You know I'm a summer girl at heart, but I have to say, after 33 years, I feel like I’ve finally found my winter stride. Part of it is probably because we’re already halfway through January and have only had one major snowstorm and temperatures consistently in the mid-40s, but part of me thinks I’ve just figured out how to make winter work for me.
For starters, by shifting my perspective. I used to think of January as the beginning of the end: the early days of post-holiday depression and the precursor to the long, dark, desolate winter days ahead. What I’m realizing more and more now though is that January is actually kind of secretly awesome. Sure it’s a bummer coming off of, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but it’s also a much-needed breather. December is a taker (time, money, energy), but January is a giver if you let it be (read: R&R).
Think of it this way: From Thanksgiving through New Year's you’ve seen pretty much everyone you know. You’ve caught up with friends and family, made a year’s worth of social appearances in 6 weeks, and most likely thoroughly exhausted yourself in the process. But guess what? So has everyone else! And what this means is that no one expects you to do anything. You essentially have a month-long get-out-of-jail-free card. In January, it is 100% acceptable to hide out under your electric blanket and catch up on laying down.
Is this not amazing?
Plus, with all of this newfound downtime, you’ve finally got a minute to take stock of your life, reflect on the year that’s just come to a close, and get clear on your goals and intentions for the new year. Personally, I’ve found that setting one resolution doesn’t really cut it for me, so I’ve taken to creating a “Top 10” list of goals for the year. A few on my agenda for 2017:
- Blog 33 times (in honor of my Jesus Year)
- Volunteer at my local Cat Cafe
- Take (at least) one semester-long photography course
- Have an ayurvedic consultation (this has been on my list since 2012, it’s time)
- Take ice skating lessons (because, fun!)
My other secret winter weapon is going above and beyond in the “hygge” department. Everyone knows this term by now, right? It was a finalist for the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016, Word of the Year, and to sum it up, it’s a Danish term that loosely translates to coziness. The Scandinavians make it through winter by getting cozy AF—and you should too.
Here’s a crash course in hygge from a recent article in the The New Yorker:
"Winter is the most hygge time of year. It is candles, nubby woolens, shearling slippers, woven textiles, pastries, blond wood, sheepskin rugs, lattes with milk-foam hearts, and a warm fireplace. Hygge can be used as a noun, adjective, verb, or compound noun, like hyggebukser, otherwise known as that shlubby pair of pants you would never wear in public but secretly treasure. Hygge can be found in a bakery and in the dry heat of a sauna in winter. It’s wholesome and nourishing, like porridge; Danish doctors recommend “tea and hygge” as a cure for the common cold. It’s possible to hygge alone, wrapped in a flannel blanket with a cup of tea, but the true expression of hygge is joining with loved ones in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere."
Yes and yes. Right?
But really, when all else fails and I’m cold and cranky and totally over it…I plan a trip. Making an escape (even a short one) to a warmer climate in March usually gives me the extra boost I need to make it through until Spring without losing my mind. Even if I can’t get away until later in the year, just dreaming up a summer Eurotrip usually does the trick :)
So, basically, what I’m saying here is that January is my jam and winter has finally grown on me. How times have changed...
Game on winter, let's do this.