5 Things That Actually Make Winter Bearable (Maybe Even Enjoyable?)

Defending the period of winter that occurs between January and March is kind of like running uphill or tickling a scorpion. The forces of nature are almost literally against you, not to mention the general opinions of most rational people and their respective social media platforms. I enjoy playing devil’s advocate though, to the extent that after personally participating in a long-winded conversation with my colleagues about how much we were dreading the descent of true, bone-cold, schleptastic winter, I piped up with a seemingly contrarian but ultimately hopepunk thought: “But think of all the things that are better in the wintertime!”

The stares I received in return were sharper than the impending icicles we were just bemoaning. Nonetheless, I maintain that there are a handful of activities that are actually more magical in the winter compared to other seasons. It’s a small list, but it counts for a lot given how vital it is when the blues hit. Scroll for a rundown accompanied by correspondingly optimistic outfits to consider wearing while you engage in each of them, give or take some tights and mittens.

1. Walking to Work on a Sunny Day

I walk to work almost every morning, and sunny winter days are pretty much the only instances in which this experience is completely seamless. During the summer, I practically ruin all my clothes from sweat. During the fall and spring, I’m either too hot or too coldOn crisp, sunny winter days, I’m just right. I bundle up in a fleece or sweater and whatever coat will fit over my layered human pastry self plus my favorite non-athletic sneakers, plug in my headphones, and stroll in peace. Everything smells clean and delicious and whatever the opposite of warm rotting garbage is. The sidewalks are slightly emptier. The people-watching is somehow richer. Need I say more?

2. Staying Home on a Saturday Night

As someone who skews more toward the side of homebody-introversion, winter “socializing” (or lack thereof) is where my proclivities thrive. Winter transforms not going out into a celebrated choice instead of a potentially lame cop-out. While I might harbor some degree of regret or FOMO when I opt out of making Saturday night plans during other seasons, in winter I embrace staying in with open gusto. Hot tip (pun intended): play dress-up with all the summer clothes you’re currently in a long-distant relationship with while you wait for your chicken fried rice to arrive.

3. Cooking Something In an Oven

Alternatively, if you do want to fill your Saturday night with social interaction but you still don’t want to actually step foot outside your apartment, there’s no better time than the dead of winter to invite your friends over to help you consume a tray of lasagna that cooks at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, thus turning the entirety of your tiny abode into a sauna. You and your pals will barely notice the temperature change thanks to the windchill rattling outside your questionably thin windows.

4. Going to Bed Early

It’s 6 p.m. right now and I wish I could teleport myself into bed. It’s cold enough that I wouldn’t miss out on anything notable if I stayed awake for the usual five or so more hours that I might on a normal evening. It’s also cold enough that getting under my comforter is an uncanny form of pleasure, like getting a head massage or peeing after you’ve been holding it for too long. Going to bed early in the winter is THE BEST. It’s better than it is any other time of year, unmatched in its rewarding, wholesome coziness.

5. Cuddling!!!!

You know what isn’t fun? Rubbing your skin against that of another person’s when you’re even remotely warm–heaven forbid hot or sticky. You know what’s the best? Doing the exact same thing when it’s cold outside and you’re both essentially clothed head-to-toe. Pure pleasure, I tell you. The height of harmless hedonism. There’s a reason cuffing season is synonymous with wintertime and the urge to cuddle with a willing partner at all times is it.

What else do you love more during the winter than you do any other time of year? Tell me in the comments.

Photographer:  Mia Rankin at Work Agency
Creative Director / Stylist:  Monica Morales at DLM
Videographer: Nick Tsindos
Model: Cameron Stephens represented by IMG 
Makeup: Claire Thomson
Hair: Taylor James Redman using Pure Haircare
Set Designer: Claire Mueller using pieces from Daniel Emma and Fenton and Fenton

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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