Winter in Chicago can give anyone a case of the blues or SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Yes, it’s a real thing! Add in isolation with Covid restrictions; we’re in for a long season ahead. It’s a good idea to prepare now more than ever. What are some things you’ll wish you would have done when you look back to this time come January or February? We’ve got some ideas to get you started:
Set up a home gym
It’s especially hard to get motivated to go to the gym when it’s cold out. And with new restrictions that the city is putting in place, it may not be possible in the future. Getting some exercise is important for our mental health and having a little gym at home makes things easier.
Some Chicago gyms are even offering virtual memberships and classes. You don’t need a lot of equipment but having a dedicated space with a yoga mat and a couple of weights will serve as a reminder to get moving a few times a week. Fixer is here to help you create more space with the help of shelving and storage solutions, or putting together that new pilates machine.
Do what Finlanders do
There’s Chiberia winter cold and darkness and then there’s Finland. Yet Finlanders have figured out how to love winter and create one of the happiest countries in the world. Here are some of their tricks:
Finlanders read a lot. Finland is a country of 5.5 million people, yet Finns borrow close to 68 million books a year.
They swear by vitamin D, fish oil and… coffee. Finlanders have a particular love for coffee and take the time to enjoy it, often with cake.
They love their sauna time. These days even if you live in an apartment, you can find saunas with small footprints. From portable saunas to one-person infrared saunas and large back-yard saunas, it’s easier than ever to find a fit for you. And we’re always happy to help you assemble yours.
Install large mirrors. Mirrors can make spaces feel larger and brighter.
Elevate your home office
Since teleworking has become the norm, you may have noticed some things that are less than ideal in your home workspace. A tidy and organized workspace can increase productivity so it’s finally time for an upgrade before winter sets in:
Add extra lighting, such as a new light fixture, to brighten up the space on dark days and don’t forget a mood light.
Invest in a comfortable chair.
Add some green plants which have been shown to increase happiness and reduce stress.
Add a bookshelf with some accent items behind your desk, for a more appealing Zoom background.
Winterize your home
It’s important to make sure our homes are prepared to face the elements before winter sets in. Make any small repairs that are needed so that the snow and ice don’t cause bigger and more costly problems. Check your fireplace for damage, replace your furnace filter, and weatherproof doors and windows for energy efficiency. Check out our maintenance checklist for Chicago homeowners to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Plan a mini trip or staycation
Most of us missed out on our summer vacations and now holiday travel will be limited too. Got cabin fever? Us too! It might be a good idea to plan a small getaway so you have something to look forward to a few months from now. Research places within a few hours driving distance if you don’t want to fly. If you are flying, there are several steps you can take to ensure safe holiday travel.
Alternatively, plan a staycation! Take a few days off work to kick back and enjoy your own home or be a tourist in your own town. There’s always something new to see in Chicago. Here are 7 projects to get your home ready for a staycation.
Host a virtual gift exchange
Even if you’re skipping in-person holiday gatherings this year, you can still send a little cheer to friends and family. Plan a gift exchange with some small items. Mail them ahead of time then have everyone do an unboxing on Zoom. Bonus points for supporting local Chicago businesses. It’s more important than ever to shop local and support small businesses.
Here are some ideas:
Send a gift card to your favorite restaurant to order carry-out.
Mark your calendar for Made in Chicago’s Virtual Market on December 5th to shop handmade gifts.
Start on your New Year’s resolutions early
Why wait until January to start working towards some new goals? This year has flown by but there’s still time left to accomplish something that’s been in the back of your mind for a while. Maybe tackle a few DIY projects on your home repair list.
How are you preparing for winter? Let us know by tagging @heyfixer on Instagram or Twitter.