1: Cook and bake delicious food – soups, stews, fruit crumble, bread…..
Winter is the time for comfort food. Forget the beach ready body and enjoy calorie rich foods that taste fantastic. Now is time to try out new recipes and enjoy a day of culinary experimentation when it is too cold or dark to venture outside. Few things are better than the smell and taste of freshly baked bread so why not get out the recipe books and make some dark rye rolls or crunchy seeded soda bread?
2: Be creative – pick up that knitting or learn a new skill
Knitting jumpers is fun but if you really can’t summon the patience why not knit a cushion cover? Quick to make, you can create a unique accessory using yarns and colours that suit your home. Ribs and texture work well and as you are knitting a tiny project you can try out unusual stitches, take your cue from the Victorian sampler. Or head over to YouTube and try something new, maybe a crafting skill you have always wanted to learn?
3: Light up the darkness with candles
We love candles placed along a window sill. The dark winter night frames the glowing flames and creates a beacon of light to welcome friends or family home. Tea lights floating in saucers of water look fantastic too.
4: Snuggle down in a luxurious bed
Winter is the perfect time of the year for an ‘early night’. Make your bedroom a warm haven with a snuggly down duvet, throws and cushions. Listen to some relaxing music and unwind (ps: this one won’t work if you have noisy young kids or teenagers who fill the house with loud music!)
5: Throw out some clutter
Sounds a strange one but getting round to tasks you have been putting off is good for the soul and gives a sense of achievement that lasts for days, even months. This not a full on spring clean but a simple short task – tidy just one drawer or a small cupboard and then reward yourself with a hot chocolate or a biscuit and a cuppa.
6: Plan your summer adventures
It’s fun to get out the maps and start planning your summer adventures. Even small local trips are exciting to plan – a trip to a historic house or the seaside, new walks, towns to explore or unfamiliar areas of your city. Write them down (or draw a map) in a notebook otherwise when summer comes you will forget all the plans and possibilities.
7: Get moving – go for a walk
City or countryside? It doesn’t matter; a winter walk – wrapped up against the winds and snow – is an invigorating and rejuvenating experience. With no leaves on the trees you see new vistas, hidden features and building. Even the structure of the countryside looks different in winter with the bare bones of the trees framed against a grey sky. Go early and you might even walk in the sun!
8: Read a picture book
Why should picture books just be for kids? Of course some of the best graphic novels are written for adults but sometimes the simplicity of kid’s tales with their stories of wonder where everything comes right in the end are just what is needed. Picture books really can heal frazzled nerves and restore your faith in humanity. Anything by Judith Kerr or Benedict Blathwayt does it for us – we love the half real half magical words they conjure-up.
9: Tell your family or friends a story
The art of storytelling is dying. Let’s revive it! For generations the winter was a time for storytelling, happy stories and ghost tales too! Look in to the fire flames and see the strange people there, now tell their story. Create new narratives around the things you got up to as a child or what about your family and relatives – who was great Uncle Roger? Tell a story (made up or real) why he always wore that yellow handkerchief in his jacket pocket!
10: Enjoy a proper afternoon tea
Set out a vintage afternoon tea in front of the fire. Homemade cakes, leaf tea in the teapot, crumpets and jam and toast and butter. Sunday afternoon tea is a real treat. Slip back in time and live for a moment in an Enid Blyton story book or invite some friends, use your imagination and make up a reason for celebration.
Tell us your tips and ideas to enjoy, not dread, the chilly winter.
Image is our current object of desire! Ha! a woodburning range, and comes from housetohome.co.uk