As hard as I try, I can't escape the brutal truth of my reality.
It is winter. It is cold. And I hate it.
My response to snowfall has always been one of contempt (unless it involved school closings, and then I was eternally grateful for the wet crap that covered the sidewalks). I'm much more of a summer person: long, sunny days spent going on trips with friends and not wearing layers on layers of clothes is my bliss. Lounging poolside is much more my scene. Lounging in a snow angel? Not so much.
To make matter worse, I chose to move from North Carolina, where people shut down towns over an inch of snow, to New York City where nor'easters are the norm (side note: what in the hell is a nor'easter? Is it worse than a blizzard? Is it a winter hurricane? Is it even real?!).
So yes, I am dying a slow and painful death, especially since according to the Farmer's Almanac this is going to be a "bitterly cold" winter. But when faced with adversity, are we to give up and freeze to death, or do we create a plan of action and obliterate the enemy?
What follows is my plan for surviving the winter when you hate it as much as I do.
Work out on your way home. Last winter, I rarely made it to the gym because the second I made it home and unthawed, the very last thing I wanted to do was go back out into that hell hole. This year I'm bringing my gym clothes to work so that I work out on the way home, and I leave no room for inertia. At least you'll get endorphins this way, since you're sure as hell not seeing the sun until April.
Drink to get warm. Winter is filled with stupid drinks like hot toddies, but hey, if they make you warmer, I'm all for it. Bonus points for finding bars with fireplaces like Shoolbred's in the East Village.
Drink and dress up like Santa. One way to hate winter less is to band with other people who hate winter and dress up like Santa for an all-city bar crawl. It may not accomplish much, but at least you'll get good pictures out of it.
Redecorate your house in bright colors. Instead of succumbing to cabin fever, take the time to turn your home into a summer wonderland by painting bright colors in your drawers or something. On the flip side you could create a winter wonderland and get all cozy with Christmas lights, but let's not sleep with the enemy here.
Don't let yourself go unmoisturized. Fake a summer glow by never leaving the house without gloves and a scarf, becoming obsessed with moisturizing (I love Organix dry oil after a shower), and drinking tons of water. Whomever you choose as your winter cuddle buddy will thank you.
Just never leave the house. Between Seamless and Netflix, you should have no reason to leave your house on the weekends, especially if you can lure friends to your house with the promise of a pillow-fort-movie-marathon. You don't even have to go out to find clothes; shop online instead, and find deals using price comparison tools like Mavatar, an app/internet add-on that combs the internet for discounts the second you add items to your shopping cart from retailers like Nordstrom, Saks, or Athleta. Come spring, you'll be the most culturally up-to-date and fashionable person around.
Chase the sun. Go outside on lunch breaks and try to find a spot of sunlight so you don't completely succumb to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Fly away to somewhere warm, or else plan trips and events for the summer and imagine all of the fun things you can do in the sun. Stare into your desk lamp until you go slightly crazy and think it's the sun. Just do anything to ignore the fact that the sun is setting at 4 p.m.
Face your reality. Embrace your winter predicament (winterdicament) and spend time doing things you don't have time for in the summer, like trying out a cleanse or some weird Pinterest thing your friends have been "dying to try." Read by the window with hot chocolate, learn guitar, go to therapy and deal with your inner emotions. Once the sun comes out, you'll be a whole new person, and maybe you'll even come to the realization that winter isn't so bad after all (jk, it totally is).
Follow Lauren Taylor Shute on Twitter: www.twitter.com/laurentaylor224