Today is Wednesday.
1. Get outside every single day.
I am going to read a new book, Frederick.
There was a stone wall on the meadow. In that wall, not far from the barn and the granary, a chatty family of field mice had their home. As the winter was coming, they all had to collect food day and night, except a mouse whose name was Frederick. They asked him why he didn't work. He said he did work. He gathered sunrays for the dark winter. He gathered colors for the gray winter. He gathered words for the silent winter. Then winter days came. At the beginning, they had many food to eat. But as time went by, their food became less and less every day. They remembered Frederick's gathering and asked him to show them. Frederick climbed onto a big stone. He asked them to close their eyes and feel the warm sunrays and the plants' colors. They asked, "What about the words?"
It's important to stay active throughout the winter months. Cycle to work. Walk your kids to school. Shovel snow. Go on weekend hikes with family or friends. Plan a winter camping trip. Visit local festivals. Just don't hibernate!
Frederick cleared his throat waited a moment, and then, as if from a stage, he said:
"Who scatters snowflakes? Who melts the ice?
2. Plant an indoor garden.
Who spoils the weather? Who makes it nice?
Who grows the four-leaf clovers in June?
You can grow vegetables indoors or simply surround yourself with houseplants that add a cheery, peaceful vibe to a room.
Who dims the daylight? Who lights the moon?
Four little field mice who live in the sky.
3. Cook cozy, cold-weather fare.
Four little field mice… like you and I.
One is the Springmouse who turns on the showers,
Embrace how the change in seasons affects your diet. Make slow simmering stews and braises, spicy curries, heaps of soups, and fresh homemade breads. Winter is the best time to bake. Turning on the oven can warm your house and make the kitchen a gathering point for the family.
Then comes the Summer who paints in the flowers.
The Fallmouse is next with walnuts and wheat.
4. Invite friends over.
And Winter is last… with little cold feet.
Aren’t we lucky the seasons are four?
Host informal gatherings on weekend evenings. No one will complain about curling up on a living room sofa to play board games for hours or to watch a movie together. Host a spa night with friends.
Think of a year with one less… or one more!"
When Frederick had finished, they all applauded. "Frederick,” they said, “you are a poet!”
5. Create rituals you enjoy.
Frederick blushed, took a bow, and said shyly, “I know it.”
I love taking hot bubble baths on winter evenings and drinking homemade matcha lattes or chai tea in the afternoons. My husband and I watch a favorite show and eat popcorn in front of the fireplace after kids have gone to bed.
6. Start a supper club.
Meet once a month, alternating between people's houses, and take turns choosing a theme and assigning dishes. Or you could make a batch of spaghetti and sauce and whoever wants to join can show up to eat if they bring a bottle of wine, garlic bread, or dessert.
7. Make a reading list.
If you're going out less in the evenings, then you should have more time to tackle all those books you wish you could read. Make winter your reading season, with dedicated hours spent in silence, traveling the world from the comfort of your couch. Set a goal, i.e. one book per week.
8. Keep the windows uncovered.
Keeping curtains open or using gauzy transparent ones to allow sunlight to enter the home. This will brighten the space, boost your mood, and make the short days feel just a wee bit longer.
9. Turn the lights on.
This might sound environment-unfriendly, but if it prevents depression and makes you more productive, it's worth the tradeoff. Use LED bulbs so the energy cost can be pretty low.
10. Invest in some really great socks.
You may raise an eyebrow or even laugh aloud, but this is real, folks. Nothing is more miserable than having cold feet, and I highly recommend spending the money on a few great pairs of wool socks that will keep your feet toasty warm and dry all day long.?