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Seven Things to do in Single Digit Weather

thermometer behind the frozen windowResiding along the lake on Chicago’s north side means living in the lake effect snow that blows bitterly on weeks like this one. Single digits are in the forecast for days ahead and with that to look forward to, it could sound more enticing to stay at home instead of braving the weather for your normal daily to do’s. Use the list below to convince you to stay inside, keep warm, enjoy your home and restore your energy for when the temperature goes above twenty degrees.

1. Work out inside!

Work out, practice yoga, or head towards your health and fitness center to get a nice workout and warm up your insides. When temperatures drop to the single digits, the body tends to ache and freeze up as a reaction to the cold. Our joints and muscles take more time to warm up and thus we don’t feel motivated to move around much, let alone go outside. Take this as an opportunity to find a warming yoga practice to follow online. Do a short jog to your local gym and get some cardio in to raise your internal heat and keep the muscles warm and supple. Turn on Pandora or Spotify and dance around in your pajamas to elevate the heart rate. Do something that gets the body moving, the muscles working, the heartbeat to rise and the brain to wake up.

2. Take a hot steam in the bathtub/shower.
Along with freezing temperatures is an overwhelming amount of dry air. This dry air makes our bodies vulnerable to colds, sniffles, and a weak immune system. If you have the luxury of having a bathtub, fill it with hot water and a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus oil to help relax the nervous system. If you don’t have a bathtub, turn on the shower with the door closed and create a steam room. The heat and moisture will help to open your pores as well as the lungs and nourish the body during cold and dry days. A good soak will help you release toxins while calming the body and mind. If you have a humidifier, keep it running intermittently throughout the day to keep moisture in the air.

3. Read a BOOK!
Remember books?! They are the rectangular objects on your shelves with pages of words and sentences meant to engage your intellect. While most of us do a great deal of our reading these days on iPads, Kindles, Newspapers and the interwebs, books allow us to withdraw from technology and read uninterrupted. Re-read a favorite or find a book you have yet to read front to back. Of course, if you would rather read from your tech piece of choice, please do so! Give your mind an hour of uninterrupted creative imagination wandering time and enjoy every minute of it.

4. Make warm and nourishing foods.
Time to bust out your crockpot! ‘Tis the season to make soups, stews, and warm comfort foods to help nourish your system. Take all those hearty vegetables on your kitchen counter and throw them into a big pot with some broth and spices. My favorites for this time of year are ratatouille, lentil soup, curry butternut squash soup, and broccoli cheddar soup. The bigger the pot, and the heartier the vegetables, the better for warming your belly. Create something with substance to sustain and that you can eat over a few days.

5. Redecorate a room in your home.
Who says cleaning should be left for spring? Spring is the time to be outside! Cold weather is a perfect excuse to pick a room that needs an uplift. Have a pile of artwork or pictures that need hanging? Kitchen cupboards need clearing out from expired canned foods, spoiled nuts and grains that you promised you were going to incorporate into your diet? How is the medicine cabinet in your bathroom looking these days? Don’t try and do it all at once. Pick one room to do a deep dive by cleaning the corners and wiping off all the dust. Rearrange a few pieces of furniture to add a new shape to your living room and sit in the redesigned space to feel it out. Add a plant to liven up the energy of the room and enjoy the brand new room. Cross it off your list of things to clean out in the spring!

6. Movies, Netflix, Hulu, Series marathons.
Time to catch up on the movies everyone has raved about this year. Better yet, the series on Netflix that’s in your cue, or the Showtime series you have eagerly wanted to get through. Set aside a few hours to get comfy on the couch. Snuggle up to your pet, partner or a down comforter and allow yourself permission to intentionally be a coach potato.

7. Enjoy a cocktail.
Look at all the things you’ve accomplished! After you have gotten your body to warm up, fed it a nourishing meal, redecorated a room, and caught up on some literature or that show you have been meaning to watch, take a moment to enjoy a cocktail! As long as your staying in, put on some sweatpants and have a glass of red wine, a Hot Toddy, or a Dark and Stormy. If cocktails aren’t your thing, a cup of warm peppermint tea will have the same calming effect at the end of your day. Relax in your home, keep warm and end the day with your feet up.

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