Living Well

What's Saving My Life This Winter

Winter is not my favorite. I grew up in Arizona, so the whole cold thing is not my comfort zone, and even after more than a decade here, I’m not used to HOW COLD it really gets. Especially this week with this whole polar vortex situation… yeah, not a fan.

Thankfully, there are good things helping make these brutal months a little better, and thanks to Anne Bogel’s prompting, I’m sharing them all with you today! (Be sure to check out her post and all the posts from friends sharing in her comments!)


1. A solid bedtime routine

This has seriously made a big difference in my sleep. I’m COMMITTED to it.

I diffuse oils in my room starting about 30 minutes before I want to be asleep, having it shut off after 2 hours total (using this timed diffuser). I mix up my sleep blends just for fun, but it’s usually some combo of these: lavender, frankincense, cedarwood, orange, white angelica, sacred mountain, vetiver, NLBS, or sleepyize.

I have a salt lamp on for a warm glow as I’m reading before bed. (I turn it off before I fall asleep!)

I spray a DIY sleep spray (recipe here) all over my blankets and pillows before getting into bed.

I looooove using this weighted blanket every night — so calming and helps me fall asleep super fast! If nothing else, this thing alone has helped me sleep like a CHAMP with the added bonus of helping calm me down when anxiety flares up… it’s my favorite investment ever.

2. A SAD lamp

I have this one and I sit by it while I’m doing my quiet time at the kitchen table in the mornings. It helps wake me up and is a really great boost as I start my day.

3. A solid morning routine

So, it turns out if you have a solid bedtime routine, you can more easily have a solid morning routine… nobody is surprised, I know, but here we are. A few simple tweaks have made a big difference for my mornings:

I keep all of my quiet time things in a basket so it’s easy to move it all out to the kitchen table where I do my Bible study in the mornings.

I use that SAD lamp.

I light a candle and bring a blanket with me to keep me snuggled up and warm in our chilly kitchen.

4. Schitt’s Creek

Thanks to Hannah and Lauren, I am now HOOKED on Schitt’s Creek and also VERY sad I’m all caught up on Netflix and now have to wait for season 5 to come to the states (it’s a Canadian show!) — it’s hilarious and such a mood booster.

5. The Great British Baking Show

I am years behind the curve on this one, but it’s been such a lovely addition to my life lately. It’s all the things people said it was — gentle and fun and endearing and delicious looking… it’s been great to watch when I just need to unwind and let my brain calm down.

6. A new project

I’m an enneagram 1 who STRUGGLES to let go and just play and have fun (I move toward 7 when I’m healthy, but yikes, it’s hard) so I’ve made it a goal to try new things JUST FOR FUN without trying to be perfect. It’s a work in progress. My latest endeavor is making my own kombucha! I’m currently on the second fermentation process (the part where you flavor it and bottle it up to get carbonated) and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

7. Setting goals (and letting goals go)

It would be very tempting to wrap up in a blanket burrito all winter long and do nothing… but having goals written out in my PowerSheets each month and in my 31 things list helps me stay much more motivated to have fun (sensing a theme here?) and get ish done. Also? I set some goals lately that I quickly found didn’t work for me. Instead of spiraling into shame and criticism of myself, I just made adjustments to the goals. LOOK AT ME BEING HEALTHY.

8. Essential oils

Having oils diffusing in the evenings (especially uplifting and cheery blends) has helped my moods immensely. Diffusing as I fall asleep has always been my favorite, and still is. I’ve discovered some new blends lately that I LOVE (currently obsessed with wintergreen + tangerine for a candy hearts scent!) and it just adds great vibes to my life.

9. Ningxia + fizz sticks

For the afternoon slumps, I’m staying away from coffee (and the coffee jitters) by either drinking a YL Ningxia Red packet mixed in a La Croix, or an Arbonne fizz stick mixed with water (loving the green apple flavor!). Both give me a boost I need to make it through the rest of the day without a huge caffeine crash, which is great.

10. Yoga

I’m still not great at getting to the studio consistently, but every time I do, it’s both restorative and energizing for my soul and my body. I miss my long walks around the neighborhood, but I’m grateful for a place to go move my body when the weather is frigid and I can’t get outdoors.


What’s saving your life this winter?

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