I have a confession to make: I’m one of those people. Someone who claims, “my favourite season is winter, I just love how fresh and cold and snuggly everything is!”. Now, while this is all true (does it get any snugglier than 6 layers plus a beanie and furry gloves? No, it does not), living it is somewhat different to bragging about it during the warmer months. Yes friends, I am a braggart. A big, ol’ braggart. And nobody likes a braggart, am I right?
What this elaborate intro is leading up to is the fact that right now, in South Korea, we are right in the swing of winter, and I’m scared, y’all. Like, scurred scared. Despite it happening every year, I seem to forget the severity of winter and the effect it has upon my emotional state. I know I’m not alone in this (SAD, anyone?), but still, it can feel like I am. Couple this with the fact that the past few days have been a brisk -7 degrees celsius, making my skin dry up like the Sehara Desert, and you will begin to understand why I am feeling a bit under the weather (har har har). So, I thought I’d piece together a few things that are helping me to feel happy(ish) in this dreary, cold, ungodly weather (praise be to Jebus.).
1. Buy ALL the food
I’ve been trying to be healthy recently, and I don’t mean that you should buy all the crap you can – I mean, you guys have more common sense than to listen to some crazy lady ranting on the internet, right? RIGHT? (That’s my disclaimer right there.) However, if you’re anything like me, which I damn well suspect you may be, you will know that eating makes you feel better. No, this is not a disorder, it’s WHAT MAKES YOU HUMAN. EAT, GOSHDARNIT! You don’t know when you might be getting your next feed (aka taking a trip to the mart). And sometimes, just sometimes, you need to make yourself poached eggs on toast with smashed avocado and smoked salmon. It just helps.
2. Watch funny videos
This seems to cheer me up like nothing else, much to Gav’s amusement. Yes, 2014 was the year that I became intimately acquainted with YouTube, and there’s just no going back. How could I? Although I tend to err on the side of beauty videos and vlogs, I also have a bit of a penchant for vines. I think the creativity and innovation that goes into some of these are actually pretty amazing, considering they are only six seconds long. It’s art, people! Plus it will make you lol, working off some of that winter weight in the meantime. Two birds, one stone!
3. Use your ondol (or normal, plebian heating system)
In Korea, the universe has conspired to bring us ondol, the amazing heating system where the pipes under the floor are heated so that your floor is warm alllll the time. This stuff is amazing and cannot be underestimated. I don’t know why we in the West haven’t cottoned on, but it’s only a matter of time. Apart from all the butt-warming goodness (I can’t be the only one, surely…), it just makes sense: hot air rises, so why not keep the floor hot instead of shooting hot air out through vents near the ceiling and hoping for the best? That just ain’t cool.
4. See people
I know, I know. It’s so cold and you would love to go to see your friends and be social for a few hours but you just can’t bear to drag yourself off aforementioned heated floor and actually put on some pants. I get it, I’ve been there (haven’t we all?). But in winter, you need to (occasionally) fight this urge to sit and do nothing, and instead actually get out and see PEOPLE. Real PEOPLE! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but I don’t think the value of a good friend and a good belly laugh can be underrated. Plus, it gets you outside of your own overthinking head too… or is that just me?
And there you have it, four of my best, most exclusive tips that are keeping me sane in this cold, harsh, long, bitter winter. Did I mention it’s bitter? To be honest, I still actually am kind of enjoying it, now that I have learnt to wrap my scarf up to my nose and pull my hat down to my eyebrows. I basically have a 2cm window through which to view the world, rendering me a softer, fluffier version of a ninja. When I put my sunglasses on, however, it’s game over. No wind contact for me! (That’s a bonus tip for y’all.)
How are you getting through this winter? I would love to hear any tips in the comment ^^