I don't know about you, but once Christmas is over... I'm ready for spring. Unfortunately, Christmas is exactly 4 days after winter officially begins soooooo, yea....
However, last year I read an article about the Scandinavian culture that REALLY helped me. Hygge is a concept that is at the heart of this season for them and it is essentially about creating coziness with intention.
Every day I choose to do little things that add warmth and comfort to my life during the winter... I do it intentionally, routinely and unapologetically. Here's a quick list of what helps me:
1. I string up snowflakes and white lights. Not everywhere, but I do it in the room where I spend evenings. It's a beautiful depiction of winter and warmth together, and it brings me joy. And on the flip side, I can look forward to taking down the snowflakes towards the end of February to celebrate that chances of snow are much less. Then, I take the white lights down in mid-March which is a great way to celebrate the new Spring air. They aren't big things, but they give me markers to look forward to along the way.
2. I enjoy a warm cup of Egyptian Licorice tea, hot chocolate or hot apple cider every evening before bed (the tea is a sugar free option, so I try to do that one more often!). It's a nice little ritual to look forward to every evening. Find a new and interesting herbal caffeine-free tea or any warm drink, really, and indulge each evening.
3. I turn the lights off, plug in my white string lights and then... turn on Fireplace for your Home
Seriously... I watch the burning log shows. [If you have a working fireplace, then the obvious thing here is to use it!] However, If you don't, this seriously is a nice alternative. The crackling sound is peaceful, the glow is cozy and I swear it makes the room feel warmer too... placebo effect, no doubt.
4. I light candles. I select wintery smells like pine or cedar that embrace the season. Don't save them for special occasions... surviving winter with joy is all the special occasion you need!
5. When the sun does actually come out... I let it light up my home! I pull back the curtains, my blinds go up and I get as much sunshine into my home as possible. It's glorious, and believe it or not, some of the coldest days are actually the brightest and most beautiful.
6. I go on winter hikes. The Scandinavian word for this is friluftslivI and it translates as "fresh-air life." I feel so much better when I bundle up and get outside. I dress appropriately and then go get my fresh air, exercise and sunshine. It really, really helps.
There are so many more ideas, but these are the ones that I've incorporated into my winter. I no longer just endure the season; instead, I look forward to my little routines and creating coziness. Here's an article by Fast Company if you'd like to read more about the concepts of hygge and koselig. But I'm pretty late to this party so if you Google either of these words you'll get about a hundred other articles too!