By Lizzy Buczak

Chicago winters can be brutal. Temperatures hit extremely lows, we’re talking in the negatives!

Often times, the windchill makes it unbearable to step outside.

Here are a few tips to surviving winter in Chiberia!


No one will make fun of you for looking like a puffball when you step outside. Bundle up – wear a hat (fur hates are acceptable), a big and long puffer jacket, an infinity scarf that can be used to cover your face, hardcore boots to protect your feet (Sorel/UGGS) and gloves!!!! If you want to look fashionable, look it UNDER all you’re warm clothes. There’s no need to skimp on the warm getup for fashion – you’ll actually look stupider trying to look “cute” in the freezing weather.

2. Layer!

The key to staying warm is layering. Seriously – slacks under jeans, tanks under shirts and sweaters. You’ll thank us later.

3. Invest in Hand Warmers!

It definitely helps to throw them inside your gloves!

4. Invest in a Car Starter!

One of the worst things in the world is waiting for your car to heat up while you yourself are freezing. Get a car starter so you can walk into a warm car every single time. Also make sure to check your coolant, inspect your battery, put on snow tires and DON’T try to open frozen doors and windows!

5. Learn and Use The Pedway System!

Haven’t heard of the pedway system? You are missing out! If you are walking through the Loop, the pedway is a saving grace from slush filled streets and face hurting wind. You can travel between CTA station, City Hall, the Aon Center and more. It’s like a little underground town – you even have restaurants! Here’s a map of the entire system.

6. Amp up the Vitamin D!

Taking Vitamin D will prevent the dreaded SAD aka seasonal affective disorder. Foods high in the D include milk, yogurt, eggs, beef, liver, tuna and cheese. Other ways to counter SAD? Light therapy and a good workout at the gym. That will get your blood flowing and you’ll forget that it’s -30 with windchill outside.

7.  Moisturize!

Your skin gets super dry in the wintertime. We’re talking dry and cracked hands, chapped lips, a crusty face. Take care of that with some good moisturizer! It helps keep you feeling fresh.

8. Make soup!

Soup is good for the soul…. especially a cold soul. Chicken noodle helps warm you up and prevents colds. Other good ideas for the winter? Broccoli Cheddar, Black Bean, Tomato, Chicken Tortilla and Borscht.

9. Get Candles, Decorate, Light Up Your Fireplace!

Even an electric fireplace warms you’re little space right up! It makes you more comfy and snug so that you kind of forget about the brutal cold outside.

10. Rock Slippers and a Robe!

Not just for old ladies – trust us!

11. Drink Lots of Warm Liquids

Hot cocoa and hot tea will warm you up in an instant. But don’t skimp on wine or some whiskey to warm you from the inside. Red wine is perfect for the winter because it is packed with antioxidants, which boost your immune system. It is also known to reduce depression and is really just a pick-me-up when you’re feeling down from the cold weather. Try mulled wine for a more seasonal taste or our hot cocoa red wine recipe! Yep, it’s a thing!

12. Make Sure Your Bed Is Winter Ready

Flannel Sheets? Check. Second blankie? Check. A warm bed is really important in the winter. You can even invest in a heated mattress pad or a heated blanket!

13. Find a friend who Loves Winter & Do Some Winter Activities

If you embrace winter, it could be quite enjoyable. There’s so many fun things to do during the wintertime in the Chi: go iceskating at Maggie Daley Park or Millennium Park, go sledding, check out the Lincoln Park lights festival, or simply go out to a neighborhood bar/restaurant and enjoy the decorations!

14. Hug Your Dog

Dogs give off so much warmth so if you are feeling cold, cuddle up to your fur baby. And make sure to dress them in warm clothes when you take them outside! Petsmart offers an array of adorable sweaters, jackets and paw covers – if your pup allows you to put them on!

15. Order In!

Don’t feel like going outside? Stay in, binge-watch Netflix and order some delicious food.

16. Run Away!

No joke – plan a vacation somewhere tropical if you can afford it. Get away from Chicago and the brutal cold because really, we don’t stand a chance!





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