7 tips for making it through a Boston winter with the least amount of pain

Make like a true New Englander and grin and bear it.

Some winter days, we all feel like this kid.

We’ve signed up for soul-sucking winters by living in the great state of Massachusetts. Even those of you who love the cold (you guys do exist, right?) know that there are certain things you have to do to make sure you survive it. Like not sticking your tongue to a metal pole, which some of us learned the hard way in preschool.

But in addition to the basics — like wearing a hat — here are some steps you can take that will make you and everyone around you much happier as we sink deeper into winter. Unless we get the same apocalyptic amounts of snow we received last year, in which case, in the words of Dante, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.’’

Some days you’re the roof, some days you’re the icicle.

1. Try not to complain about the cold all the time.

This is nearly impossible. But if you manage to prevent yourself from tweeting out a screenshot of the weather forecast with the despairing-face emoji daily, you’re halfway there. Also, when people ask how you are, try not to say, “I’ll never be warm again and happiness is an illusion.’’ If you want to know just how cold it’ll be and how hard you’ll have to try not to gripe about it, here’s a great list of apps that will tell you. And sign up for notifications about bad weather here, at Alert Boston.


Bond with fellow T passengers over the weather.

2. Complain about the cold some of the time.

So while you don’t want to be the one always chirping about the cold, complaining about the weather is time-honored New England tradition. That, and defending Tom Brady (it was a witch hunt led by Goodell, you guys). Commiserating with those around you—even if it’s just a shared eye-roll with a fellow T passenger as the doors open and a blast of frigid air comes through—builds a sense of solidarity. It’s like they sang in High School Musical: We’re all in this together.

Look at these nifty things!

3. Keep a chapstick in every coat pocket.

If you have two winter coats—one for “pretty cold’’ and another for “my appendages have stopped functioning’’—then make sure all the pockets are stacked with a fresh ‘stick at the start of winter (or a nice lip balm from local skin care shop Follain). You’ll tear through those bad boys faster than you can say “the T is delayed again.’’ Speaking of T delays, there’s a whole bunch of apps that can help you figure out whether you should just give up and start walking, or whether there’s hope for your train-based commute.

On the left, your typical Bostonian dressed for winter.

4. Embrace Michelin-man chic.

You just have to accept the fact that you’re going to look like the guy from the tire ads whenever you leave your house. Don’t fight it! Instead, play a game where you try to wear so many layers that your arms stick straight out without your even having to hold them up. You’ll look like an adorable toddler. When it comes to these coats, you can take several routes. Got close to $1000 to spend on your outerwear? Try a Canada Goose parka, which you’ll find at The Tannery. Want to stay true to your New England roots? L.L. Bean (and their lifetime guarantee) won’t let you down. Want to look like you’re about to shred some gnar even when you stroll down Newbury? Try a Patagucci—sorry, Patagonia—shell.


And chill.

5. Use the winter as an excuse to make out.

“Netflix and chill’’ becomes a whole lot more enticing when it’s negative five degrees out and the thought of not being under a blanket makes you break out in cold (very cold) sweats. Buy marshmallows for the hot chocolate and no crush will be able to resist your invitations, especially if you get some artisanal, Massachusetts-made ones from Olives & Grace in the South End. Actually, you still might get rejected, but hey, at least you tried. You can always watch Gilmore Girls by yourself, and this way, you’ll be up a couple snacks.

Better yet, just get a hot coffee.

6. Don’t double-cup your Dunkin.

This one is going to cause some uproar from the masses, but if last year’s winter wasn’t a sign that our weather is all messed up and the earth might be dying, what is? Do your part and save one more styrofoam cup from hitting the landfill by just wearing a pair of gloves when you carry your iced coffee around, for goodness sake. You could also always support your local coffee shop while you’re waiting for the T—here’s a list of the best spots along the Red Line for getting your buzz on.

Brave souls jumping into the Charles in warmer times.

7. Remember that this, too, shall pass.


Winter isn’t forever, and this one is projected to be warmer than last. So maybe by April you’ll have a chance of sitting outside without your toe warmers. The earth hasn’t ever not gone around the sun, so rest assured that warmer weather will eventually head our way. In the meantime, while we’re floating in this snow globe, we might as well try to enjoy it.

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