As the end of my 5th winter in New York City slowly comes to a close (there is more snow/wintry mix expected soon), I’m wondering how I did it. Coming from Phoenix I had never lived through a real winter. Sure I’d gone skiing and visited relatives in cold climates but that’s nothing compared to living with it everyday. And while I still wouldn’t call myself a pro yet there are some things that I could not have lived without this snowy winter.

  1. A Good Coat(s). Both wool and something with some more weight, like down. I finally purchased a giant, long puffy coat. It’s more like a sleeping bag but it is fabulous. I got it on sale from J. Crew and it is not only waterproof and warm but it goes to about my knees, so I’m guaranteed to have my core nice and toasty.
  2. Waterproof boots. It doesn’t matter if they are lined on the inside or not but between the snow and slush and freezing rain there are tons of puddles. It is much easier to just trudge through them and not worry about your shoes. I enjoy not ruining shoes and would rather bring an extra pair with me in my bag to wear at work. If you can get a pair of warm, lined boots, even better. I got a pair of boots from L.L. Bean that I lived in during the cold days, raining, snowing or not. Your feet will stay warm and dry in waterproof boots, that is for sure.
  3. Ear muffs. I always thought that these winter accessory were silly, then my mom gave me a pair she bought when she came to visit. I now wear them religiously on cold days. It’s a great way to keep your head warm, where most of the heat escapes. I wish I had discovered this early.
  4. A warm scarf and wearing it right for the right situation. There are multiple ways to wear a scarf, and tons of different scarves. I live in a long dense cotton scarf from Gap. I like it because I can either tie it in a knot (fold in half, pull the end through a loop/hold made by the folded side) or wrap it around and around, making it easier to cover my mouth on the coldest of days. I like covering my mouth/nose on the coldest of days because breathing in frigid air doesn’t agree with my windpipes too well. Scarves and scarf tying are total personal preferences, so you really need to find what works best for you.
  5. A Good Attitude. This probably sounds silly but it’s true. Seasonal Affective Disorder is an issue. The dark, short days and cold weather get to you after awhile. You have to stay positive and enjoy the sun when it’s out, not spend all your time inside and spend time with friends. I get it a bit every year and it’s never fun. But spring is on it’s way, seriously, have you been outside lately? It’s beautiful! And the sun will shine more during the day soon. Getting caught up in it all doesn’t help, so get out there and enjoy the cold(?).

I hope these tips help. They are my top 5. It took me awhile to figure them all out but I hope they help you through your future winters.