1. Food: Make something delicious but healthy, with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cayenne. Think about using fresh seasonal ingredients like cranberries, squash, root vegetables, or mandarin oranges. Try:
- Warm gingerbread with lemon sauce
- A breakfast cobbler (modify this one to include apples or cranberries and orange zest), cake (persimmon apple or tangerine), muffins, or crockpot grains with cranberries and cardamom
- Hot chocolate with cinnamon (and maybe a dash of cayenne)
- Hot soup, pho, or chili
- Roasted fall veggies with tempeh and farro
2. Nature: Bundle up and spend some time outside. Explore with each of your senses noticing smells, sights, sounds, feelings, and the taste of a hot drink. Go big and go skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or snowshoeing or simply take a walk around your neighborhood. Some playful things to try:
- Go for a nighttime walk (this is especially enchanting when the moon is full, though that won't be until the 17th this month). Look for Christmas lights in your neighborhood and listen to holiday music or a good audiobook on your iPod. Don’t forget to bundle up and bring a hot drink to enjoy along the way.
- Climb to the top of something that has a view. This would preferably be a local hiking trail and not a multi-story mall, but make do with what you’ve got! This is extra special if you are able to catch a sunrise or sunset from that vantage. The “magic hour” golden light has magical powers; bring somebody that you love. Snuggling is extra credit. xoxo
- Visit a place with water: a stream, river, or ocean. Listen and breath. Take a journal along as moving water tends to wake up thoughts and ideas!
- If it is just too blustery outside, snowing sideways and whatnot, bring some fresh seasonal flowers or pretty branches into your space. Look for something simple but cheerful. Or, creative a “nature box” to hold treasures that you’ve found in your neighborhood to examine and enjoy when you come inside- ours is full of shells, colorful leaves, mosses, rocks, sticks, etc.
We gather “interesting things” on neighborhood walks and freeze them with a piece of twine or ribbon in a container of water to create a sun catcher (see our last one here.) This idea comes from the lovely book called The Rhythm of Family referenced below.
Challenge: How will you find joy in the season this week? Consider the ideas above and choose to do at least one thing (on my list or not) for the simple winter joy of it.
The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons by Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule (affiliate link)
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach (affiliate link)
As we move through this project, I would love to hear about your survival skills, struggles, and success in the comments or by email (you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to receive free Get Natured updates so you can be included in The Winter Project. The weather outside doesn’t have to be frightful! xoxo
Other ways to follow along:
*Important note: I am not a licensed mental health professional. This advice is not intended to take the place of therapy or medications. Please seek professional care if you are suffering from depression or anxiety symptoms.