This bit of winter is feeling hard. The novelty of cold weather is wearing thin and there’s plenty of it to come yet. Keeping up the optimism of the new year can be difficult. Just when you think you’re powering through January like a pro you slip on the hard ice and fall headfirst into a case of the winter blues.
But we must hold fast. We haven’t got much choice, have we? Unless you can afford to fly off somewhere warm, the only option is to stick it out.
Remember last Monday I said that we should start every week like it’s a new notebook? Well, this is what’s in my notebook this week: small ways to find comfort in winter.
Try and get out and enjoy it. Even if it’s through gritted teeth. In winter, cabin fever is rife. Make a positive choice to leave the house. Not because you have to, because you want to. Take a walk with friends or family, or a spin on your bike. Take pleasure in the cold – slide on the ice, drink hot chocolate from a flask and run around until you warm up.
If you are stuck indoors, then how about doing something to change the four walls you’re stick of staring at? It doesn’t have to be redecorating. It can just be as simple as moving round the furniture. We’ve been doing this lately – swapping furniture between our study and sitting room. Moving things around really re-energises the house and makes you look at things in a different light. Rediscover things you’ve lost and sit on a different side of the room. It really does make a difference. It does make a mess, but in a constructive sort of way. It feels a bit like moving house.
Bake. Take advantage of time spent indoors and make that cake or bake you’ve been thinking about for a while. That tricky cinnamon bun recipe you’ve seen? Spend a morning at home making it. Recently I made a carrot cake recipe that I tore out of a magazine 14 years ago. I’ve been carrying it around that long and it gave me great satisfaction to finally make it. And eat it.
Frantic spring watching. In spite of the cold, I’m still seeking comfort in the signs of the (distant) spring. The days are getting fractionally longer – it was still light at 4.15pm here yesterday. Little snowdrops are popping up and the viburnums are flowering (it’s that pink blossom you probably keep seeing in front gardens everywhere).
Bring spring indoors. I love flowers – choosing and arranging them is like putting on my positive pants. I don’t have a lot of money to spare for flowers – but you don’t need to spend much to make a difference. My trick is to go to our local market and buy one little bunch for a £1 – four or five tulips, or some carnations. Or try Aldi for nice bouquets for less than £5.
Make a cosy corner to escape to with cushions and your favourite blanket. I really love this new blanket I bought from the National Trust. Red isn’t my usual colour but I’m loving it with the grey-blue of our sitting room. Re-read a book or immerse yourself in an easy-read series to get you through winter. We’re all currently reading Harry Potter books in our house.
Comfort TV. January’s not the time for anything too challenging. My current favourite is the Gilmore Girls. People kept telling me I should watch it, so I am. I’m halfway through series one, which originally aired in 2000. How have I never heard of it before? Did it even air in the UK? I’m also amused that I was 16 in 2000 (the same age as Rory in series one) and I’m now the same age as Lorelai (32). Amusing, and also slightly horrifying. I’m enjoying reliving my early noughties wardrobe choices. Anyway, it’s the perfect light viewing for winter.
So that’s what I’m doing. How are you finding comfort in winter?
And don’t forget to join in with #OnePerfectThing on Instagram – the gallery is currently full of winter inspiration!