How to Get Cozy This Winter

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5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

Winter is in full effect, the holidays are over, and now is the time to make the decision on how this season will go. We are in the thick of layers of snow, ice, and days that are shorter, but this year I have decided to truly enjoy this season. I feel so lucky every single day to be here in Michigan and in such a beautiful place. I absolutely believe that seasons are intended to be embraced, loved, and enjoyed equally. Each plays a significant part in our year. Though it seems winter gets the label of being the tough one, I am learning quickly as the winds blow outside, that this is may be one of the most precious seasons of all. As we head into the weekend, I wanted to share 5 tips for enjoying winter. Making the most of winter comes down to simply reframing our understanding of the season and this is how I am doing just that:

Getting Cozy and embracing the idea of Hygge this winter. More on The Fresh Exchange.

1. Get Cozy:
I pulled together an edit today full of items to help you get comfy and cozy this winter. Creating a space at home that is warm, comfy, and ready to be enjoyed is the best way to cut through the chill of the season. The Danish have become popular for their term Hygge as a way of “surviving” winter, and I love the concept. Not only does the word describe creating a warm and inviting space, but it also references connection with your community and celebrating traditions. All those things together create a lifestyle during the winter season that helps us feel connected, warmed inside and out, and invited into a time of year that can be quite dark and cold.

The keys to creating a cozy atmosphere are pretty simple. Bring in layers of blankets and cozy items. I love fur blankets this time of year…well fur anything really. I switch out our lighter rugs for fuzzy ones or layer on fur rugs on top of our existing ones. In the evenings when it gets dark don’t turn on overhead lights, use table lamps and candles to light the rooms. It makes the room feel more intimate and warm. Finally, wear warm and comfy things and drink a warm cup of tea with someone you love while watching the fire. Creating these types rituals in the evenings after a warm meal will bring about a comforting time of reflection and connection that are essential to the season. Don’t miss our Getting Cozy Edit to get all sorts of ideas to get your Hygge on.

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

2. Go Outside Every Day and/or Stay Active:
I remember our neighbor said, the only way to make it through winter in one piece is to get out in it. So I figured I would take his advice, since he is over 60 and lived her most of his life. That man is outside every day doing something this winter and many times I am there waving at him as I strap on my snowshoes and head out on a walk in the lake effect snow. A few weeks into the heart of winter and I can say he just may be on to something. The winters are long here (November – April) so it is imperative to enjoy the fluffy white stuff we are surrounded by here. But even if you don’t have the chance to enjoy the snow, I think making sure to stay active is especially important. When we lived in Raleigh I made sure to go to the gym every day. It ALWAYS made me feel better on a dreary and cold day. I left toasty warm and with tons of endorphins pumping, which left me happy and in good spirits.

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

3. Slow Down:
Winter is the season of slowness. Look around you. It takes longer to drive places. It takes longer to get ready to leave the house. It takes longer to cook a great winter meal. It takes longer to walk through the snow to get the mail. Everything takes longer and it used to be I would hate it. I felt winter was a useless and unnecessary hurdle in my life instead of seeing it as nature’s reminder that there needs to be a season to be slow. So, this year I have spent the last month slowing myself down mentally and physically. I have added fewer things to my plate and embraced that things take time, should be savored, and there is beauty in slowing down. As a result, I feel so much more contentment in my day. Many things don’t happen on my list, but I have realized that the things that do happen are the most important things that needed to be done. By not overworking and I find time for planning, dreaming, knitting, lettering, and doing those cozy things I talked about above. It is nice to remember the importance of slow in life and challenge myself to settle in during these days.

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

4. Reflect:
Have you ever walked outside during a good snow? What do you hear? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The snow hushes the world and that silence is a reminder to us to hibernate, reflect, and look inward. There isn’t one other season that offers silence such as that other than winter. I see the time between January to March as a time to reflect, find our footing, dream, and work through things properly so that as the snow melts away we can surface prepared to move forward. This doesn’t mean you stop life, it simply means you are intentional in enjoying and honoring the silence instead of fighting it.

5. Stay Warm
There is nothing that makes winter feel worse than constantly feeling cold. That is why when we moved back I told Mike we all would be warm this year and we would invest in the right things to keep us that way. Being cold makes the days seem longer than they should be. Finding a Parka, getting great gloves, and the list goes on is very important to staying warm and actually being able to enjoy the weather. I wrote a post here for you if you need it.

Don’t forget to check out our edit all about getting cozy and enjoying winter in our shop if you want some ideas of things to add to your home this time of year or even what to pull out from your own collection of things.

How do you choose to enjoy this season and make the most of it? I would love to hear!

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