How to Get Cozy This Winter

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

Winter is in full effect, the holidays are over, and now is the time to make the decision on how this season will go. We are in the thick of layers of snow, ice, and days that are shorter, but this year I have decided to truly enjoy this season. I feel so lucky every single day to be here in Michigan and in such a beautiful place. I absolutely believe that seasons are intended to be embraced, loved, and enjoyed equally. Each plays a significant part in our year. Though it seems winter gets the label of being the tough one, I am learning quickly as the winds blow outside, that this is may be one of the most precious seasons of all. As we head into the weekend, I wanted to share 5 tips for enjoying winter. Making the most of winter comes down to simply reframing our understanding of the season and this is how I am doing just that:

Getting Cozy and embracing the idea of Hygge this winter. More on The Fresh Exchange.

1. Get Cozy:
I pulled together an edit today full of items to help you get comfy and cozy this winter. Creating a space at home that is warm, comfy, and ready to be enjoyed is the best way to cut through the chill of the season. The Danish have become popular for their term Hygge as a way of “surviving” winter, and I love the concept. Not only does the word describe creating a warm and inviting space, but it also references connection with your community and celebrating traditions. All those things together create a lifestyle during the winter season that helps us feel connected, warmed inside and out, and invited into a time of year that can be quite dark and cold.

The keys to creating a cozy atmosphere are pretty simple. Bring in layers of blankets and cozy items. I love fur blankets this time of year…well fur anything really. I switch out our lighter rugs for fuzzy ones or layer on fur rugs on top of our existing ones. In the evenings when it gets dark don’t turn on overhead lights, use table lamps and candles to light the rooms. It makes the room feel more intimate and warm. Finally, wear warm and comfy things and drink a warm cup of tea with someone you love while watching the fire. Creating these types rituals in the evenings after a warm meal will bring about a comforting time of reflection and connection that are essential to the season. Don’t miss our Getting Cozy Edit to get all sorts of ideas to get your Hygge on.

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

2. Go Outside Every Day and/or Stay Active:
I remember our neighbor said, the only way to make it through winter in one piece is to get out in it. So I figured I would take his advice, since he is over 60 and lived her most of his life. That man is outside every day doing something this winter and many times I am there waving at him as I strap on my snowshoes and head out on a walk in the lake effect snow. A few weeks into the heart of winter and I can say he just may be on to something. The winters are long here (November – April) so it is imperative to enjoy the fluffy white stuff we are surrounded by here. But even if you don’t have the chance to enjoy the snow, I think making sure to stay active is especially important. When we lived in Raleigh I made sure to go to the gym every day. It ALWAYS made me feel better on a dreary and cold day. I left toasty warm and with tons of endorphins pumping, which left me happy and in good spirits.

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

3. Slow Down:
Winter is the season of slowness. Look around you. It takes longer to drive places. It takes longer to get ready to leave the house. It takes longer to cook a great winter meal. It takes longer to walk through the snow to get the mail. Everything takes longer and it used to be I would hate it. I felt winter was a useless and unnecessary hurdle in my life instead of seeing it as nature’s reminder that there needs to be a season to be slow. So, this year I have spent the last month slowing myself down mentally and physically. I have added fewer things to my plate and embraced that things take time, should be savored, and there is beauty in slowing down. As a result, I feel so much more contentment in my day. Many things don’t happen on my list, but I have realized that the things that do happen are the most important things that needed to be done. By not overworking and I find time for planning, dreaming, knitting, lettering, and doing those cozy things I talked about above. It is nice to remember the importance of slow in life and challenge myself to settle in during these days.

5 Ways to actually enjoy winter and to thrive in the season rather than just survive | The Fresh Exchange

4. Reflect:
Have you ever walked outside during a good snow? What do you hear? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The snow hushes the world and that silence is a reminder to us to hibernate, reflect, and look inward. There isn’t one other season that offers silence such as that other than winter. I see the time between January to March as a time to reflect, find our footing, dream, and work through things properly so that as the snow melts away we can surface prepared to move forward. This doesn’t mean you stop life, it simply means you are intentional in enjoying and honoring the silence instead of fighting it.

5. Stay Warm
There is nothing that makes winter feel worse than constantly feeling cold. That is why when we moved back I told Mike we all would be warm this year and we would invest in the right things to keep us that way. Being cold makes the days seem longer than they should be. Finding a Parka, getting great gloves, and the list goes on is very important to staying warm and actually being able to enjoy the weather. I wrote a post here for you if you need it.

Don’t forget to check out our edit all about getting cozy and enjoying winter in our shop if you want some ideas of things to add to your home this time of year or even what to pull out from your own collection of things.

How do you choose to enjoy this season and make the most of it? I would love to hear!

Leave a comment

    1. It seriously make all the difference in the world. It is almost shocking. Worst case just going to the gym and going for a walk or getting on the elliptical makes a lot of difference too. 🙂

  1. such a great post. My family is planning to move back to new England in the next couple of years after being in Cali for a few years. This post actually has me excited for the winters and the time to slow down and reflect. It’s so true that its all just perspective. Appreciate the seasons for what they are and what they bring. I have always loved having 4 real seasons but winter was, of course, the hardest one to deal with but now I can’t wait. And I do love the snow, the quiet and the cozzness it brings. Thanks again for this really great inspiring post!

  2. I love the items you put together. They look perfect for the winter. I definitely need to do a better job of going out more. I go into hibernation mode when it gets really cold. And I love the seasons. If it was warm all the time, I don’t think I would appreciate the beauty of the winter like I get to now. Thank you for the beautiful reminder!

    Fariha | http://blog.farihawajid.com

  3. I love these tips! I really enjoy the part about reflection. I find myself doing a lot of that this time of year and, in doing so, focusing more on what I am grateful for. I also use this time to build momentum. I had a very relaxing Christmas break and, as a result, came into the new year with a lot of good energy. I am taking that energy and using it to cross off a lot of projects as well as plan for the months ahead!

  4. Winter is one of those seasons where after Christmas is over I’m ready for spring. But I do need to embrace it more. but i do have to admit the fireplace, the couch, multiple layers of blankets is a pretty nice touch to the winter season. xo

    McKenzie | maybemckenzie.com

  5. I just finished reading the book the year of living danishly (which i highly recommend, its one of the best i’ve read in a long time!) she talks in depth in one specific chapter about the concept of ‘hygge’. being from the midwest myself i always struggle this time of year to accept winter’s fate, but learning to live a life of ‘hygge’ can surely change a dreary season into a useful and fulfilling one! <3 love this post.

    1. I am going to add this to my list in the coming weeks. Trying to finish Sweetbitter and then reading Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner and then this will be on the list as we are headed to Copenhagen in May so I would love to read it before hand.

      1. Yes, definitely add it to the list, it is so good. I just finished Chasing slow this morning, and i’ll say it’s also high on the list of favorites for me. as for copenhagen, i spent a few months there after graduating high school years ago…you will absolutely love it. i look forward to your posts about it!

  6. I wish we had snow here! I live in Texas and as you know, seasons are pretty nonexistent, unless it’s summer which is about 8 months out of the year. However I do try to take advantage of the days it’s actually cold and light a pine candle and sip some tea while I can!