So far I have been through two winters in Boston. I can’t believe I have already been living in Boston for over two years. I’m no stranger to bitter cold winters having grown up in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania and after living in Seoul for a couple of years. However, based on conversations I’ve had with New England locals, I still have yet to experience the mega snowstorms that are the signature of a true New England winter. Despite how much snow we may or may not get, no one can argue that the cold months in New England last until at least early May. If you are new to the area or just want to up your winter resilience game, then read on for my tips on how to survive the long New England winters.
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Expect the Unexpected: The Motto of New England Winters
The winters in New England can be quite unpredictable with temperatures sinking below freezing as early as October. This first snow of this winter was actually the day before Halloween. Yikes, I know. Some years fare better than others, but from what I know, larges amounts of snowfall can hit at any time.
In fact, back in February of 2017 there was so much snowfall, that Boston officials had to move snow out of area and push it into the harbor. Thankfully, the past two winters I have been through have been quite mild. Yet, we all still need to beat the winter blues. I hope these tips will help you get by.
Up Your Mask Game
During a typical winter season, the use of a ski mask isn’t unheard of at all. Plenty of people bundle up for their daily commute. This year is a bit different since we are in the midst of a pandemic. Our face masks are pulling double duty to keep us safe and warm. Instead of using the typical medical masks, if you aren’t a medical worker then I am all for investing in some stylish and washable masks that can lift your spirits throughout the long winter season. It may seem silly but sometimes it’s the little things. Add some sparkles or some bright colors. Have fun with it!
Make All the Hot Drinks
Whether you are a tea or a coffee person, take the extra time to make a hot drink that will make you feel cozy. Hot drinks are essential to deal with the cold winters in New England. It truly helps me get through this time year. I really enjoy trying out new recipes. Lately I’ve really be enjoying jasmine tea and matcha tea.
Comment below: What is your favorite hot drink?
Blankets Are Everything
It may seem like common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how many people likely overlook this essential when they move to New England or anywhere with a cold climate. Make sure you have a warm blanket. If you think about it, imagine there’s a power outage in the middle of a snowstorm. Do you really want to be caught without a decent blanket to get you through it? I’m an always be prepared type of person so please take care of yourself.
Warm Footwear and Other Gear
If you don’t have the right gear then you won’t make it far on the snowy New England streets. Not to mention, many apartments in the area have radiator heating that can’t be controlled in each unit. That’s where the warm apparel comes into play.
I highly recommend slippers for chilly homes in New England. Personally, I have no shame and wear them around my apartment complex when I have to go get the mail or take out the garbage. When I venture outdoors, I always wear a quality coat, gloves, and a good pair of sturdy boots to avoid face planting on the ice. If you aren’t used to winters, then trust me you’ll thank me later! The ice here is no joke.
Don’t Forget the Fur Babies
Since New England winters can be so bitter cold, it’s necessary to make sure your fur babies are kept safe and warm as well. If your pets are outdoors, please bring them in. Give them plenty of spaces to keep warm. For example, even my indoor cat Coco is obsessed with her cat tree because of the fleece cat bed. She spends most of her day there when it’s quite chilly.
Help your fur babies out by having plenty of blankets or even a heated pet bed around for them. The added bonus of having a pet is that they usually love to snuggle and create plenty of smiles to get both you and them through the winter months.
Cozy Up With Your Loved Ones
One of the best ways to get through the long New England winters is to spend it with your loved ones. Obviously we can’t get together outside of our own home bubbles right now, but you can make the best of it by planning fun things for your family to do together. Plan game nights, date nights, or even simple movies nights. Anything to beat the monotony of the winter months will help you get through it.
Spice It Up
Eating spicy foods has always been a staple for me to get through the winter months. When I lived in South Korea, I was introduced to spicy tofu soup. Incredible! It has been my favorite soup ever since. Also ramen and pho are delicious as well.
I would like to mention how important it is to support local restaurants struggling to get through COVID by ordered delivery or takeout from them. Every order helps keep them open! Some of my favorite Boston area restaurants to order from are Seoul Soulongtang, Seoul Toppokki, Pho Brighton, and Yamato.
Hearth and Home
I won’t lie, having a fireplace in my home is one of my dreams. Thankfully it’s not uncommon to find homes in New England that have them. Fingers crossed for the next place I move into! Besides the obvious warming function of a fireplace, I love the cozy vibe it brings into a home. If you would like the heat without the mess of a traditional fireplace, then perhaps consider an electric version. Growing up my family always had a faux fireplace/heater and we still love it to this day.
Fireplaces automatically makes you feel relaxed. Imagine all the cozy evenings you can enjoy to get through the winter. Also, just because you don’t have one in your home doesn’t mean you can’t recreate that feeling for free. Personally I love to play that Fireplace For Your Home videos on Netflix or on YouTube.
Embrace the Cold
There is no sense in fighting it, so you might as well embrace it! New England winters may be cold, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get outdoors and enjoy it. All you need is to prepare properly to make sure you are dressed warmly and make good choices throughout your hike. No matter how short the hike, always check weather conditions to prepare accordingly. Learn more about how to prevent hypothermia.
Take in the views of the water along the gorgeous New England coastline. Walk through one of the many parks available to you. This will make you feel more positive about the winter season. Before you know it, it will be spring.