We all knew this was coming, but now it’s here: winter quarantine.
Whether you are actually in isolation, staying in to be safe, or simply not going out as much because everything is shut down, you can probably agree that being home so much can get a bit monotonous.
The nights are getting longer and the days are getting colder, and this means that we need to put a bit of extra effort into self care. Giving yourself things to look forward to; paying attention to comfort in every part of your day; and adding to the coziness of your surroundings go a long way toward preserving mental health — especially this winter! Introducing rituals into your day or week can also bring a surprising amount of meaning when things feel a bit hopeless and winter is stretching out ahead of us.
Here, we’ve gathered some of our favourite ideas to Keep it Cozy this winter. Check out our accompanying “Keep it Cozy” playlist:
Add to your cozy vibe with beeswax candles!
All beeswax candles from Honey Candles are 15% off until December 7. Click here to order now.
Without further ado, our 10 Cozy Tricks for Maximum Hygge This Winter!
#1 Adjust Your Lighting
Lighting can make a world of difference to the mood of a room. Keep your spaces cozy by examining your lighting and making changes if needed. Think dim, warm and if possible, twinkly. Our favourite options are candles and Christmas lights.
Candles give off literal warmth, while also creating a welcoming atmosphere. Just be sure to supervise them well! Stick to beeswax or soy candles for a clean burning option that will last a long time and not contribute to any respiratory issues.
Christmas lights are another quick and easy way to add a little whimsy to any space. You might already be hanging these as the season is at hand, but even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, twinkle lights are a nice option — year round! The ready availability of LED lights also makes this a much more earth-friendly option.
#2 A Pleasant Scent Goes a Long Way
Scent has such powerful ties to mood and memory — why not use that to our advantage?
One of our favourite ways to bring scent into the home is to simmer a pot of water on the stove with apple slices (apple cores work too!), cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, orange or lemon peels, slices of ginger and/or nutmeg.
Candles are also a lovely way to scent your home. We prefer beeswax candles as their scent is natural, built-in and non-harmful. Did we mention that beeswax candles are 15% off until December 7?
If you use a diffuser, try essential oil blends that are cheerful and uplifting — synergy blends like Walkin’ on Sunshine and Sunflower Citrus are happy citrus scents while Secret Garden is a lovely floral blend. Scents like jasmine, bergamot, tangerine, spearmint, or May Chang might put a little pep in your step.
#3 Bring a Little Mindfulness to Your Day
There are lots of little ways to practice mindfulness — it depends what works best for you! For instance, you could start with one of these three easy ways to be more mindful this week.
We like using the Insight Timer app for meditation. You can choose based on the amount of time you have, your meditation goals, and the type of meditation you want. Even five minutes a few days a week makes a difference.
Or, you could try journalling every day. Remember that it doesn’t have to be about your feelings or what you did today. There are all sorts of journals: gratitude journals; weather journals; garden journals; food journals; one word journals and more! Maybe you’d enjoy journalling about the birds you see; the pandemic; or even daily affirmations.
#4 Up Your Hot Drink Game
Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Maybe a warm elixir from Harmonic Arts? No matter your drink of choice, you can make it a special daily ritual with a few small tweaks.
- Make a flavoured simple syrup to sweeten your coffee.
- Try “Tea with Mitts” — hot tea cocktails like Blueberry Tea that combine high quality tea with the alcohol or liqueur of your choice. Get creative!
- Buy some really nice coffee beans and grind them yourself.
- Get a can of real whipped cream in your next grocery order — or mini marshamallows! Ooh! Or sprinkles!!
- Sip your tea from a locally-made artisan mug.
- Use canned coconut milk in your hot chocolate or elixir. Or, add a couple of cocoa butter wafers.
- Add extra cocoa to a store-bought hot chocolate mix. (Though you likely won't need extra cocoa with ours -- it's rich and chocolatey!)
- Put a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, cardamom or ginger in your coffee or hot chocolate.
#5 Treat Yo’self!
There’s no need to gorge yourself on leftover fun-size chocolate bars when a little bit of a really special treat would go a long way.
Maybe you could whip up a nostalgic treat that reminds you of happy times. That might be your mom’s chocolate chip cookies; the mashed potatoes your dad used to make for Thanksgiving; a favourite childhood breakfast; or anything else that feels like a comforting treat.
Or, you could buy yourself a really special treat. Perhaps a beautiful macaron from your favourite bakery, a fancy cupcake or a lovely lemon tart? Enjoy it on a fancy plate, by candle light. With our “Keep it Cozy” playlist playing!
#6 Give Yourself the Home Spa Experience
Yes, we know a bath isn’t the self care solution to everything! But a nice bath or shower treatment sure doesn’t hurt anything — especially if you’ve been working from home and living in your sweat pants for six months.
For showers, a couple of simple upgrades like a Shower Steamer for aromatherapy, and a customized body scrub make this daily ritual feel special. Use this recipe to make an amazing body scrub and use it in the shower to moisturize while you exfoliate. Add a scent that makes you happy.
You can make your bath more special by adding bath salts or foam, or a bath bomb; putting plants or crystals or candles around the tub; bringing in a special drink; watching something special or maybe listening to our “Keep it Cozy” playlist. Check out these instructions from our Laura on creating a ritual bath.
Or, have a full home spa day, complete with a facial.
#7 Keep Yourself Occupied With Some Wholesome Activities
What’s your favourite wholesome activity? Bonus points if you could do it by candlelight! We love jigsaw puzzles, board game nights and of course, reading.
One thing we’ve done that has renewed our excitement to read was to create a short list of books we’re really excited about. Sometimes, we might feel obligated to read certain books or read about certain subjects — but then reading might start to feel like an obligation. This winter, stick to books that you’re really excited about, so you can’t wait to pick up where you left off.
#8 Send Some Love
Reach out to the people you care about, even if you can’t see them in person. When you need something to do, consider spending a full day writing cards and letters — then mail them right away! It’s such a simple way to brighten someone’s day.
If you have the resources, you could also consider creating a care package to send to someone who could you the pick-me-up. Or, save yourself the time and order a curated gift box to have delivered right to their door.
No one to write to? How about taking on a pen pal? You can both look forward to receiving letters!
#9 Fort-ify Your Coziness
Our very favourite way to get nostalgic: building a fort!
Think snow fort, blanket fort, pillow fort, tree fort… What’s your favourite kind of fort?
For maximum coziness, of course, we do recommend a blanket fort or pillow fort. You could even watch episodes 13 and 14 of season three of Community for inspiration!
If you get super inspired by Community and want to start a fort war, you can do so virtually with your friends. Have everyone build a fort at their own home. Then, you all share video tours with one another. Slightly more amicable than Pillowtown and Blanketsburg.
Now that your fort is built, employ it to make movie night a special occasion. Wear something super cozy (like a onesie?!); grab your favourite candy and snacks; whip up some popcorn worthy of the occasion; don’t forget the special drink, and make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Whether that means putting your feet up, creating a pile of cushions to lie in, grabbing a soft blanket or anything else that might keep you comfortable, do what you need to make the experience memorable!
#10 Straight Up Get Cozy
Most importantly, stay comfy all winter long! Only wear the softest clothes; do what you need to do to stay warm — hot baths, slippers and heating pads come to mind; and wrap yourself in your favourite soft blanket. And consider buying yourself a few pairs of super cozy socks to cycle through all winter.
You might even plan a night, day or entire weekend for yourself and your significant other to stay in bed. Plan ahead for your food, shows to stream and any other activities you might want to use to wile away the time.
Now go on, get out of here! Go light a candle and get cozy!
Reminder: add to your cozy vibe with beeswax candles!
We'll say it one last time: all beeswax candles from Honey Candles are 15% off until December 7. Click here to order now.
You could also WIN a beautiful 5x3" beeswax pillar candle from Honey Candles and an 85g tin of Cinnamon Plum looseleaf herbal holiday tea from Natur'el Tea! Click here to enter!