I come to you immersed in a pile of pillows, throws and blankets on my couch. I’m wearing sweat pants and I need to brush my hair – desperately. It’s a Sunday afternoon in January, and I’ve been lost inside of the maze otherwise known as Pinterest, delighting in every picture I can find which offers evidence of tropical panoramas, colorful concoctions on ice, sun-drenched sands and drool-provoking tanned bodies. This I know: the “winter blues” is an actual epidemic.
If you are currently shivering through a comparable level of torture, I relate to your every dreary, overcast and cabin-feverish pain.
Winter deserves homage for its perks, though. It is a time when cozy fires remedy the effects of the snow and freezing rain, and a period to recharge and discover luxury in solitude.
So, ’tis the season to withdraw, to wear velvet, to fondue, to adorn yourself in layers, to drift off to sleep under a mountain of heavy covers and to curl up with a mug of steaming comfort. It is the ideal time to pour yourself into a consuming, rapturous novel, to find in your mind your very own cabin in the woods, and to align yourself with nature by allowing all that which no longer serves you to die.
During the winter season, landscapes are less celebratory, colorful and fragrant. Energy is withdrawn. Animals crawl into hibernation. Everything dies; preparing to be reborn in the spring. It is the perfect time for preparation – to incubate a new approach – whether it be in regard to the rejuvenation of your appearance, your state of health, your relationships, your creative endeavors or your inner life.
If the gray skies have you feeling perpetually grumpy, below are 11 cozy, happy and indulgent remedies. You are approaching the mecca of cozy. Enjoy.
#1 Find a Crackling Fire
Build your own or, if that isn’t possible, visit a restaurant or hotel lobby with a comfortable couch and a choir of cozy, crackling flames. Have a glass of wine or a mug of something steaming. Allow it to melt away all of your winter angst.
#2 Find the Comfiest, Fluffiest Blanket
This should preferably be enjoyed fresh from the dryer, for there are few sensations more consolatory, gratifying and pampering when the weather is blistering.
#3 Cradle Yourself in Lovely Varieties of ‘Winter Woollies’
Oversized sweaters and fluffy socks make me feel connected to the innocence and wholesomeness of my childhood. While summer attire supports the bare-skinned, hot and explosive sensuality of its season, winter is like the friend who is more obscure, often overlooked and under-appreciated.
The truth is – there is an innocence, an endearing sweetness and a cradling effect to our winter wardrobes.
#4 Curl Up With a Stack of Engulfing Books
The majority of my published writings are within the genres of narrative essay or reported features, however fiction is a love I privately commune with on a rare occasion. It is a completely different kind of affair and, therefore, creative journey. I am entertained by the art of creating other worlds as much as I am entertained by the art of illuminating experiences within my actual world.
Just as fully, though, I love diving into a world created by another writer. My perspective of the human experience expands every time. There is no more perfect season to immerse yourself into a book than when the world is offering so few distractions. So whether it be memoir, self-help or a 19th century novel, slip away from yourself and be engulfed by the unfamiliar.
#5 Diffuse Those Healing & Restorative Oils
You’re stuck in the house, so you may as well make it the most sensory-pleasing and health-boosting experience possible. Find the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the clove. Create your signature blend and let it become your cocoon of hibernation.
#6 Step Outside for Some Ice-Cold Vitamin D
Gather all of your “winter woollies,” bundle up and step outside. There may be no blue skies, lush grass or a balmy garden to marvel at, but your vitamin-d deficient body will appreciate you.
If you are still deficient (as many people are throughout the colder months), please supplement for supported sleep, energy levels and improved mood.
#7 Create Something Magicical
Get crafty. Break out your handy-dandy glue gun and design some jewelry. Paint a wall the color of the sun you miss so desperately. Sculpt something. Give birth to a story. Pull your torch from hibernation and make creme brûlée. Propagate weirdness in the kitchen.
Precious time spent creating is never wasted, for you will always have a glimpse of your innermost oddball-genius, now in dazzling physical form, to show for it.
#8 Get Amped About ‘Hibernation Renovation’
Most people cultivate the habit of “spring cleaning,” however I find it more practical to clean while hibernating. It makes more sense, don’t you think? So, turn your cabin fever on its head by turning your home into your most ideal haven.
Make a list of those unfinished and half-assed projects which have long irritated you. Fix, paint, seal, oil, sweep or dust those irritations away. Organize. Restructure. Reassemble. Redesign.
Get all of the frivolous and tedious things done that you are sure to neglect when spring has sprung and the gravitational pull of the hot, beaming sun lures you away from hibernation and back into open-aired celebration.
“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by author Marie Kondo is a transformative way to approach organizing and arranging my home your home.
#9 Make Bath Time A Sacred Pampering Ritual
I take baths almost every day of my life, however it is never a more ideal time than when it’s cold outside.
So, dim the lights and fill the room with the glow of your favorite candles. Watch your shadow recline on your bathroom wall. Burn the incense. Gather all of your favorite bath-related delights. Let it become your sanctuary.
Truly, some of my most beloved story concepts, characters, epiphanies, realizations and bursts of inspiration have sought me out and unleashed their wonder upon me during the stillness and solitude of a bath.
#10 Sip on Something Hot & Indulgent
No one feels sexy in the winter. It’s too cold for backless dresses and short skirts; there isn’t much incentive to shave your legs. A mug of something delicious may be as hot as it gets until spring break rolls around.
So slide on your sexiest apron and whip up some caramel apple cider. Maybe a decadent mug of marshmallow-filled hot chocolate. Too much? Perhaps a simple brew of tea will do the trick.
#11 ‘Tis the Season to Get Lost Inside of a Mind-Blowing Documentary
Netflix, winter would never be as educational nor entertaining without you.
If you’re going to be locked away from the world for a season, you may as well learn something about it. Be gutted by them. Allow your consciousness to be expanded because of them. Let your heart become a blazing furnace. Dare to gasp, shriek, cheer or scream at your television screen. No one can hear you – you’re hibernating, after all.