January is an interesting time. The holiday season is coming to a close, but the cold and darkness of winter remains. Here in Kentucky it is a frigid 10 degrees today, and my loves and I are currently piled under blankets, drinking warm tea, and hoping we don’t have to leave the warm house.
Winter can be a hard time for many, with less sun, less time in the wild outdoors, less green. There are days I leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark. But these long, barren months can be a great time for some serious self-care and nourishment of the soul. There is a Danish word, Hygge, which is defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Sounds pretty great, huh? Basically, if you imagine being wrapped in a warm, soft blanket, drinking a cup of tea, and reading your favorite book, you get the idea. A Hufflepuff common room, for my Harry Potter fans. Words like comfort, console, and cozy come to mind. It’s celebrating the little pleasures of everyday life, keeping your loved ones close, and keeping your heart warm and protected in the harsh winter months. The Danes definitely have the right idea.
Rife, Adam, and I all get the winter blues. We love the outdoors and the sun, and the ever pressing darkness of winter can get to us pretty hard. But, taking the essence of Hygge into our home has made these months much more pleasant. So, here are our tips for a warm, cozy winter.
1. Candles, candles, candles. And string lights. The more soft lighting you can add to your cozy space, the better. I don’t think we’ve had our overhead lights on in months. There is something so inviting about that soft glow that takes us away from the stresses of life and the bright florescent lights of the nine to five gig.
2. Bring the green inside. Adam is the master of succulents. He is always propagating more of them, telling us all about the new babies he is growing, and filling every nook and cranny with their bright green leaves. It’s easy to forget about the barren landscape outside when you’re surrounded by so much plant life indoors.
3. Big, thick yarn. I’ve been working on a crocheted blanket for weeks now and it’s incredibly calming. We called it my “anxiety blanket” for a long time because anytime I got too anxious, I’d plop down with a cup of hot chocolate and my blanket and work on it until my mind slowed back to a normal pace. Really, any kind of craft that helps calm your mind is perfect for this season.
4. Warm drinks- tea, hot chocolate, coffee, apple cider, wassail, mulled wine. Keep the yumminess flowing.
5. This is time to curl up with an old favorite or explore new lands through the pages of an undiscovered novel. Check out used book stores for cost friendly options. I also love finding used books that the previous owner has written in, marked up, left little notes in the corners. You get a peak into a strangers life who loved this book you are now holding.
6. Bullet journaling, or journaling in general. This can be an amazing way to take care of yourself, explore your emotions, keep track of what makes you tick. Self reflection can be incredibly healing.
7. All the blankets you can fit on your couch.
But most importantly, make it your own. Surround yourself with things that make your heart happy and your body warm. Stay safe and know you are loved this winter season. Yule Blessings, from our family to yours.