Reading by the fireplace or somewhere very cozy
I get the majority of my reading done during the summer and winter months. Don’t get me wrong, I love experiencing all the seasons but I don't really enjoy being hot or cold so I personally spend a lot of time indoors during both of these seasons. During the wintertime, I love to sit in the living room in one of our comfy chairs with a blanket, some tea, and a good book. I turn the eclectic fireplace on to set the mood and add a little more heat to the room because I live in a turn-of-the-century, drafty apartment.
Drinking Hot Cocoa
I love coffee but coffee doesn’t love me so outside of water and an occasional soda, I’m normally a tea drinker. But during the winter months, there are so many yummy varieties of hot cocoa on the grocery shelves that I can’t seem to help myself. It’s delicious, it reminds me of my childhood, and it’s warm. What more can I ask for?
I grew up in a family that did Sunday dinner every Sunday but as the family has gotten smaller, the tradition has fallen to the wayside. But I still like having family over so I’ve started doing movie nights with my niece and nephews. Over-the-stove popcorn, oven-baked or delivered pizza, ice cream, cookies, or any other snack you can think of plus blankets, low lighting, and a good movie. That’s what our movie nights look like.
Home baked goods
Speaking of cookies, I love to bake. I’m not very good at cooking but I’ve always been good at baking. Weird flex, I know, but I’ve always been able to make baked goods from scratch. So, around the holidays I often make cookies from scratch. But if you don’t want to go that extra mile, you can always pick up a package of cookie dough from the grocery store. That’s what we do for the rest of the year. Preheat the oven and let them cook for 11 to 15 minutes and boom… you’ll have some lovely, warm, and soft cookies that are guaranteed to make you smile. Bonus points if you serve them with milk or ice cream.
Have you ever tried to make decorations or spruce up some existing furniture? I’ve tried it once or twice but my mother loves to craft and upcycle things in the house. Last September, she made me help her reupholster her dining room chairs for Fall, and for Christmas, she’s made Christmas reefs for my brother’s apartment. Creating crafts can be very relaxing and satisfying.
Is that dry skin? I don’t know about you but the humid cold air of these Missouri winters are rough on my skin. Particularly my lips and hands. So, during the winter I break out the lips scrubs, moisturizing balms, and skin exfoliators. The works. Taking care of your skin will always be self care in my book.
Reconnecting with loved ones
Life gets busy and things and people sometimes fall through the cracks but it’s important to take inventory of the people in your life and check in on them. Some will say that the phone works both ways, and it does. But just take a moment, be the bigger person, and call that person you haven’t heard from in a while. You may find out that life was life-ing for them the same way life was life-ing for you. And you checking in on them can make a world of difference. If they don’t reciprocate that caring energy then at least you know where you stand with that person and you can step into a new season (and the new year) without them and the nagging question of, “Hey, I wonder what happened to…”
Light a Winter or Holiday Candle
This is a very obvious one but light a candle. Breathe in deep and take a moment to yourself. I love candles and wax melts. So much so that I started a company in which I make them by hand. Whether you believe in aromatherapy or not, you can not deny that smelling an aroma you enjoy does calm you down and make you feel better. So find your favorite candle or go buy a new holiday-scented candle and take a moment to yourself.
This is a new one for me but I’ve had a very stressful year and I’ve been actively working on de-stressing. So much so that I’ve even shifted Golden Child Candles into a brand that doesn’t just care about how good a candle or wax melt can make your house smell and how that makes you feel but also how you are feeling in general. And because of that, I’ve started doing breathing exercises. I have an Apple watch that reminds me to take a minute and breathe in deeply. You can do this without a watch. You can set a timer on your phone or just make a mental note and select a time to breathe in deeply and exhale with control. It really does help to calm me down and refocus me.
Take some pictures. It’s pretty outside. Although I don’t want to be out in the cold, I will definitely bundle up so I can capture images of beautiful light displays, snowy hills and porch decorations. I love to look back at these photos. I often find myself smiling because although I was probably cold, maybe even shivering, I wasn’t miserable. I grew up in a household that loved Christmas. So much so that Christmas music and Christmas decorations normally started in my house at the beginning of November. So when I look back at my winter photo collection, I like to think I’ve captured some of that infectious happiness that my mother had when this time of the year rolled around.