Winter Weather Survival Guide

I went from this:



to this:


to this:

cleared road near trees and light post during nighttime

Photo by Jonathan Petersson on

I’m having a hard time adjusting.

BUT in my 16 years of long, hard winter hating living, I’ve learned a few things a person can do make the cold seasons, a little less shitty. Sadly, I don’t have a magic wand to make it ALL go away – you could move South?- but if you do a few of these things a day, you too can survive until Spring. (Spring, Spring. Not the date on the calendar. We all know Spring doesn’t really come to Edmonton until June. Ugh)

ANYWAY. Here we go!

  1. Ignore it. Seriously. Don’t look outside. Don’t watch weather reports.  Don’t complain about it. Don’t engage in conversation about it. Don’t even acknowledge the outside world. Pretend like it doesn’t exist. The weather is like a bad ex you see on the street. Avert your eyes and walk on by. You’re better than that! They don’t deserve your attention!
  2. We may be ignoring the -20c but we’re not stupid. Buy yourself some warm gear. Spend the money, if you can, on a good jacket. Buy those cute (warm) boots, buy a colourful scarf with hats and mitts to match. Hell, buy several! The dollar store is your friend here. The trick is to put as many warm things as you can between your skin and the asshole weather. I hear layering is a good thing. Do that!
  3. Remember the transition period is the hardest part. Once you acclimatize from Summer to Fall, you’ll feel better. Let yourself be grumpy. Take extra care of you during this time. Trust me, 5c is going to start feeling warm soon and then you’ll know you’ve made it! I’m only miserable for ten minutes until I warm up! Time how long it takes you to warm out and celebrate your success as week by week you acclimatize too!
  4. Drink warm liquids. Make an event out of it. Soups, teas, coffee, whatever. Add these into your day as a time just for you. Embrace the warmth of the cup, the flavours, the coziness of the break in your day. This is how we get by, sip by sip.
  5. Movies! Movies are your friend. Preferably in your own house so you don’t have to go outside. Movies are a great way to kill a few hours of yucky weather AND if you choose a documentary you’ll learn something too! You’re going to be a genius by the time this is over!
  6. Exercise. Yeah. Lame. I know. BUT exercise improves your mental health and in order to survive something challenging, we need good mental health. There are lots of things we can do indoors. Hell, sometimes on really cold days I just walk in circles in my home, like the caged animal I am. You could go to a mall or find a gym,or go online, or lift weights or do yoga or get yourself a treadmill…move that body. Your Spring self will thank you.
  7. Take advantage of the sun. No, no. I’m not asking you to go outside. All I’m saying is that IF the sun is shining, go get yourself some rays. Sit in the window. Let your body get some Vit. D. You may very well find yourself inspired to go outside. And that’s ok too! Just don’t become one of those smug assholes who does nothing but talk about how much they loooove winter while the rest of us sit there miserable. Gah.
  8. Don’t force yourself to go outside. Don’t force yourself to love Winter. You feel what you feel and that’s OK. You might even find once you stop shoulding on yourself you WANT to go out and do things. It could happen. Yesterday I chose to walk to the mall after choosing to hole up inside the day before. Balance people! Oh. And choice. You have free will. You don’t like the cold. That’s just fine. It doesn’t make you bad or negative. It’s just a preference and its yours. ignore those smug Winter lovers, I betcha they’re lying anyway.
  9. Have you heard of Hygge? It’s a whole thing about coziness and comfort and WARMTH and LIGHT and fun with an emphasis on well-being. It’s perfectly suited for the cold season. Go find out for yourself. And then hygge it up!
  10. Stay connected with the humans. It’s very tempting to isolate oneself ( I’m looking at you Lael) Resist the urge. It just makes these dark days all the darker. Get out there and be social. However that comfortably looks to you. Doing stuff with friends, even just coffee, makes the time go by faster. My friends are sometimes the ONLY reason I make it in a day and I love them for it. And hey! YOU could be the reason someone else makes it. You never know…Just get out there, at least twice a week and be social. You can be a hermit the other 5 days. Trust me, Winter will go by faster.
  11. Hang in there. Dec 21 is the Solstice AND the start of Winter. This used to depress me until I realized that on the Solstice, THE LIGHT COMES BACK! Sure, it’s still freezing ass cold but its on its way out. The light comes back and with the light comes more hours of sun. And with more hours of sun comes the heating. And with the heating comes the Spring. Before you know it, you’ll be saying “Winter? Did we even have a Winter?” Back in glorious denial but hopefully a little wiser than the year before and ready to face the cold weather once more. YOU CAN DO THIS.

Trip Health

In just over two weeks, I shall be flying away to Tanzania. I’m going on safari and am hiking and camping outside with ALL THE ANIMALS and I couldn’t be more excited. The travel part and the peopling part scare the crap out of me but I don’t have time to be afraid because I still have so much to do. So my fears can suck it! Ok, I probably don’t have that much to do but it sure feels like it. I think it must just be the anxiety kicking in.

One thing I’m not anxious is my health. I’ve been vaccinated up the wazoo and am feeling quite smug about it all. Ha. Mind you, this doesn’t mean I’m totally safe and of course I still have to take precautions but considering that I took nothing when I went to Peru, I am feeling pretty darn good!


I just took my Dukoral this morning and that was an interesting experience. I felt like a scientist as I mixed up the buffer fluid and opened up a tiny vial of vaccine to add to the mix. The only recommended vaccine I didn’t get -and the one I probably need the most- was the rabies vaccine.

Why? Because I love animals and will be petting any and all that approach me-Save for the wild ones of course. Sorry, not sorry. I hear drying of rabies is the worst and |I’m just not keen to go out like that. So, why not? Welp…the vaccine costs two hundred and fifty-five dollars, a DOSE and a person needs…drum roll please…THREE DOSES of the stuff.

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. And I feel really bad about that but just no. I have already spent the equivalent of one half of my pay cheque on vaccines and hey, guess what? I don’t get pay cheques anymore because I quit my job in June!

The nurse told me if I get scratched, bit or licked on an open wound I need to wash the site for twenty (!) minutes, douse it in alcohol and seek medical attention. I’ve already had one run in-literally- with an animal known to carry rabies and lived so hopefully that still holds. Wish me luck in that department!

Its all so exciting, at any rate! Hopefully the next time I go somewhere I wont need as many meds but I’m not really complaining. I’m super grateful I get to go anywhere at all. I never thought I ever would so this trip is a dream come true.

Do you get all the recommended vaccines when you travel? Have you ever contracted anything while travelling? Tell me all about it!