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Winters and You: Making the Most of the Indoor Season
Feeling trapped inside this winter? Hard winters can mean feelings of low energy, exhaustion, and low self-esteem. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Staying in for the winter is a great opportunity to flex your coziness muscles, make a batch of mulled wine, become a tea connoisseur, and catch up on that classic novel you’ve always intended to read.
Whether you’re planning on taking it easy or need to find new things to keep yourself occupied, treating yourself well throughout the winter can make your indoor time rejuvenating and relaxing. Check out a few of our suggestions about some indoor luxuries and welcome yourself home for the winter season.
Making sure that you have good lighting is the key to minimizing that feeling of being trapped indoors and to maximizing the luxuriously cozy winter experience that your home has to offer. Have you ever noticed that cool-toned lighting makes you feel a little cold, no matter your surroundings, and warm-toned light adds a feeling of warmth to a room?
Many of us have coiled fluorescent lighting in our homes. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) might be energy savers, but their light tends to be cold and white. Don’t worry, you don’t have to revert to your old incandescent bulbs. Instead, try warm-toned LEDs to trick yourself into feeling cozy throughout the winter.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s bright! Dim lights are good for a date night, but dim lighting during the daytime can make you feel prematurely tired and even depressed. Giving yourself a variety of lighting options will allow you to effortlessly cycle through moods in your own home.
You might also want to consider light therapy if you start to feel a bit down during winter – you can read more about light therapy lamps here.
Master the Matcha Latte
For some of us, coffee feels too “workday” to be comforting as a drink for the home. Your average cup of joe with a dash of milk and agave syrup, while familiar, can seem tired and old when you’re stuck inside trying to make your own indoor winter wonderland. To give yourself that extra boost that lasts throughout the day, start with a matcha latte instead.
Matcha is an antioxidant-rich superfood that increases the metabolism and gives you clean caffeine energy. But not all matcha lattes are created equal, as everyone has their own taste. Start by blooming your matcha powder in hot water with a whisk, then froth and add in the milk and sweetener of your choice. The G+S team often use a little honey in our matcha lattes. For a dairy-free option, you can substitute in almond milk. You can learn more about matcha and green tea in general here.
Take Up a Craft
To really make the most of your indoor time, you can learn a craft. Maker culture is booming right now. This means that while you practice your new craft, you can connect online or through social media to fun networks of makers all around the world.
This can be DIY home improvement projects, like assembling floating shelves, or something like drawing or painting. Calligraphy, lettering, and handwriting practice are very popular and often lead to creative journaling. Other people might want to try indoor photography.
Don’t forget knitting and sewing, the tried-and-true winter crafts. Not only do knit clothes keep reviving themselves in fashion every year during the winter season, but they are also dead useful for the cold months. Thanks to the internet, cute and on-trend patterns are coming out all the time. The same goes for sewing. Your sewing machine can do more than quilt and hem pants. Think of it when you’re sitting inside and imagining new window curtains or thinking of that dream dress you can never seem to find in stores. If you’re looking for the perfect sewing machine, check out our article here.
Chances are that at some point during winter you will find yourself binge-watching the latest TV shows. Take this opportunity to treat yourself to a full spa day.
Begin by setting the mood. Open the window shades for natural light, or at the other extreme dim down your surroundings and light some candles. Pop open a craft beer and pour it into a pint glass before you start, or pour yourself a glass of wine – and reduce the stress of opening it by using a quality electric wine opener. Own the day, make it yours, treat yourself. Need a bubbly rosé right now? We’re not judging.
Now you’re ready for your spa time. The dryness of the winter season can be hard on your hair and skin, causing split ends and flakiness. And all that holiday stress? Now’s the time to let it all go. Relax, soak your feet, put on a face mask, and don’t neglect your hair and nails.
Indoor Winter Garden
If you have large windows and a morning routine that could easily include sprinkling water over a few flowerpots, you might find it worthwhile to grow an indoor winter garden. Aside from having a hobby that brings the outdoors to you and helps keep you from going stir crazy, the major benefits of indoor gardens are that you can eat from them.
With your indoor garden, you will be able to have healthy greens and fresh herbs around the house all the time. Depending on the amount of sunlight you get, your indoor garden might need fluorescent lamps in addition to natural light. Try to grow your own baby kale, spinach, arugula, basil, rosemary, parsley, or cilantro.
Start Training for the Spring
For people used to training and working out, the winter season can be a killer, as biking and running outside become more sporadic and things such as backpacking become practically impossible.. Make the decision to start training this winter so that you can do even more when it comes time to get outdoors again. There’s a lot that you can do inside to keep your body working and moving at its peak performance.
Most gyms will have machines that allow you to work on your biking and spinning. Stationary bicycles often have programs for training, whether you are looking to do resistance training for mountain biking or long distance. You can also design your own training plan. If you have a specific route in mind that you want to tackle during the Spring, then map it out and practice some of the features that you will need to bike. This kind of planning will give purpose to the winter season and have you looking forward to the Spring with determination.
Many people find running on a treadmill (Groom+Style has some recommendations) to be bland when compared with running outdoors. If you have trouble keeping up with treadmill running, then you might benefit from making a plan with training goals. The satisfaction of accomplishing a training goal might be enough to keep you energized even when running indoors.
If you don’t have a specific goal that you’re training for, it might be worthwhile completing a yoga challenge during the winter to maintain your strength and balance. If you can do something every day for a month, you will most likely be able to form a habit. Most 30 Day Yoga Challenges are based on the idea that you can improve your circulation, flexibility, strength, and mindfulness by doing focused yoga sessions every day for a month. Yoga has the added benefit during the winter season of being exceptionally good for stress relief. These challenges are often graduated, as your abilities expand with consistent practice.
For many people, the hardest factor of the winter season can be the loneliness. Events and parties are sporadic, as friends and family become busy with their individual lives. In a season of exhaustion, many people find it easier to relax inside during their time off rather than going out spontaneously. But at this time of the year, all it takes is a well planned and thought-out event to get people looking forward to socializing again.
So, when you’re really feeling the winter blues, don’t forget that you don’t have to be alone. Invite friends over for dinner party. You can schedule this so that everyone cooks together or research and learn new recipes to impress. It will be worth it just to have a reason to clean up the house and have a little warmth and laughter in your home.
If you’re having trouble coming up with inspiration for your dinner party, you can pick a themed meal. If you’re planning an Italian meal, ask your guests to pick up Italian wine. If you’re afraid your guests might need some help breaking the ice, prepare a party game. And try not to stress. Friends will have more fun if you are stress-free than if you are fretting about forgetting the olives.
Just because you’re indoors throughout the winter doesn’t mean that it needs to be wasted time. Stay energized and enthusiastic about what you’re doing, and you will find ways to make your winter hobbies worthwhile.