Ever wished you could just hibernate throughout the winter? Imagine waking up after a couple of months, hearing the birds chirping outside, and feeling the slightly warmer air on your skin before eating six months’ worth of food in one sitting.
While it’s going to be difficult for us to stay asleep during the dark months, we can still prep our homes to take better care of us in the winter. That way, you can feel a bit better about staying in or even just staying asleep when it’s freezing cold outside.
Here is a handful of the best ways to make your space both cosier and warmer, plus some extra tips on how to keep your energy up when the temperature is sinking.
It might even make it seem like spring is arriving a little bit faster so that you can get back to feeling like yourself again.
#1 Make use of your slow cooker
If you haven’t gotten into the idea of cooking yet, it’s time you were introduced to the slow cooker. It is, arguably, everybody’s best friend during these freezing months as you’ll be able to enjoy batches of delicious stews, meat so tender it falls apart with the touch of a fork and warming meals to warm up your cold soul after a long day at work.
The great thing about the slow cooker is that it can be turned on before you go to work in the morning – and you’ll arrive to a home filled with delicious aromas and a perfectly cooked meal.
It really is that simple and, if your slow cooker is good enough, you don’t even have to stir it at all before serving.
An excellent tip is to just brown the meat quickly before putting it into the slow cooker. You can leave your vegetables uncooked, by the way, but that added brownness to your meat is going to build layers of flavour you wouldn’t have gotten without it.
You can skip it, though, if you’re pressed for time and it certainly won’t do any damage to your meal, at the end of the day. Browned or un-browned, just layer your meat on top of your root vegetables such as onions, carrots, and potatoes before adding a cup or so of stock or just regular water.
Add salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you prefer, pop the lid on, turn the slow cooker on low, and head off to work.
#2 Learn to make winter meals
Another point to this is that you should try to figure out which meals keep you going throughout the winter. This goes beyond the mere slow cooker, though, as you can’t really eat slow cooker meals for breakfast – or, you can if you want to, but it’s a bit odd.
Some meals tend to give you more energy than others and are just a perfect part of getting through those ice-cold mornings.
Porridge, for example, is a tried-and-tested favourite. It doesn’t always fill as well as some people claim, though, and if you belong to the group that gets hungry half an hour after eating a bowl of porridge, you should try to pair it with something else.
Add a handful of nuts, fruits, or berries and even a little bit of kefir over it. It’s going to keep you full for a lot longer than a bowl of porridge with nothing else in it, and it’s perfectly warming and comforting for those freezing mornings.
Think about your other meals the same way and build up a couple of your favourite lunch meals for the winter season. Have a look at this article for some ideas before you head into the kitchen to experiment.
It is, after all, one of the tastiest and most satisfying ways to learn a new skill.
#3 Invest in your bathroom routine
Now that you have taken care of your kitchen needs for the winter, it’s time to think about how you can make your bath time even more enjoyable. It is important to think about these things as it is, in all fairness, the best time of the year to enjoy those warm baths – and it will even make you appreciate winter a bit more.
There are several ways to make your baths even better, though, and you can simply enjoy a regular bubble bath, upgrade to experiment with one of those bath bombs, or even add a few drops of essential oils into your bath.
It’s not to cure you of any illnesses, though, no matter what those essential oil aunts are telling you on Facebook; a few drops of lavender will do nothing more than smell lovely and calm your nerves a bit.
It is still a great way to clear your sinuses, however, in case you’ve been struggling with a cold this winter. Make sure that the warm water reaches up to your chest and consider using a few drops of something more refreshing such as mint or lemon. Breathe in the perfumed air and let the warm water clear up your cough a bit.
You can do more to your bathroom, by the way, in order to enjoy it even more. Consider treating yourself to a few new fluffy towels, for example, a new soft bathrobe, and even a heated towel rail if you’re feeling extravagant. The latter is available here so that you can wrap yourself up in a fresh and warm towel right after that bath.
When it comes to the bathroom, it’s really all about the small things that can make you spend even more time in there. Upgrade your skincare selection as well, if you’re able to, and notice the difference it has on your skin during these cold months.
#4 Build a reading nook
If you’re able to spend a lot of time inside but hardly able to sleep through it all, you should find yourself a reading corner to curl up in. This can definitely be a corner for listening to your audiobooks instead, though, in case you’re not that into reading – or for knitting, drinking bottomless cups of tea, or simply pondering over life.
In short, it should be a corner that you can use for your hobbies and anything else than just watching Netflix.
See if you’re able to find somewhere close to a window, equip it with some greenery to set the mood, a lot of soft pillows and blankets, and hope for a couple of snowy days while you’re enjoying your new nook.
You can have a look at this article if you need some inspiration on where to start, by the way, and you’ll soon find yourself unable to do anything else than just slothing around in your reading corner.
If you’d like to use it for actually reading, it’s a good idea to get some new books for the winter as well; that way, you won’t even have to open the front door to get the package from the delivery guy.
#5 Enjoy the outside world too
Alright, you may have to go outside once in a while, if only to make a living and stock up on groceries again. While you can stay freezing and resentful about the trip you need to make outside, there are, in fact, ways to enjoy the wintery world outside without hating it.
Plus, when you spend some time outside, you will enjoy those naps in your reading nook even more.
Remember to dress in layers of clothes, just like you were told as a kid, and focus on keeping your feet and head warm. Being outside during the winter if actually not that bad when you manage to stay warm; you might even find yourself enjoying it a bit more than you thought.
Try to get involved in some winter activities as well, if you’re feeling brave, and you may actually end up looking forward to winter once March arrives. Take your kids out on a sledge ride, go for walks in the snow with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and just breathe in the crisp air.
It is, after all, so many things you can enjoy during winter that you simply can’t have when the temperature is rising again.
So light some candles inside while it’s all dark and snowy out there, wrap some outside lights around your garden trees, and enjoy the season when it’s perfectly acceptable to just stay inside and eat, drink, and enjoy the view outside.