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Surviving the Winter, Millennial Style


It’s been an exciting seven days here at Reply Headquarters: it was Halloween, we started NaNoWriMo, and it snowed. Yes, snow.

Luckily the snow disappeared within 48 hours, but it certainly got us thinking about the long, freezing months ahead. So we figured it was time to equip you with…


Roaming packs of wolves: just another reason why winter is the cruelest season.

Winter doesn’t have to suck. There are thousands of warm, exotic destinations where you can pass your days reading on a beach, lounging by a pool or exploring somewhere new. Right?

Let’s be realistic about the millennial situation – most of us can’t afford a vacation right now. Instead, we are forced to brave these savage northern wastes. So let’s explore some ways to stay warm while we’re at it.

1. Do Your Best to Stay Active

Skating is a great way to stay active in the city. Pixabay

This one is going to be at the top of almost every winter-related list you read, but it’s there because it’s important. As the daylight hours get shorter and the weather gets colder there’s a definite rise in people affected by SAD. Keeping active by braving the cold can help you cope with the harshness of winter. If you’re living in a rural area, cross-country skiing can be an intense and fun workout. Many places with trails will rent you skis for the day. If you’re confined to a slightly more urban winter, try your hand at skating.

Another good suggestion is taking Vitamin D which helps with everything from preventing colds and the flu to improving bone strength. It’s readily found in fish oils but normally produced in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Since you’ll be getting significantly less sun over the winter, it can be a good way of making up for it.

2. Keep Yourself Sane by Avoiding Radio

Ahhh…Christmas radio, for some the 24-hour non-stop caroling, is the best part of the season; for the rest of us, it begins our slow decent into holiday madness. Unfortunately, trying to avoid it can be a losing battle. Your sweet summer mix doesn’t sound quite the same blasting from your car’s speakers when you’re huddled around its air vents, watching the frost slowly melt from your windshield. But don’t reach for that radio dial – great music can still be had. Your unofficial winter soundtrack awaits below.

Panda Bear - Mr. Noah

If this wasn’t enough, Panda Bear AKA Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox is now in the lead for best video of the year.

Ariel Pink - Put Your Number In My Phone
Even though this time he’s minus the venerable Haunted Graffiti, Ariel Pink’s albums are always an event. His new record is out Nov 18 on 4AD.

Iceage - Forever
Danish noise rockers Iceage are back with a third full-length. They’re even better live.

Tobias Jesso Jr - Just A Dream
The Vancouver native has been getting a lot of buzz lately but we’re still waiting for his first official offering. Thankfully these tracks alone should be enough to have you pressing repeat all winter.

Grouper - Call Across Rooms
Liz Harris has always been adept at creating devistatingly haunting music. Her latest, Ruins, is arguably her best.

3. Eat, Drink, Repeat

There is an entire subsection of the Internet devoted to avoiding winter weight gain. It’s no wonder! There are so many great winter snacks, foods, cocktails and wines to keep you warm over the winter – you’re bound to take advantage. Besides, you’ll have plenty of excuses. Let’s look at some winter-friendly dining below.

Macaroni and Cheese
Classic comfort food perfect for warming up. Most millennials probably grew up on Mac & Cheese but here’s a much more appetizing recipe.

Holiday Dinners
Whether you’re going with turkey, ham, goose or even a vegetarian option, you can put your own spin on this classic.

Best Winter Drinks
Between toasting champagne on New Years, guzzling eggnog at a Christmas party, or being rescued off the side of a mountain, alcohol and cold weather seem to mix pretty well.

4. Hibernate Under the Covers

So apparently we’re supposed to lose our sex drive during winter, but where’s the fun in that?

The scientifically-driven website Sex and Psychology even reported last year: “Specifically, guys tended to think that their partners were hotter in the winter than in the summer.”

There are also studies that say yearly sexual activity spikes around Christmas. But just remember, even though hiding under the duvet is a great way to pass a blizzard indoors, it does have consequences. You have been warned.

5. Give in to the Binge

If Netflix has taught us anything, it’s that we all have a terrible, terrible problem. But remember, this is winter, so embrace the binge and curl up with a season (or five) of something good. Here are our suggestions for great winter viewing:

Dark, suspenseful, Scandinavian. Well, this series is British actually, but perfect for winter. It’s based on Swedish novelist Henning Mankell’s outstanding mystery series set in the small town of Ystad.

The Avengers to Wallander’s Dark Knight, Sherlock is probably the most fun you can have watching TV.

I don’t even know why I’m writing this because I know you’ve already seen Homeland.

BoJack Horseman
Despite being about as close as you can get to an animated version of David Duchoveny’s Californication, BoJack is very much worth your time. Crude but surprisingly honest.

So there you have it! Your perfect guide to surviving winter. The polar vortex won’t stand a chance this time around…

Do you have any tips to add? Share in the comments below!


Christopher is Co-Founder and Managing Editor at The Reply. He has a fondness for strong coffee, good books and foreign news services. When he was five years old his father helped him raise a family of chipmunks over the winter, you should ask him about it. Professionally, he’s spent time as a technology journalist, PR consultant, and freelance blogger. Christopher’s work has appeared in a lot of trade magazines you’ve probably never heard of and maybe some you have. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a certificate in Media Foundations from Humber College in Toronto.