“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell
Cometh the chill, cometh the short days, cometh Mid-Winter. Winter can suffer from a bit of a bad reputation. However, like all of our wonderful and diverse seasons, there is so much to love and so much to appreciate about this time of year. Yes, it’s a little cold and a bit dark, but there are feelings and phenomena that occur only during this season. So, pine not for the Spring or Summer, settle down and appreciate the wonder that is happening around you right here and now!
1. Social Wind-Down
The warmer months tend to have us out and about a lot. Summer parties, barbecues, holidays, beer gardens, picnics, and many more gatherings; we are out being social all the time. Of course, the Winter is not devoid of social events, Christmas is around the corner after all. But the average week in mid-January does not tend to be as socially buoyant as a week in May might be. This is something to embrace. Often, when we are riding a wave of social engagements, we forget to take time to be with ourselves; to check out where we are and to do literally nothing at all. Your body and brain need down time; rest and recovery. So, take the opportunity to be with yourself a little more before Spring comes.
2. Duvet Days
It’s not uncommon to feel a little guilty about a day spent under a duvet or a blanket. For me it stems back to when I was a kid; on a sunny Summer day, my Mum couldn’t fathom why on Earth I’d want to be hunkering down in a den made of blankets behind the sofa when I could have been playing outside. Anyway, if there is a time to release that guilty feeling and simply enjoy a day looking out at the chilly landscape from under the covers, then Winter is that time. Embrace the Nordic tradition of Hygge; nourish your soul with the sensation of safety and cosiness.
3. Hobby Time
The fact that we are indoors more often during the Winter means that we have more solo down-time on our hands. Hobbies and projects often get shelved during busier, more outdoor friendly, periods. So, perhaps its time to learn that thing you’ve been meaning to learn, or to pick up that instrument, or paint that room or build that chair. If there are kids in the house, this is also an awesome time to get hands on with them and teach them something new. Great activities for the kids (and fun for adults as well) include baking, sculpting with clay, painting, or cracking out some Lego.
4. Fashion Change
This is an oddly common thing I hear when I talk to others about winter. ‘Ooh, can’t wait to get my big coat out, I miss it.’ The change over to cold appropriate clothing is often strangely exciting. The jumpers, scarves, jackets and gloves that you forgot you had and loved can come off the bench and back into your garment circulation. It’s like having a whole new wardrobe without having spent a penny.
5. One-Pot Comforts
If there was ever a time for comfort food, now is most certainly it. Stews, casseroles, pies and hotpots; this is their territory. Sure, the salads and light dinners of the Summer were nice, but now is the season of hugging food. Put that stew together, let it blip away on the stove for an afternoon, filling your home with warmth, aroma and comfort.
6. The Silence of Winter
At some point, you will probably have to go outside. When you do you might notice that there are less people about. This, joined with the fact that bare trees and hibernating wildlife adorn nature with a stillness, gives the world a blanket of apparent silence. If you find yourself in a peaceful clearing or on an uncluttered street, just stop for a moment and appreciate the serenity and stillness of Winter.
By Chris Thomson
There are loads of reasons to be happy and grateful here in this article. If you’d like some more thing to appreciate, why not check out this post from a few months back? Reasons to Be Happy
*The Conscious Professional is dedicated to providing corporate mindfulness and professional resilience training, executive coaching and wellbeing services at the level of professional excellence. Thank you for following our blog.