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Your guide to enjoying winter
IT’S WINTER!!! Do I sound a little too excited about that? Well, that’s because I am. If you’ve been around CSC for a while, you already know that I am a bonafide winter lover! I think it’s the coziest season of all. But I also know, from a lifetime of mentioning that little tidbit to people, that I am in the minority. Most people don’t love winter, they just muddle their way through it until spring finally arrives.
And even though I love it, I do understand. It can be long, cold, grey, and boring. And if you don’t love winter, that combination can be downright miserable.
But I’d like to shift the whole “getting-through-winter” mindset a little bit and show you some ways to truly embrace winter…and even enjoy it!
8 ways to enjoy winter
1. Slow down and get cozy
“Ugh, can’t I just hibernate until spring is here?” Unless you’re a bear, probably not. You’ll still have to go to work, take care of the kidlets, pay bills, clean the house…all those normal things. But if the grey days and dark evenings have you feeling a little unmotivated, there nothing wrong with you. Not at all.
Winter is a time for rest. Even nature takes a break during the winter months. So slow your pace, ease up on yourself, and go with it. Spend your evenings on the couch with a good book or cuddled up to watch a movie. Take a nap…or several. Get out your coziest blankets and spend some quality weekend downtime all bundled up with a hot drink.
Use the winter months to rest up and recharge your internal batteries. When spring and summer come, the pace of life will naturally pick up. So take advantage of the slower winter months and give yourself a cozy break.
2. Decorate for winter
The house always looks a little bare after the Christmas decorations come down…it’s amazing how quickly we get used to that extra cheeriness. But even though the holidays are over, there’s no rule that says the decorations have to go. Switch out the “Christmas cheer” for “winter cheer”!
Use nature as your inspiration. Think snow and ice and trees. Add some fun lighting to brighten things up and make home feel a little more festive during the cold, dark months. Light some candles, string up some fairy lights.
This year, I decided to go with a little bit of a birch tree theme, with lighted trees like these on the mantle and a nice printed tapestry behind the couch. It’s just enough to keep things feeling happy and cheerful.
Winter is also a great time to bring a little springy cheer into your house with flowers! Hyacinths, paperwhites, daffodils, and tulips are all really simple to grow indoors.
3. Embrace the things you can’t do during other seasons
I’ve always loved celebrating the differences between each season. Each season has its own vibe and winter is no exception. Why not make a point of enjoying the things that only seem to fit during winter?
Hot soups and drinks are wonderful when it’s cold out! But they’re not quite as wonderful in the middle of July.
Spending a day baking can be relaxing, leave the whole house smelling good, AND you get something yummy at the end! But it loses a little of its allure when it’s 100 degrees outside and your air conditioner is running all day.
And a fire in the fireplace doesn’t really make much sense in the spring and summer months.
Make a little list of all the things that you can only truly enjoy during the colder months…and then make it a point to do them!
4. Get outside
Just because it’s cold out, doesn’t mean you have to stay in. In fact, getting outside will usually boost your mood, even if it is cold out there.
Bundle up and go for a hike. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood and soak up some sunshine (or at least, soak up some daylight…) Or just sit on your porch with a hot drink for a few minutes, just to get outside the house for a little bit.
An added bonus to spending time outside in the winter is that it’s sooo cozy and warm when you come back inside!
Your guide to enjoying winter
5. Learn something new
Since winter is a naturally slower time of year, with fewer places to be and things to do, it’s the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or maybe study that one subject you’ve been wanting to learn more about, but can never quite find the time to look into. Take full advantage of the slower days by trying something new.
Or get back to an old hobby that fell to the wayside somewhere along the way. Reacquaint yourself with your local library and check out some interesting books. There’s always something new to learn!
6. Start your spring cleaning
Call me crazy, but around here, spring cleaning starts right after the Christmas decorations come down. Since cleaning and housework take a back seat during the holidays (because who wants to be bothered with that kind of stuff when Christmas is on the way!) by the time January first rolls around, this house needs a good cleaning.
Bonus – If you get that spring cleaning out of the way during the winter months, you’ll have time to do much more fun things when spring arrives.
7. Reconnect with friends & family
If you’re sitting around at home, bored and restless, there’s a good chance the people in your life are doing the same thing. So reach out. Winter is the perfect time to reconnect with the folks you haven’t seen in a while. Chat with an old friend, call someone you think about but haven’t spoken with, have a zoom party with a group you haven’t seen in a while, meet up with someone for a quick lunch. It will brighten your day and theirs!
8. Spread some good vibes
If you’re feeling the winter blues, you’re not alone. A quick way to lift your own mood is to make someone else smile!
You may not see your neighbors as often in the winter months, so throw some lights and decorations on your house to give them something to smile about when they drive by. Build a funny snowman. Pay for someone’s order in the drive-through line. Send a happy text message, just because. Turn your attention outward and spread some happiness!
A note about SAD
One last little thing I should mention here is SAD (or Seasonal Affective Disorder.) It can throw a serious kink in your winter enjoyment plans if you’re affected by it.
*Little tiny disclaimer* I am definitely NOT a doctor. I don’t play one on TV and I haven’t even graduated from the Google school of medicine. So if you think that SAD might be affecting you, please get in touch with your doctor before taking any advice you find on the interwebs.
Seasonal depression can be a drag during the fall and winter months – the cloudy days and dark nights have a pretty serious effect on some people. But there are a few things you can do:
- Vitamin D supplements can help a LOT! Since you’re not getting that natural vitamin D boost from the sunshine, a supplement can help fill in the gaps.
- Along the same lines, a little time in front of a sunlight lamp can help.
- Getting some exercise and spending time outside is also a great way to fight the winter blues.
- And finally, your doctor might prescribe a mild antidepressant to get you through.
I hope this little list gave you some ideas on how to not just “get through” the winter months, but to really enjoy winter!