How to survive Windy City winters

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How to survive Windy City winters

Beginnings of winter

Beginnings of winter

Jeffrey Garcia

Beginnings of winter

Jeffrey Garcia

Jeffrey Garcia

Beginnings of winter

Zaynab Hossain

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Chicago winters are known for their harsh winds and extreme temperatures. Many people love the colder months, while others contemplate moving to Florida more times than they probably should.

When asked how they know it really is winter, a student at Niles North said,  “You know it’s winter when you hear about someone breaking their bone by slipping on ice.”

Whether you love or hate winter, these rules, tips, tricks, suggestions, whatever you want to call them, will allow your winter to be a little bit brighter and better.

1. Keep the dogs warm

It’s no secret that dogs are god’s gift to earth. Marilyn Monroe said, “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” If Monroe says dogs are better than humans, then it must be true. So just, listen to Monroe. Do yourself a favor and keep your dog warm. Buy it coats and paw covers, keep its hair short so it won’t drag in freezing water, and if your dog gets the shivers take it inside right away. PetSmart specializes in winter wear for dogs, including boots, socks, and coats.

2. The Penguin Walk

Walking on ice may just be one of the most stressful parts of winter. But fear not, for there is a trick to this feat: it is to walk like a penguin, if you will. (Hint: think Happy Feet.)  Do not put your weight on your heels, rather keep it forward. If you’re worried about looking dumb, keep in mind that falling is generally more humiliating than walking weird.

3. Winterize yourself: Layers

Invest in high quality winter wear. Allow time for this vital step before going out anywhere. Winter is all about layers. Generally when you get inside, it’s too warm to leave everything on. So you have to allow for 4-6 minutes of disrobing when you arrive to the destination, and 4-6 minutes of putting everything back on before you go anywhere. Yes, it’s tedious. But not as tedious as having to melt yourself with a hair dryer after turning into a life-size icicle.

4. Lotion

Fight cracked skin. Lotion it up. Keep your face and lips moisturized with face lotion and chapstick. Try a body lotion with shea butter for more protection from the cold.

5. Breathe through your mouth

When it’s so cold outside you’re pretty sure your brain is frozen, breathe through your mouth. Breathing through your nose can freeze the back of your throat. Breath through your mouth or breathe into a scarf or some kind of cloth that makes the air you’re breathing warmer.

6. Complain

Some people love winter. Some people start getting anxiety about it in September. Either way, everyone can agree that the constant cloudy skies and freezing temperatures can put a damper on someone’s mood. Keep frustration at bay by having a proper outlet. Many people find themselves relaxed by allowing themselves to yell at that one driver who doesn’t know what he’s doing on the road. Others take a more peaceful approach by belting out The Outfield’s “Your Love” at the top of their lungs while waiting for Chicago traffic to clear up. If you don’t drive, close your room door, turn the music all the way up and have a dance party. Find something that’s a functional outlet for you, and you do you.

6. Warm baths

There are very few things that are better than stepping into a hot bath after a long, cold day. If you’re careful, you can even get some work done as you soak in there. Just don’t drop your laptop in the water. That would be bad.

7. Find fun outside the house

Stepping outside for reasons other than those that are necessary can be healthy. If you’re not quite ready to throw yourself down in the snow and start making snow angels, at least try going to a mall that’s outdoors, or some kind of festival. You’re going to have to brave the outdoors anyway, so try and make it more enjoyable for yourself if it isn’t already.

8. Have a killer hot chocolate recipe at the ready

There are always winter emergencies that require an immediate cup of hot chocolate. Having a recipe at the ready or even any other warm recipe is a seasonal delight that can make winter seem a little bit more bearable. Try instant hot chocolate that many brands such as Nestle distribute, which only require emptying a pack of powder into warm milk. Try for other winter-y foods.

9. Sleep

We might not be bears, but hibernation is still natural (somewhat.) Just don’t fight nature. Teenagers are notoriously known for not getting enough sleep. According to, “Studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep.”