Embrace the positive on these cold days, and connect with your inner sources of warmth.
As January comes to a close, the reality has set in for most of us—winter is not going anywhere anytime soon. By now, the magic of first snowfalls and the warming sweetness of hot cocoa might be giving way to shovel-sore backs and wistful reminiscences of coat-free summer walks.
If this feels like the apex of the winter doldrums for you, it’s all the more powerful a moment to turn an eye toward walking a positive path through the deepest part of the season. Try these techniques for embracing the gifts of winter—with the knowledge that spring isn’t far behind.
Get Cozy, Scandinavian Style
Scandinavians have a word for a deep state of blissful winter hibernation—hygge (pronounced “hoo-geh”). In Denmark, hygge is a lifestyle, a process for creating an environment conducive to emotional well-being. Embracing hygge means intentionally surrounding yourself with nourishing objects and activities, like low light and lots of flickering candles, warm, fluffy blankets, thickly knit socks and sweaters, warming foods from tea to cakes to stews, and comforting, loving company. Your winter days might be filled with errands and work, but if you dedicate your evenings to hygge, you may find yourself thinking far more positively about the cold that waits outside.
Dive into a Project
If winter puts us inside more than usual, we might as well turn our attention to making that time productive and meaningful. That is best accomplished by choosing a winter project you can work on over days, or even weeks. Paint a wall in your house a fresh accent color to wake up a tired room. Tackle your stacks of old photographs, organizing them into a new system that is easy to access and maintain. Or go through your kitchen cabinets, donating cake pans you no longer use—and filling those you want to keep with cake! Not all winter projects need to be “productive” in the traditional sense. Get out a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, and chip away at it over a couple of snow days. The feeling of accomplishment you experience will warm you right up.
Tend to Your Health
Winter coziness is no excuse to set aside your healthy lifestyle practices. If getting to the gym is tough in wintertime, look for a free exercise app you can do through your smartphone. Or, if the sun is shining and the snow is beckoning, get outside for a snowshoe hike or trip to the skating rink. Keeping your body moving will protect your overall health, including your mood, and having a flush in your cheeks can help boost immunity, protecting you from the cold and flu germs that aren’t part of anyone’s positive winter plan!
How do you embrace the gifts of winter?