The first day of fall is only a few days away, which means colder weather is officially on the way. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to be dreaming of the days when it didn’t get dark at 3pm, and doing everything you can to maintain that summer vibrancy. As we all become slightly more dormant in the colder weather, there are so many things we can do to make that transition a bit more enjoyable! Now I know hygge has become a trendy thing of late but I’m a firm believer in it. Since I’ve started actively inputting a little hygge in my life I’ve noticed a few things. 1) it’s had a remarkably positive effect on my mental health. 2) I’m cultivating and nurturing important relationships, and 3) I’m making much more time for the things that make me happy and cutting down on the things that don’t! So, I’m gonna spread a little hygge cheer, and share a few things you can do as the weather gets chillier, and the days get a little darker…
1. Turn down the lights
You know when you’re sitting in a room and the lights are so bright that it’s literally giving you a headache? I hate that! Research has actually shown that light has an effect on our mood and darker more ambient light has a calming effect. So if you needed another excuse to buy all the candles, and put fairy lights all over your house, here you go! I find them so incredibly calming and in a world where we’re permanently attached to our phones, taking the time to turn it down really makes a difference. We have fairy lights in our bedroom, and these are what I turn on as we’re getting ready for bed. I actually find that by lowering the lights and reading for a bit before I go to bed (instead of staring at my phone) I fall asleep much faster and I sleep better! Candles have the same effect, and a good scented candle can work wonders!
2. Cook a warm meal
Have you noticed that in the winter months we have the tendency to crave hearty foods, like we’re bears preparing to hibernate? No? Just me? Oh well, I’m gonna share this one anyway! Food is such a loving thing, and preparing a meal can be a great way to inspire a little warmth and happiness. Make some soup, or a curry, bake cinnamon buns (your house will then smell amazing, so bonus?!) or anything of that nature. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want! But there’s something really soothing about sitting down to a nice belly-warming meal that you’ve taken a little time to prepare. Plus, I find that I savour it more.
3. Indulge in a warm beverage
Sounds simple, right? I personally love sitting in bed with a cup of hot chocolate, or some herbal tea, once the weather turns. I don’t even have to be doing anything else, it’s just taking that moment to soak in the warmth and take that first sip. The first sip is always the best, isn’t it? Last year, I even tried my hand at making apple cider (non-alcoholic, but a Stateside staple in the colder months. Warm apple cider to warm your soul!) and we added a splash of rum to it, and just sat talking! That was a great evening.
4. Have a TV free night
I know, I know… suggesting a night without TV or Netflix?! I promise, I haven’t lost my mind! This is something that P and I started doing, and it’s kind of wonderful. Every once in a while, we have a night where we turn off the television. The first time we did it, I made black daal, and afterwards we spent the rest of the night playing scrabble and listening to our record player. I’ve never slept so well in my whole life! I think we get so attached to our digital lives that sometimes it’s nice just to disconnect from all that stuff and reconnect on a human level. Give it a go, you might be surprised!
5. Invite a few pals over
The key with this one is numbers. The more people you invite, the more stressful it becomes. The magic number in my opinion? 4 (yourself included). Then you’re not worried about spending equal time with everyone, everyone is equally as involved in the conversation and no one feels left out. Plus, prepping food for four people is a bit easier than say 7 or 8! Have each person bring something with them if you’re not in a cooking mood, or a bottle of wine and some cheese. Spending time with the people we love is always a good way to fill our time!
There you have it. With these little tips, I’ll survive the winter, no problem! What are some things you like doing once the weather cools down?