How 9 Creatives Combat the Post-Holiday Blues
Because we can’t fast-forward to spring
The months following the holidays, before the piles of gray-brown snow finally melt from the New York City streets, are the year’s most daunting. Icy temperatures, numb toes, and dry, chapped skin—if I had my way, I would simply fast-forward to the first week of April when we’re able to comfortably sip contraband cans of hard kombucha at Domino Park without a jacket. Alas, the winter break is over, COVID is still scary, and we are trudging to our work-from-home stations hoping our New Year’s resolutions and the afterglow of holiday cheer sustain us. Luckily, Coveteur has tapped a few of our friends and favorite tastemakers to tell us the methods and routines that help them combat the back-to-work blues and make it through these cold months.
Willa Bennett, Writer & Head of Social at GQ
“My mornings are about writing. Each night before bed, I throw a bundle of oats into a jar with almond milk, oat milk, berries from the farmers market, and honey. Then, I spend the earliest morning hours writing, eating my overnight oats, and drinking at least three cups of iced coffee (even in the coldest winter months) before attempting to comb through the never-ending notifications and emails that inevitably come from working in digital media. It's always been essential for me to have a moment of stillness and focused intention before each workday.”
Batsheva Hay, Designer & Founder of Batsheva
Photo: Courtesy of Batsheva Hay
“I take brisk walks (to the office, to factories). I think the cold wakes me up, makes me feel more energetic, and gets my circulation going. I also keep lots of little chocolates around the office. Little treats like that make me happy. I also wear more sparkle.”
Mandy Lee, Fashion Commentator & Trend Forecaster
“I get the Sunday scaries so bad! Before coming back from a longer break they start on Friday or Saturday anticipating the whiplash transitioning from vacation mode to business as usual. I always love starting out the year with a big closet clean-out and organization. This year I washed every single piece of clothing in my wardrobe and reorganized everything by category and color. I even hung a few floating shelves for more shoe storage. Working with my hands really helps keep my mind clear, plus it's always a treat using a power tool. Waking up on a Monday morning after vacation to a clean and organized home takes away so much stress.
“I also buy a new journal every year. Journaling for fun and treating it like a diary has been a ritual I've had for two decades. It's super therapeutic, and I love ringing in the new year with fresh pages to mark a symbolic fresh start.”
Megan Kothari, Founder & Designer of Aaryah
Photo: Courtesy of Megan Kothari
"I love filling up my personal and professional space with my favorite essential oils and lighting candles as our sense of smell has a direct mainline to the brain; I believe in surrounding myself with uplifting scents to elevate my mood and energy around me.
“I also practice gratitude through journaling, ashtanga yoga, and vipassana meditation to ground myself year-round but find that it's extra helpful during the cold and dark winter months. There are so many factors we can't control—instead of focusing on that, how can we focus on what goes right? How can we create space for joy every day? How can we remind ourselves of who and what we're thankful for?"
Elizabeth Kuzyk, Founder & Designer of Kuzyk
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Kuzyk
“Each morning, before the day starts, I need to recognize that noise and not let it direct the course of my day.
“Meditate: I have been practicing meditation for many years. It has been the tool that brings me to what I call my true self: where my creativity and perspective live."
“Play: An early morning dance class is my way of starting the day with a sense of play, of choosing to let go and really just have some fun."
“Creativity: A day in flow starts with some kind of creativity. Whether I am pulling inspiration for the upcoming collection, forming a mood board, sketching, writing, making a playlist, or moving to that playlist.”
Sofia Elias, Founder & Designer of BLOBB
Photo: Courtesy of Blobb
"What I usually do the first few weeks of January is write everything on a piece of paper, or different papers, and stick them on the wall as a reminder to do those things. I like it, and it keeps me on top of the new projects or ideas that I have to do. It helps me get excited for January and February and, honestly, is such a simple way of celebrating the new year ahead."
Daniela Goldberg,Cofounder of Demasa
"Some traditions, rituals, and routines I follow to keep my spirits up through January and February are long walks during sunrise and/or sunset—I find them energizing but soothing at the same time. I find that, even when I’m not inspired, I can’t resist snapping a photo of a good sunrise or sunset!
“New Year’s resolutions can be daunting. I enjoy making daily to-do lists, but I add simple tasks that are easy to accomplish during the day, like taking my dog for a 15-minute walk or drinking two liters of water, so I can easily cross off items and feel a sense of accomplishment. If I only add demanding tasks it can feel disappointing and overwhelming if I can’t get to them during the day.
“Drinking more water and staying hydrated has always been one of my top New Year's resolutions for a simple step to getting back into that healthy mindset and my Demasa bag just makes it so much easier to stay on track."
Jennifer J. Matchett, Founder, Designer, and Creative Director of Machete
"I tend to go through winter break like I would have gone through a breakup. Eat, read, and wear something new; exercise; try something new with my hair (at the very least change shampoo); poke my head outside when the sun is shining, and reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a while.
"Refresh my closet: Not a complete overhaul, that can be too much work and overwhelming. Just focusing on a little two-month capsule. This winter, I’m using inspiration from Prada's Fall/Winter ’98 collections and various vintage shops. Desert Vintage has phenomenal pieces, and their Instagram is a mega photo archive of previous collections. Their impeccable styling is refreshing and full of inspiration. I will start by pulling from what I have and see if there has been anything in my shopping or wish lists (heavily eyeing Loewe boots) that would complement what I already own.
"Pack for work: Grab an old cookbook (or choose a couple of bookmarked online) and prepare a few fresh and previous beloved recipes I haven’t made in a while to meal prep for my first couple of weeks back. My husband, Cale, just made this incredible salt and olive oil bread last night that is good with EVERYTHING. I’m also low-key addicted to root beer, so in order to curb (not eliminate) that I’ve packed mango juice from Spindrift and Mrs. Earl Grey tea for the afternoons. I’ll hit up some fresh flower spots and make arrangements for home and work so we have something fresh and springy on our desks and tables. On the way to the studio, I’ll listen to the Smartless podcast. Listening to Sean Hayes’s infectious laugh and charming banter warms my soul, especially on these frequently cold and dreary mornings.
"Surround myself with color: We are getting ready to launch our spring/summer collections. So between the flowers, spring mood boards, and new colorful pieces, we have quite a bit of color and excitement happening in the studio right now. This winter I indulged in a few Hermes nail lacquers and was delighted to find they are almost identical to some of our new watchband colorways this year
"Mini pamper: Paint my nails a new hue and bring out the skincare samples I’ve been collecting all year. You can declutter, shake up your skincare routine, plus resolve dry, winter skin without committing to a full new regime all at once (for free). It is very satisfying."
Tiina Smith, Founder of Tiina Smith Jewelry
“When heading back to work in January and facing February (the shortest month of the year for a reason), I focus on feeling the best I can. For me, this means regular workouts, healthy food, and limited alcohol.
"Then, I wear color! Colorful jewelry and colorful clothing. Even though it may be one piece in a dash of purple, yellow or red, it’s a sure spirit raiser!”
Photo: Hulton Archive/ Getty
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