I don’t know about you, but I try as hard as I can to hibernate all winter. The lack of sun, cold days, and just a general slowness of my body encourage me to cuddle up in my chair until Spring. Unfortunately, I have responsibilities and children that need taken care of no matter the season, but a girl can dream.
I was introduced to the concept of Hygge last winter. This winter it is apparently all the rage, or I am just that out of touch with what is cool so it seems like it is all the rage. That is quite possible. (If you do not know what Hygge is, this book is an easy read. Or Google. Google is your friend). It appealed to me because it embraced the natural slowness I feel, but also encouraged connection and intention. Intentional joy, more importantly. I get my cozy socks, and intentional joy. I’m sold.
Here are my 5 Ways to create joy and coziness in the blustery days:
- Get Together.
Make intentional plans with friends and family. Plan an outing or a low-key hang out in each other home. Get together to have a cup of tea. It warms your soul. (Nil Organic is by far my favorite!) Connection is important, especially during times of hibernation. I went to a Flourishing Creativity Retreat on a whim with a friend, and it was an amazing weekend full of connection and joy!
Remember your sacred “yes” and holy “no”. Don’t over stretch yourself and don’t feel obligated to invite people into your space just because “(insert whatever reason)” but you don’t really want them around. It is okay to say no without an excuse, and it’s okay to say yes to your “yes” wholeheartedly. There is nothing wrong with choosing what brings your heart joy.
- Cozy blankets and Cozy lighting.
I have some blankets from Costco that are sumptuous, and they can be found in most stores. I also bring out my sheepskin that I use for my yoga mat, and put it on our bedroom floor for some softness on the cold winter mornings
We try to use as little artificial light throughout the day as possible (we have great natural light), but with the shorter days, it becomes more necessary. I have strong allergies, and little children, so battery operated tea lights and warm tone light bulbs are our go-tos to creating a cozy, dimmer winter cave. No fires or asthma attacks here!
- Embrace the layers.
Sunny sundresses and bikinis have their place, but nothing is more wonderful that slipping on some leggings, a cozy sweater and warm merino wool socks. Add a winter skirt, snow boots, a tank top under my sweater and a winter jacket, and I’m ready for most winter outings. Layers add such mystery and fun to the Winter. Did I gain five pounds? Who cares? My clothes still fit amazing. Did I wear these leggings already this week? No one knows…. It’s fantastic.
Read, listen, absorb through osmosis (I tried this in high school, not effective). Take advantage of the earlier nights by getting cozy with a good book or two. I love the feel of pages in my hands, but my husband only likes reading on his phone. Do what works for you. Read an old favorite, read about a new skill, find a new favorite…whatever calls your soul to the written word. It does a body and a brain good to read.
- Intentional Movement.
Remember my earlier comment about not wanting to move from my chair all Winter? Turns out my body actually needs a little more movement than that. Who knew?
Instead of trying to force my body into a heavy exercise routine around New Year’s, my goal has been incorporating intentional movement. Lately it has been a nighttime yoga flow to stretch out. Some nights it is belly dancing. Others it’s a few minutes on my stationary bike. What matters is that I move.
I have to do a daily walk through at my work, and I have been trying to make that more intentional as well. Noticing the sky changing and finding the beauty in the coldness of nature. Breathing in the stillness, the World feels at peace even when it’s not.
These are five of the ways that I try to bring more joy when the Winter blows. What are your favorite ways to stay cozy?