KIOSB D4: “Weather” or not you’re ready…

Inside a Conservatory in Winter at the Chicago Botanic Garden by Heather Luxion

Winter from the Inside at the Chicago Botanic Garden by Heather Luxion


I’d say that Winter is upon us in full-swing here in the Chicago area, but it is unseasonably warm and actually rather Spring-like today with a high of 53 degrees Fahrenheit and intermittent rain. However, the unseasonableness of this is shown in the forecast of 30 tomorrow and down into the teens by next week. Brrrr!

The Kickin’ It Old School Blog-a-thon prompt of the day is to write about weather, so before I go out and take a walk between rain showers to enjoy the unusual gift of outdoor warmth, I thought I’d share some of my tactics for getting through the cold and dreary days of winter with a sense of warmth and sunshine on even the most frigid and cloudy days.

Color! Yesterday’s post talked about this a little bit, but in a nutshell it’s any opportunity to add color in — be it my bright red scarf or bold yellow tennis shoes, or even eating colorful foods (tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers — oh my!).

Knee-high socks. Another place to add in bright colors, even if your workplace requires a more conservative dress code! Warmth + secret color pops = magical. And, layering in general is important, even inside. It’s just all about staying warm no matter how cold it is outside.

Indoor Green Spaces. Conservatories and green houses are great places to be surrounded by green, verdant plants and warmth and humidity in the middle of winter. Here in Chicago we have the Garfield Park Conservatory (with many awesome rooms filled with plants, trees, and gorgeous flowers), a few small conservatories at the Chicago Botanical Garden, and even some great greenery indoors at Navy Pier.

Therapy pools. If you love to swim, but don’t like the cold of a regular pool during the winter months, find a gym with a therapy pool. They’re often kept around 88-92 degrees Fahrenheit and it is really, really nice to float around (erm, I mean exercise diligently) in a warm pool.

Get sunshine while you can. If it’s sunny outside, get out there! Even just a brisk ten minute walk all bundled up (here it’s often clear when it’s coldest), on the days where the sun actually shines, can help get you feeling a bit warmer and brighter. And, oh that Vitamin D from the sunshine helps a lot, too!

Down coat. Honestly, I’m not really sure how I survived multiple decades of Chicago winters before getting a knee-length down coat. Between that and a sturdy pair of rugged yet comfortable boots, even the coldest days can be braved without it hitting me super hard the moment I walk out the door.

Sauna, hot tub, or turning your heat way up for one day. If you’re needing a blast of heat to warm you to your bones, find a sauna, hot tub, or the like to soak up some serious heat to get you through. Or, if these aren’t available to you, consider turning the heat up in your house for just one day (or even just a couple hours) so you can walk around in a super-warm environment to melt away the cold for a bit.

Travel videos. Have you hit day after day of cloudiness and cold and you’re starting to forget how awesome summer is? There are so many free videos online, that this one is super simple to do: Find a video about somewhere warm! Whether it’s a House Hunters International about Costa Rica or a travel documentary about the Sahara Desert, watch something that shows warmer weather and sunshine as a reminder to yourself that it’s out there, and it will be coming back to your neck of the woods eventually!

Warm people. Saved the best for last. The absolute best for warming from the inside out (besides tea or other hot drinks) is a great conversation with a loved one. Whether you’re able to cozy up on a couch with a loved one for that physical warmth as well as heart-warmth, or just catch up with an old friend over the phone, surround your self with people who give you the warm fuzzies.


This post is part of a Kickin’ It Old School Blog-a-thon taking place throughout the month of December 2013. Anyone is welcome to join in anytime during the month! And, you can find all of my KIOSB posts hereDay 4/31

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6 Comments. Leave new

Gorgeous photo, and you have great ideas on your list. I once had a professor who complained about lecturing in the wintertime because he had to look out over a sea of drab-coloured clothing. And he was right – a lot of winter wear comes in muted and dark tones, which really makes no sense. It is when it is darkest and drabbest outside that we should cheer ourselves up with colourful clothes.


Thanks, Sarah! I was really struck by that “drabness” a few weeks ago when I happened to drive by a stream of young people coming off the train in a pretty hip neighborhood in Chicago and most of them were wearing black from head to toe! I expected more life, more color from these young urbanites! It definitely seems counterintuitive to winter to dress in darker and more muted colors when it’s cold and cloudy.


YES!! What gorgeous suggestions. You’ve given me a whole new perspective on the season, right from arriving to that lovely green. Thank you!


Yay! You’re very welcome, Jamie. Glad my ideas have been helpful for you!


I just read up a bit on the color psychology of green and it’s thought to help people heal. Makes sense to me based on how good we all feel looking out over the green of Springtime! Probably brings back that sense of life and verdancy in nature.


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