It’s that time of year again, when the nights draw in earlier and the world outside starts to resemble a winter scene from a Christmas card. But don’t let the cold get you down – here are some tips on what you can do to stay positive during the winter period; whether it’s a spot of redecorating, a tasty homemade meal or just a pampering session, these ideas will make the cold weather more bearable.
Have a home spa day
Everyone loves a spot of pampering, but spa days can be expensive and sometimes require a lot of travel to and from; however, you can replicate the spa experience at home. Cold weather and central heating are a recipe for disaster and can wreak havoc on your skin and hair, so start off with a restorative hair mask to smooth out split ends and improve the overall condition. Then apply a deep cleansing face mask and let it get to work while you give yourself a manicure and pedicure. Taking care of yourself is important and is one of the simplest ways to instantly improve your mood.
Warm up in the kitchen
Whipping up a homemade treat will lift your spirits in no time – try a healthy, hearty vegetable soup with warm, fresh bread for a filling and nutritious meal; making soup from scratch means you’re in control of what goes in, so you can include all your favourite ingredients. For something a little more indulgent, have a baking session and make some of your favourite cakes and biscuits. Cinnamon and nutmeg are great flavours for the winter months, as are ginger and of course, chocolate.
Revamping your decor
Sometimes the winter can make a home feel dreary, so changing up your home accessories can stave off the winter blues. Adding scented candles – citrus and vanilla are good seasonal choices – will make a great addition to your home, and linen spray or essential oils can have a similar effect. Updating your textiles can also make a big difference; warm colours and materials will make your home more comfortable and inviting, so introduce some new throws and cushions into your decor.
Settle down with a good book
There’s nothing better on a cold evening than getting comfortable on the couch with your favourite book in front of a warm, roaring fire. Whether you’re a fan of the classics like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or more contemporary novels by writers like Jo Nesbø, or even books that will transport you to warmer climates like a beach read, settling down with a good book is a great way to spend an evening in.
Being outdoors is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and mood, and if you wrap up warm there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy nature in the colder months. A warm coat teamed with accessories like a hat, scarf and gloves will protect you from the elements while you take a walk on a winter afternoon and let the cold, clean air refresh and revitalise you. And for runners, you can still get outdoors for your exercise; just be careful and make sure to wear reflective clothing as it can be dangerous at this time of year when the light disappears earlier than usual.
Any one of these ideas will make a real difference this winter, and will definitely elevate your mood, so be sure to try them all at least once to see the benefits that these simple changes can bring.
Ellie is doing an MA in Interior Design and is currently preparing an exhbition for the Scottish Country Living show