7 Ways to Survive this Winter (even in Dubuque, Iowa!)

I know, I know...it's really becoming almost painful. This winter has been the coldest and the longest that I can remember.  And I really dread the cold.

For those of you who don't know, I live in Dubuque, Iowa.  People in Dubuque tend to overdue it when it comes to any increase in temperature.  You can find a Dubuquer sporting shorts and a tank top in 45 degree weather (sometimes colder.)  Yes, I call this winter brain freeze...

Being that we are still braving the cold and impatience is growing, I give you:

7 Ways to Survive this Winter

1.  Snuggle up, Buttercup Take time at the end of the day to snuggle with your loved ones.  You'll notice that cats especially crave snuggle time this time of year since they love basking in the heat and sun.  Curl up with a blanket, sit by the fire, and even enjoy some homemade popcorn or a cup of tea.  This creates endorphins and opens your heart center.

2.  Take up a New Project This is a great time of year to organize your home or office and make way for Spring (it will come!)  You could start a new ritual like writing in a journal at the same time everyday.  If you're crafty, make something for yourself or a gift for someone.  Take time to learn a new language or skill.  Build something.  Bake something.  It doesn't have to have a specific purpose, just be creative.

3.  Light a Candle Sometimes when I wake up really early, I like to do a Candle Meditation.  You simply light a candle and place it on a tile or wooden floor or low level table in front of you (in a safe place, of course) and take a comfortable seat.  Just relax your eyes and breathe into the silence.

4.  Make a Cup of Chai There is something about a homemade cup of chai that delivers a combination of relaxation and invigoration.  And making it from scratch is simply the best.  The ritual of mixing the spices and bringing the milk to a boil.  I like to place my hands over the saucepan to feel the warmth of the chai and get a bit of steam into the dry air.

5.  Wear Bright Colors It always seems to brighten my entire day!  If you follow the chakra color guidelines, you know how wearing a specific color can change your mood and overall demeanor.

6.  Practice Yoga Even just 15 minutes of yoga practice will naturally warm the body and balance your entire system.  Take a class or practice at home with a favorite video.  Be sure and take the last few minutes of your practice to lie down in Savasana (resting pose.)  Place a hot towel or eye pillow over your eyes to relax and receive all of the benefits of your practice.

7.  Enjoy the Sunset I love watching the amazing colors emerge during a sunset.  Have a nice cup of tea or a glass of wine and enjoy the show.  It is truly amazing to me how every sunset is completely different and unique.  If you feel so inclined, pick up a brush or pencil and sketch the beauty yourself.  It is spectacular.

I hope that these ideas spark some light for you this winter.  Before we know it - the snow will be melting and temps will be rising.

But for now, enjoy this present moment and feel the gratitude for all of the beauty in your life.

Stay warm,

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