Luxome: Hibernation Mode = On
With the days getting shorter and shorter, and warm sunny afternoons becoming a fond yet distant memory, winter tends to be a time to hunker down and stay indoors. Whether you live in a snowy winter wonderland or somewhere that stays 70 degrees year-round, the time from December to March is perfect for turning your hibernation mode switch from ‘off’ to ‘on.’ But, it’s not always easy to adjust to this change in both temperature and pace of life — here’s how we acclimate to the shifts of winter and turn our homes into a cozy hibernation den we won’t ever want to leave.
How to Stay Sunny Even When the Days Aren’t
The days transitioning from late summer to fall gradually get shorter and shorter — no more sun-drenched 8 P.M. outdoor picnics or backyard BBQs! Then, add in the oft-dreaded Daylight Savings Time, and our “nights” suddenly begin at 4 o’clock. While our smartphones and electronics automatically update during daylight savings, our body’s internal clocks have a bit more trouble reprogramming to the change.
And, with these changes to daylight hours comes changes in our moods and overall health. Many people are affected by the aptly-named S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which can cause changes in appetite, mood, and sleeping patterns. Even if you don’t have a S.A.D. diagnosis, it can still be challenging to get motivated to eat well, exercise, or work harder in the winter months. To combat the winter blues and keep your spirits high even when the sun is down, try these tips:
- Seek morning sunlight — Getting outside first thing in the morning can help support your circadian rhythm, which will help you get better sleep that night. Plus, sunshine provides your body with a boost of vitamin D production and can support serotonin levels — our body’s feel-good, happy hormone. Even if it’s cloudy out, this time outside can still help your mood for the day.
- No sunlight? Try a therapy lamp — If you really can’t get outside, or the weather won’t permit, a lamp or box designed to simulate sunlight can help. This is especially true for people with S.A.D.
- Exercise — It can be so tempting to forgo exercise in the winter when all you want to do is stay in bed. But, maintaining an exercise routine around the same time each day can boost energy and produce endorphins that contribute to a better mood.
- Keep your bedtime and waketime consistent — Even though it may be pitch black before 5 P.M., that doesn’t mean it’s time for bed yet. Creating a healthy sleep schedule that remains relatively consistent — even on weekends! — can lock in your body’s circadian rhythm until it becomes a habit.
No Winter Boredom Here
Sorry, but beach days, sunny hikes, and camping trips are likely out for the season. But, there are plenty of winter-friendly activities that we can all enjoy — both indoors and out.
For the days when you’re feeling adventurous and ready to brave the cold, try these fun winter-time activities:
- Ice skating or sledding
- Building a snowman
- Going on a (safe) winter hike
- Jumping in rain puddles
- Go to a cidery with friends
For the stay-at-home hibernating crowd, we’ve also got a handful of ways to keep occupied without having to put on your winter coat:
- Have a Scrabble or boardgame tournament
- Challenge yourself to a 1,000-piece puzzle
- Bake up a storm — cookies, pies, cakes, banana bread; you name it!
- Read a book by the fireplace
- Curl up for a holiday movie marathon
Beat the Chill
If there’s one word that comes to mind when we talk about winter, it’s likely “cold.” We all know to bundle up when we go outside in the freezing chill, but what about inside our homes? Instead of constantly blasting the heater, try cocooning underneath a luxury weighted blanket that will keep you warm and relaxed at the same time. (Don’t know where to find one? Hint: you’re in the right place!)
At-Home Hibernation Station
At-home hibernation would not be complete without a few extra cozy essentials. To embrace full-on comfort and relaxation, (safely) adorn your living room or bedroom with wintry-scented candles, like cedar, pine, vanilla, cardamom, cloves, and sweet orange. In addition to their delightful aromas, candles give off a warm light — no harsh bright lights in our hibernation cave.
Similarly, you can swap out bright light bulbs for softer, warmer-hued versions in your table and floor lamps.
Next, throw a few extra fuzzy pillows or blankets on your sofa or bed, making movie marathons all the more comfortable. Decorate one area of your home with some pretty white twinkle lights — we won’t judge if you keep them up year-round! And, don’t forget the coziest thing of all: a steaming mug to warm up both your hands and your belly. Whether it’s a hot chocolate or a hot toddy, this will keep you comforted until you’re ready to come out of your cozy cave.
Your Best Winter Yet
Even if you’re a little dismayed by the shorter, chilly days of winter, hopefully, we’ve given you some tips and tricks to make the season seem less sad. From fighting S.A.D. itself to fun wintertime activities to fashioning your ultimate cozy hibernation station, this winter will be your best yet.