Welcome to week 7 of The Winter Project!
(What is The Winter Project?)
Surviving the cold with warmth and comfort.
Now that we are all settled in and back to “normal” days, I have been thinking about how I tend to think of the cold season as time that I just want to get through quickly. It can be easy to forget the pleasures that can be found during the winter in favor of thoughts of warm island vacations and swim-up bars. One thing I know for sure is something that I wrote about when I reflected on turning 40 over the summer. That is this:
Some days will make you smile so big that you laugh out loud. Some days will break your heart. The days in the middle, the seemingly boring ones, are the currency of life. We spend them in our routines. They go by unnoticed. They are the place and the time we are living. They are Mondays and Thursdays and laundry days and grocery days. The repetition of them keeps us comfortable. Spend them all well because they matter more than special occasions.
So, what pleasures are to be found in winter? How do we spend our days well and soak up joy even when it is cold and wet out?
My thought is that we create warmth and comfort in our lives. Everyone needs a little TLC and a little goes a long way when the small, happy things we do for ourselves accumulate in our hearts.
Warmth and comfort ideas:
- Create a ritual for greeting the day with self-kindness. It can be as simple as slowly making your favorite hot beverage and watching the sun come up while the house is quiet, going for a walk or run, making a healthy delicious breakfast, lighting a candle and choosing an intention for the day, or using handmade soap in a favorite scent to cheer you up in the shower. The point is to find a happy habit that you look forward to when you wake up.
- Soak: in an epsom salt bath, a hot tub, a mineral spring…whatever you have access to. This place is weirdly fantastic if you’re anywhere near Southern California or Las Vegas and up for a road trip!
- Find a good yoga class. Many classes are held in warm (if not hot) rooms.
- Treat yourself to a massage or facial if it is in the budget.
- If you can, sneak away from your normal work area and head to a coffee shop or public library reading room to work for part of the day. Find a cozy spot by a window if you can.
- Have you made the Magic Mineral Broth that I keep mentioning yet? Here’s the 2.0 version with extra garlic- yum! Make it. Sip it by itself or use it for a big pot of nourishing soup. Your warm body will thank you. Bonus points if you also make homemade bread! This is a great one.
- If you’re going to be outside, don’t suffer through it- layer up! It is amazing the difference a soft scarf, hat, warm boots, and gloves can make. Stick to soft fabrics- itchy things are not comfortable!
- Flannel sheets...I don’t think anyone should live without them!
- Just as you may have started the day with a wake-up ritual, try to close your day gently as well. Sip a hot drink or enjoy a square of good chocolate while watching your favorite show or reading a book by the fire or under a soft blanket. Choose something simple that you can look forward to at the end of the day.
Doing what you can to be comfortable when it’s cold out can make it possible for you to spend your winter time well. All of the little things that you do add up!
What is your favorite way to get cozy when it’s cold out?
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)!
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*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.