Curing Winter Blues - Why You Should Look Forward to January!

Everyone talks about it.

The January Gloom.

It's dark, cold, cloudy, and downright depressing.  Seasonal depression is a thing.  You don't get much sun.  You avoid going outside.  You crank up the heater so you only have to wear four layers of clothing.  And to add to the dreariness, you're coming down off the Holiday High you had for the past few months, and now you don't know what to do with yourself!

Should you declutter your pantry?  Maybe pull a Marie Kondo and question if every pair of socks in your drawer brings you joy?  Is it time to start a hobby, or make a resolution?  You're in a funk...maybe it's time for that new long bob haircut you've been wanting to try?

Nah, too cold for that.

All around me I hear people complain about poor January.  They don't know how to decorate after the sparkle of the holidays.  It's still really cold (*NEWSFLASH*: Winter is still for two more months!).  They can't wait for spring and shorts weather.  They've already broken their New Year's resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, quit that habit, or be more productive.  You're in a slump, waiting for something that's so far away that it never seems like it will get here (cherry blossoms, I miss you).

Well, here's why you should look forward to January!

Yes, there's still officially two and a half more months of winter.  Yes, it's still cold.  Yes, it's a bit gloomy outside.  But let me tell you, after this California-Girl-turned-Utah-Snow Bunny changed her perspective, she's never loved the January/February winter slump more!  And here's my secret:


Have you ever heard of this Danish word (pronounced "hue-guh")?  It can't be directly translated, but it conveys a way of living that involves finding joy in the simple things: A home cooked meal, a cozy sweater, a steaming cup of cocoa, the glow of flickering candles, snow falling softly outside, time with family, a good book, the sound of rain tapping on your window...

...if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, with a touch of nostalgia, then that is HYGGE.

Not so coincidentally, "hygge" is the English source for the word "hug", which I think makes all the sense in the world!

The great thing about living hygge is that it's really quite simple.  In fact, the more complicated you make something, the further away from this cozy practice you get!

There's no need to go out and buy a bunch of new, specially branded items promising the experience.  All you really need is you, and a little mindfulness.

Still looking for ideas on where to start?

Here's a list of simple ideas to help you bring in some cozy togetherness and peaceful reflection this winter season:

  • Avoid overhead lights and enjoy the warm glow of lamps and candles (even battery operated!)
  • Put towels in the dryer before you bathe
  • Create a hot drink station with your favorite mugs and mix-ins
  • Start a journal, bonus points if it's on actual paper
  • Add plenty of soft blankets and comfortable pillows to your sofa for cozy movie nights
  • Resurrect an old family tradition, or create a new one - just don't make it complicated
  • Make a simple sugar and coconut oil scrub for your hands and feet - perfect for those dryer winter months
  • Keep twinkle lights around your house even after the holidays
  • Use an essential oil diffuser to make your home smell wonderful
  • Hand write someone a card just to say "hello"
  • Display a favorite photo, frame a treasured card, or hang meaningful art in your home
  • Enjoy a soft glow with natural health benefits with a Himalayan salt lamp
  • Turn off the screens and enjoy a tech-free night - read a book, play board games, make a craft, etc.
  • Keep a dried lavender satchel in your dresser or by your bedside
  • Add life and oxygen to your home with easy to care for potted greens like spider plant, peace lily, snake plants, philodendron, and pothos ivy
  • Use your "good" china, plates, glasses, etc. to make mealtime special
  • Start making your Valentine's gifts early - something thoughtful and handmade is perfect
  • Bundle up and go for a walk - wear a hat, gloves, and wool socks and you'll stay plenty warm while enjoying the fresh frosty air
  • Learn a new cookie recipe and invite a couple friends over to share them, or bake them together!
  • Plan a fun day trip or staycation and explore something local you've been meaning to try
  • Don't make any resolutions - the simple practice of being more mindful will reap many rewards without adding pressure or deadlines

Embrace the slower pace this winter and look for ways to improve your home, health, and heart.  It's the perfect time to reset and evaluate all that's good in your life!

Time for changes?  Make use of the season to create better habits and intentions, live in the moment, and enjoy the little things that bring you joy and connection.

Happy Hygge!