Creating Brightness this Winter

Collectively it seems that our society is embracing all things fall while actively dreading the season ahead. Our lives turned on a dime late last winter and it felt like summer gave us a bit of solace – the outdoors, hiking, seeing friends and family at a distance. Many of my conversations as of late have turned to winter: how are we going to navigate it!?

I’m determined to thrive this winter. It’s one of my favorite seasons – I absolutely adore snow and wintry scenes, and skiing is one of my greatest passions. We are busy making preparations in my home to set us up for success during the winter months that are fast approaching. I wanted to share some of our ideas, as well as some that have come up in conversations from friends. I’d love to hear what you’re doing to prepare, too.

  1. Install outdoor heaters
  2. Stock up on cozy blankets for covered patios/porches – social distance adult time is still possible in the cold/snow/rain with a little creativity and planning
  3. Hang holiday lights or big globe string lights to boost brightness outdoors
  4. Add brightness inside – refresh lighting, add candles/flameless candles
  5. Purchase a wood-burning stove or a gas fireplace to up the cozy in your living space
  6. Get an outdoor fire feature – a fire table, build a fire pit or a propane fire ring
  7. De-clutter the house and create lighter spaces indoors
  8. Add indoor plants
  9. Schedule weekly date night in
  10. Embrace a winter sport/hobby – cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, ice skating, etc.
  11. Make & schedule time to exercise indoors – we’re loving classes on the Peloton app
  12. Make & schedule time to exercise outdoors – Tuesdays and Thursdays are my rain-or-shine running days
  13. Think extra creatively about social time in person, if safe and possible
  14. The Marco Polo app is nice for video messages back and forth when live chat can’t be attained.
  15. If you’re having a down day, reach out! Send a text to a friend and just say “hi.”
  16. Go easy on the coffee & booze
  17. Surround yourself with photos of family, friends and places that make you happy
  18. Find something to look forward to
  19. Plan a hypothetical trip, or a post-pandemic trip
  20. Set a reading goal
  21. Join {or start!} a virtual book club
  22. Fill your life and spaces with positive energy, people and things
  23. Bring out the board and card games and have a weekly game night – virtual games are a thing, too!
  24. Rent an Airbnb in your region and get a change of scenery, plus have something to look forward to
  25. Invest in cozy pajamas and slippers

Setting our collective expectations and attitudes appropriately can help change the course of our winter. We all have unique situations and ideas about what the upcoming season might look like – I hope you’re able to visualize yourself happy, cozy and calm this winter.