So is it just me or as the fun, festivities, and fantasies of a White Christmas fade, do we begin to feel just a little bit flat? While we may intend to embrace the New Year full of inspiration and enthusiasm, the chilly nights and darker days can dampen our spirits.
For years I have been a sun chaser who would casually cast off bleary days and opt out of cold. I just couldn't hack it. So I fled—I always got such a bad case of the blues.
But not this year. This year, life tossed me a different ticket, and it turns out curling up on the sofa and staying toasty appealed me than running off on a foreign jolly.
The truth is I've missed winter. If life is a perpetual summer, your output is always one way—outgoing—and it can be exhausting. Think about it; during summer, we're always doing something. Our energy is that bit higher and we feel more social.
I grew up with seasons, so I'm used to the annual cycle through winter, spring, summer, and fall. Winter always provided a gear shift towards regrouping. It was the natural time to stay in more and take stock.
So, if winter has all this going for it, how do we make it through sane and awake? Here are my 11 tips to survive winter without a struggle.
1. Harmonise with the season.
Accept it’s winter and it will be sometimes cold, wet, and grey.
2. Keep cosy, warm, and dry.
Layer up in layers, pillows, soft down jackets, and warm woollens.
3. Dress smart.
Invest in some good quality items in appropriate, intelligent materials to help you brave the elements if you need to.
4. Go to bed earlier.
Adapt to a different rhythm and get more sleep as your natural hibernation instinct kicks in. Don't fight it.
5. Shift your priorities.
You are more likely to feel lethargic than excited, so spend your time different by choosing quieter activities closer to home. Or, tackle some of those personal projects that you were able to prioritise before.
Read more, write, watch movies, bake, daydream—take this chance to reenergise and restore.
Do a warming yoga practice to keep the fire in your heart burning and counter the cold. Go jogging or dance to your favourite tunes—anything to keep the endorphins flowing.
7. Eat comfort food.
Think warming, spiced, satisfying dishes to stave off the cold that include plenty of root vegetables and complex carbs. Now isn’t the time to try and curb your eating.
Drink plenty of rejuvenating teas too, especially ginger, lemon, and honey, and pop a little cinnamon in your coffee (not only is this tasty, it helps to counter the blood sugar spikes that come with our favourite caffeinated beverage).
8. Go outside.
Take a stroll in the park, be with nature, and make the most out of the lightest part of the day—then come home to a steaming hot bath where you can thaw and restore.
9. Update your environment.
If you’re spending more time inside, ensure it’s comfortable and pleasant. Consider fresh flowers, plants, candles, colour, and scent. Perhaps even take the time to redecorate.
10. Have fun and see friends.
Without the pressure of wanting to be everywhere at once that can come with summer, spend quality time with friends during winter.
11. Indulge your interests.
Use this time to study, learn and grow. Find a way to create a little intellectual stimulation.
So you see, winter isn’t all bad if you do it well. Find ways of making it work for you, and come spring you will be all the more appreciative of sunnier days and soaring temperatures.