect our faces from the blisteringly cold temps and the bone chilling winds – after all, it’s not the cold that’ll get ya, it’s the wind, or something like that.
In this time of uncomfortably cold conditions, we need to be proactive and mindful in warming ourselves up to others, lest we lose touch with our fellow human. Here’s how:
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME INSIDE
No, I don’t mean sit around your apartment, or your friend’s apartment, and binge Netflix. I mean that when you step into a corner store, or a bodega, or an office building, or any public indoor space that you take a second to talk to the people around you. It’s super cold and miserable outside and everyone is suffering through it together. Use that shared experience and bond with the nice strangers you’re sharing space with.
There aren’t many things that bring people together than shared negative experiences. Turn to the person next to you, spout the classic “How about that weather, huh?” and wait for a response. I guarantee if they reciprocate, you’ll share a nice little chuckle and bring a smile to both of your faces. If they don’t, laugh at your own social failure and try again.
MAKE YOUR HOME AN OASIS OF WARMTH
I know I just told you not to hole up in your home and binge TV, but sometimes, in the right situation, that’s perfectly fine. It’s easy (and amazing) to wrap up in a blanket and sip hot drinks while sitting on the couch in sweats, but there is so much more that can be done in that space. Transform it into a sanctuary of warmth and comfort with a few plants, some natural light, some good vibes, hot water, and maybe a space heater and watch as winter melts away behind your front door.
I’m telling you, if you contrast the desolate, barren wasteland of winter outside, with a lush, warm, haven inside, not only will winter feel better, but your friends will basically flock to you. Creating a space worth venturing outside for is the most sure-fire way to hack winter and maybe even enjoy these cold dark months, just make sure you do it with others.
There isn’t much to look forward to this time of year regarding the weather. The best thing we have is snow but the second it stops falling it immediately becomes dirty and a burden of frozen inconvenience. Do your best to brave the elements and share the warmth of joy with those around you. I promise it’ll make spring come that much quicker.
Until next time – [shivering].