SideBar,  Work Life Balance

Sidebar: Surviving a Chicago Winter

Happy new year (a month and two weeks late)! It’s so funny because in the fall, I wrote about how things felt a little more normal and then of course the next wave came and put everything back on pause. How much longer is this going to take? Very frustrating.

But easing into the year wasn’t a bad thing, it let me really plan out my time and focus on my health a little more. And that was really the theme in January–getting more in tune with how I feel/making healthier decisions. So, I think I mentioned that at my annual the Dr realized I had extremely low vitamin D. I didn’t think much of it, I took the prescription and was like whatever but after the fourth week and switching to daily supplements. I could really feel the shift. Whereas before I would come home from work and be completely drained (and I’d just write it off to stress or bad sleep), now I am fully energized into the evening. I can’t even describe how major that is! Because now when I’m home, I have enough energy to work out and can actually cook meals instead of waiting until 8pm to scrounge for food. And it’s not just the vitamins–I forced myself to eat breakfast to have fortified foods so I’m sure eating a healthy breakfast and not just coffee and pastry made a difference in how I felt.

Don’t worry this isn’t turning into a “hey, hon” blog–I’m not selling supplements but I am really encouraging folks to get their annual because who knows what you’ll find and with a few small adjustments you can feel so much better.

Aside from vitamins, I’m also looking for ways to decrease stress. So I’ve added some new habits to my routine which I’ll share soon!  But overall, I’m trying to not add a lot of pressure that I -must- do certain things just because it’s the beginning of a new year. I’ll just take it step by step!

Though because of this focus, almost all my January faves are health/winter related. Here’s what I’ve been loving:

  1. Tea: I have been alternating between hibiscus and green tea. I’m also drinking it a ton at work, which helps with my water intake and keeps me warm because it’s so cold in my office. Tazo is my fave brand and easy to find everywhere.

2. Humidifier: It’s a Chicago winter, so it’s dry AF. Also my asthma medicine includes multiple nasal sprays (so weird), so this humidifier has been perfect. It’s ceramic so looks very chic on the nightstand. And even though it’s compact, it lasts through the night. It comes in two sizes, but I went with the smaller version.

3. Aquaphor: I mean, what can’t this do? cuticles, lips, nose, heels–it’s simple but effective.

4. Apple Watch: This was my Christmas gift! I’d been going back and forth on getting one for a few years so E thought this was the year. I really like it! I use it for a ton of notifications–it reminds me to drink water, it tells me to stand up so I’m not sedentary at work for hours, plus it tracks a bunch of other health info that I like to have on hand. If you’re on the fence, I really recommend one!

5. Christian Dior Addict Lip Glow: I’ve been reaching for this more and more over full lipsticks. Yes, my mask ends up absorbing some of it in my commute, but I love the touch of color, the shine, and how moisturizing it feels. It’s really perfect if you’re going for a simple, soft look. This is in rosewood but I just purchased another that’s pinkier because I can’t quit milky pink!

What were your favorites for January? How are you surviving winter? And what are your fave stress relief tips?