We all know that feeling when the cool weather sinks in and you just think ‘meh…’ The days get shorter and darker, and the winter blues are coming. Let’s face it, winter sure lasts a long time, and it can feel like it is even longer if you loathe it. If you want to be happy during winter, changing your mindset to have a more positive approach can be a great way to distract yourself from the weather.
In this period it is especially important to savour those small moments, something us Scandinavians are particularly good at. No time for negativity, just focus on making winter the best it can be. Keep reading to discover ways to embrace winter and to get the most of this wonderful, magical time of the year by focusing on the little things.
The Scandinavian secrets to embracing winter:
Create a hygge feeling at home
Time to get the candles, blankets and pillows out to make your home as cozy as possible. When we talk about a feeling of hygge in the home, it means creating a peaceful, serene and inviting space that you will enjoy and feel calm in. You can find my previous post about how to create a hygge home here which includes my HYGGE HOME checklist to get you started. If you embrace hygge you will learn to love winter, I promise!
Catch up on your reading list
There is nothing better than to be snuggled up with a blanket and a good book on the couch when it’s cold and dark outside. And since we do tend to spend more time inside during this time of year, catching up on that long reading list is a great way to spend our time.
Find a great list of Scandinavian books to read here, or why not get a monthly subscription for a cozy magazine? My current favourite is In The Moment, it is a great way to slow down and read about wellness, mindfullness and happiness.
Enjoy seasonal treats
Whether that means baking them or just bying them ready (because sometimes you do not have time to do it all and that is totally fine), occationally treating yourself can help lift your mood. During winter there are so many delicious seasonal treats, so why not start the Christmas baking a bit early and fill your home with the lovely smell?
Sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee
This is such a simple thing, but sprinkling a bit of cinnamon on my coffee or mixing it into the coffee always makes it taste so nice and the smell gives me a hygge feeling. I think it must be because it reminds me of cinnamon buns… Cinnamon also have many health benefits, which is great for all us cinnamon lovers out there.
Wear bright colours
The colours we surround ourselves with affect our mood, so why not add bright colours into your wardrobe to brighten up winter? For a mood-boosting effect, choose happy colours such yellow, orange, pink or red or calming shades of blue and green. Do not be afraid to stand out.
Get inspired by the Scandinavian fashion brand Monki who is an expert on adding bold shades in a cool way.
Take a winter walk
Being active is key to feeling good, and a walk is the perfect way to get exercise while being able to appreciate your surroundings and the fresh, crisp air. Walk to work or go for a evening walk with friends to cheer up.
Celebrate and enjoy winter activities
Staying active will improve your mood, and being outside is a big mood booster. Scandinavians are very good at going outside no matter the weather, and know the important of spending the time enjoying the things one can only do in winter. Why not start doing a winter sport like skiing, ice skating or snowboarding? Or go for a sledge ride, build a snowman or have a snowball fight? After all, winter is only here for a few months a year so make sure you make the most of it. (As long as you have snow that is…)
Wear the right clothes
In Norway we have a saying ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’ and this is a rule we live by in the colder months. Winter is so much more bearable if you are dressed appropriate, and you can get inspired by my Scandinavian winter wardrobe essentials post.
Take a nap
A short afternoon nap may be all you need to feel more energised and ready to tackle the day. And this is something we can learn from our furry friends! Having a pet is a great reminder to slow down, they just know how to hygge don’t they?
Get a SAD lamp
SAD stands for seasonal affective disorder, and these lamps are designed as a form of light therapy to help improve your mood and get you through. A great way to soak up artificial sunlight while fighting off the winter blues.
An example is the Bodyclock Shine 300 by Lumie, it uses improved LED technology to produce smooth changes of light and colour for a lovely, realistic sunrise and sunset.
And last but not least, do remember that it will end; with each day that passes it gets lighter a little earlier and winter will eventually turn into spring. Something to keep in mind when winter feels endless…
I hope these tips will help you embrace winter, and let me know if you have any additional tips!
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// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad