Dark days: 10 ways to feel better this winter

Learn to make your own medicine at home, the natural way. Photo: Remedies Herb Shop

Learn to make home remedies. Photo: Remedies Herb Shop

This time of year germs run wild, sailing from cubicle to classroom, plaguing even the strongest among us. Add airborne viruses, existential and political dread, and short days, and you’ve got a recipe for everything from the winter blues to the superflu. It’s enough to send a person back under the covers with a bottle of whiskey and bag of Ricolas. Go ahead, call in sick. We all need a day of rest and comfort, where we can wallow in our emotions, rage with fever dreams, and start the healing process. Here’s how to feel better all winter long.

Take a class

If you want to preemptively find a way to boost your immune system and recover from sicknesses more quickly, sign head to Remedies Herb Shop for an immune-boosting tonic. Or, sign up for a class on aromatherapy, soapmaking, meditation, or an introduction to medicinal herbs. If affordable health care goes away, you’ll be still be covered. Remedies Herb Shop, 453 Court St., Brooklyn.


 

Immune Zoom will have you back to work in no time. Photo: Urban Moonshine

Immune Zoom will have you back to work in no time. Photo: Urban Moonshine

Boost your immunity

My friend in Vermont says that everyone she knows swears by Green Mountain State’s Urban Moonshine’s Immune Zoom ($18.99), so much so that the local stores can’t even keep it in stock. This fast-acting elderberry booster should be taken at the first sign of feeling run down. Made with elderberry, echinacea, and Vermont organic honey, this will be your new go-to for illness prevention. Plus, you’ll be putting your money where your mouth is, and supporting the local businesses and not big pharmaAvailable online or at Whole Foods


Everything is better in a mugmug. Photo: 100xbtr

Everything is better in a mugmug. Photo: 100xbtr

Sip something hot

Drinking a warm beverage on a sick day is imperative. Whether you are drinking hot cocoa for comfort, chicken soup for the soul, or a white tea, the mug matters. The MugMug ($38) by Los Angeles artisan, 100xbtr, fits the bill. The glazed stoneware is architecturally sound, looking modern and comforting at the same time. The nice big handle allows you to hold on tight, and the primitive shape gives the feeling of balance. This comes in many different colors, each more soothing than the last.


A comforting cuppa will help you relax. Photo: Bellocq

A comforting cuppa will help you relax. Photo: Bellocq

Taste a well brewed tea.

If you’re craving a little comfort in a cuppa, there’s no better place to find it then with Little Dickens tea ($12) by Brooklyn based Bellocq. It’s caffeine-free, so it will let you sleep, and is blended from organic rooibos, vanilla, mint and cinnamon. It claims “to calm jitters, settle tummies, and soothe the soul.” All things we all probably desperately need right now.  You can order online, or if you can’t wait, visit the store. BELLOCQ Tea Atelier, 104 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn


If you can swing it, a cashmere hot water bottle will feel nice. Photo: Barneys

If you can swing it, a cashmere hot water bottle will feel nice. Photo: Barneys

Pamper yourself with something splurge worthy.

I guess you’d really have to be a sucker to spend $265 on beautiful hot water bottles, but something about this cashmere striped antiquated remedy is appealing. The Elder Statesman is a luxury knit company based in Los Angeles specializing in beautiful cashmeres. This snuggly hot water bottles set includes three cozy-covered hot water bottles, in case everyone in your household is ill simultaneously.


 

A cozy blanket is important for recovery. Photo: Cold Picnic

A cozy blanket is important for recovery. Photo: Cold Picnic

Warm up with a blanket

There’s nothing worse than spending a sick day home on the couch without a cozy blanket to hug you. Finding a good covering is not always easy; something too tickly can irritate sensitive flu skin, and something too light won’t stop the cold sweats. The large cotton/acrylic knit Opening Credits blanket ($200) by NY designers Cold Picnic seems to be the right mix.  It’s perfectly meta: an abstract print of a couch and TV to wear while you are lying on the couch watching TV.


Snuggly pillows will remind you of your old stuffed animal collection. Photo: MINNA

Snuggly pillows will remind you of your old stuffed animal collection. Photo: MINNA

Keep your chin up

On that same note, a cozy pillow can enhance your sick day. Sure, you can cover your regular pillow with a fresh pillowcase, but use some soft throw pillows to support your aching back and knees, too. The Formas Shag Pillow by MINNA ($180), was imagined by NY based designer Sara Berks and handwoven out of 100% wool by skilled artisans in Guatemala. Snuggling in with a few of these guys is akin to piling your bed with stuffed animals, but less embarrassing.


The health benefits of roots are now in one tasty drink. Photo: Juice Press

The health benefits of roots are now in one tasty drink. Photo: Juice Press

Start juicing

Many people swear by the health benefits of juicing. And bringing together two roots that reduce inflammation (ginger and tumeric), honey (to prevent coughing), probiotics and spices, the Ginger Tumeric Tonic ($7) by Juice Press is sure to help get rid of any bug that’s bringing you down. They call this magic potion The Remedy, because it packs a powerful punch, and will work overtime to get you back to fighting form. Juice Press, various Manhattan and Brooklyn locations


This slipper is as soft as a cloud. Photo: LL Bean

This slipper is as soft as a cloud. Photo: LL Bean

Take the next step.

Feel like you’re stepping on the clouds with these insanely soft shearling lined slippers. The Wicked Good Slipper by LL Bean ($69) is a classic for a reason. They are high quality house shoes that will last forever, made of sheepskin suede and lined with shearling that wicks away moisture. Brown is always a solid choice, but now they come in jewel tones too if you need some extra cheer.


Netflix original drama "The Crown" centers on Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in Britain History. Photo: Netflix

Netflix original drama The Crown centers on Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in Britain History. Photo: Netflix

Watch herstory being made

Now that you’re completely ensconced on your couch, feeling all the feels, and sipping some nourishing broth (Mile End will deliver their matzah ball soup), it’s time to turn on the Netflix and chill. To help you get over the current political affairs, switch on The Crown, a Netflix original show about a woman gaining political power and her struggles to maintain it. The life of Queen Elizabeth II never seemed more relevant.

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