It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of winter. However, I’m also no fan of excessive whining and complaining. I’ve given this whole winter thing a lot of thought and come up with a plan. Here is how I intend to not only survive but actually thrive this winter.
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10 Ways to Survive and Thrive This Winter
1. Light Lamp
I am sensitive to light levels and found that my mood is better in the winter with regular use of supplemental lighting. I bought this portable light a couple of years ago and it really does seem to help. I keep it on the table next to my chair in the library and turn it on during my morning ritual time.
2. Vitamin D:
Many of us are deficient in vitamin D, especially in the winter and some studies show a link between low levels and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). My doctor tested my levels a couple of years ago and found I was pretty severely deficient. I have been on prescription supplements ever since which have been gradually getting my levels closer to normal. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be an issue for you.
It’s all too easy to let exercise slide when the weather gets cold. I mean, really, wouldn’t you just rather curl up with a cozy blanket and cup of tea and watch Netflix? But regular exercise is important and the endorphins produced are mood elevators. My treadmill and I are going to be very good friends this winter.
I have access to a gym with an indoor swimming pool and sauna. I feel so much better after a nice swim and 10 minutes or so in the sauna. I’m also going to schedule monthly massages.
5. Daily Rituals:
I’m a big fan of rituals. I’ve been fine-tuning my morning and evening rituals this past year. A change of seasons is a good time to evaluate your rituals and determine if any changes could be made to better suit the season. For instance, if you’ve been enjoying your morning cup of coffee on the patio determine how that will change when it gets too cold to sit outside.
6. Create a Sanctuary:
A few years ago I had spent countless hours enjoying our front porch throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Porch time had become a necessary part of my day and I was loathe to give that up as the weather turned chilly. That’s when I turned our library into my personal sanctuary. Until that time the room wasn’t used all that much. I did play the piano and occasionally we’d entertain drop in guests in there. It’s the first room off the entry hall and was always tidy (because it wasn’t used much!).
I decided to make this “my space”. I have a chair and ottoman with a quilt I can pull up over my legs. My Morning Basket sits beside the chair and I’ve added a number of items to personalize the room. I nearly always have fresh flowers in there, as well as candles and twinkle lights.
You may not have an entire room you can claim but perhaps there’s a corner somewhere? At a minimum you need a comfortable chair and a place within reach to set a cup of tea or coffee. Look for ways to make it special and then include time there in your daily routines. In no time at all this little space will become a source of peace and comfort.
7. Learn Something New:
Winter is a great time to learn something. Take a class in your community or find something online. There are countless opportunities to learn these days. I’ve been wanting to learn how to crochet the past few years. I have crochet hooks and yarn. Perhaps this will be the winter I actually put them to use.
8. Work on a Project:
Is there something you’ve been meaning to do but keep putting it off? Ticking a big project or several little ones off your mental list will give you a sense of accomplishment. Clean out your files, organize a closet, redecorate a room, or put old photos in albums. That last is high on my list for this winter. I have a huge box of photos which are already in chronological order and simply need to be put in albums.
9. Do Something Creative:
Write a story, paint a picture, practice a musical instrument, color in an adult coloring book, create a new recipe…the options are endless.
10. Keep Warm:
Make sure you have plenty of socks, cozy sweaters, gloves and other outerwear suitable for your climate. Consider a small space heater to plug in near your desk or favorite chair for extra warmth. Enjoy warm drinks and hot baths. Add an extra blanket or better yet, a fluffy down comforter to your bed.
With a little planning I’m fairly certain I can do more than simply endure winter. With the right attitude maybe I’ll even enjoy it. Okay, that might be taking it a bit too far but at least there’s always springtime to look forward to!
For more ideas about making your house cozy: