As the warm, sunny days draw to an end and the weather gets colder, some of us get into the routine of hunkering down and staying inside. It might be hard to enjoy the colder temperatures if you’re unsure of how to fill your time during the fall and winter months. But never fear! Cold weather benefits far surpass shorter days and runny noses. There are plenty of things to look forward to in winter!
If you’re dreaming of ways to pass the winter months, we’ve got you covered. The number one way to get through the cold weather is by practicing hygge. What’s hygge? We’re glad you asked.
Hygge tips for winter
Hygge, pronounced hue-gah, is a Danish idea encouraging you to be cozy. Whether you know it or not, you’re probably already practicing hygge in some way! When the weather gets colder, you may feel the desire to stay in, bundle up, and read a good book or watch a new movie. But there’s more ways to practice hygge than just that! To be hip with hygge, just try:
- Disconnecting. This could be from social media, work or even your daily routine. Read a book, meditate, listen to a podcast, do yoga, write a gratitude list or jot down your goals. Disconnecting and being in tune with yourself is a great way to practice your hygge tips for winter.
- Creating a hygge nook. This is a place that might include your favorite blanket, a pair of slippers, a roaring fire and even a cup of tea. It’s whatever you want it to be! Try burning your favorite candle, journaling or just enjoying being present in that moment.
- Reconnecting with friends and family. You don’t have to hygge alone. Reconnect with friends and family you haven’t talked to in a while. Create an intimate setting free of distractions so you can spend time with someone. This can be done one-on-one, in a group, or even over a video call! You can even communicate the old-fashioned way, and write a letter while curled up in your hygge nook.
- Bringing the outdoors inside. Plants, firewood, natural stone, flowers and even a fire, can create a cozier natural mood. When the weather gets colder, there’s nothing better than sitting by a fire or smelling flowers that may not be growing outside in the cold.
- Learning a new hobby. Studying a new language, reading, writing, playing an instrument, sewing, or drawing can help you stay present. By focusing on a new hobby you’re allowing yourself to tune in to yourself and the task at hand.
- Baking a new recipe or breaking out the crockpot. Comfort food and hygge go hand in hand. And what better way to celebrate the hygge way of life then by baking a fresh batch of cookies or trying out a new soup recipe. Enjoy the cozy nostalgia as aromas of baked goods or dinner waft through the air on a chilly day.
- “Marie Kondo’ing” your possessions. Simply put, eliminate what you don’t need and what no longer brings you joy. Start by going through cluttered areas and deciding whether you want to keep, donate, or toss household items or clothes. You may come across items you didn’t know you had and that you could repurpose for other use!
The cold weather might make you want to stay in and be cozy, but there’s actually amazing cold weather benefits you can reap from the change of season.
Cold weather benefits
Believe it or not—cold weather may be beneficial to your health! Look forward to colder weather, as it may:
- Help you sleep better. When you sleep, your body temperature drops so you can fall asleep, and stay asleep. This is a natural process your body takes care of and can be completed faster when the weather is colder. It’s important not to exercise before bed, as this can increase your body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep. Crack a window or turn down your thermostat when getting ready for bed and see if this improves your quality of sleep!
- Fight off infection and reduce inflammation. Colder temperatures help to reduce inflammation and fight off infection. When you’re cold, your immune system becomes more active, helping you fight off any potential intruders. The cold weather may also help reduce joint swelling, as the decrease in temperature acts as a natural ice pack for your body. This can be especially beneficial if you suffer from arthritis, or any other joint pain.
- Make you more productive. You may be more productive than you think when the weather is colder because your body uses less glucose for mental processes. The next time you’re suffering from a mental roadblock, try turning down the thermostat or going for a brisk walk in the cold. It may help spark your best idea yet!
- Burn extra calories. When it’s cold, your body has to work harder to maintain it’s core temperature. Your heart pumps harder to warm your body, resulting in some extra caloric burn! If you live in an area where you get snow, try some winter sports such as snowshoeing,
ice-skating, skiing or snowboarding.
Remember all the things to look forward to in winter!
Colder weather doesn’t have to be grim! Embrace the cooler temps and look forward to trying out some hygge ideas and reaping the health benefits along with it.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.