Making the Dark Days Cozy

I’ve been waking up at my usual time — about 5 am — recently and can’t believe how long it takes to see the dawn. I keep thinking it is mid to late January — surely now I will see the light around 6:45 to 7 am. Alas, no! It’s dark until around 8 am and then a bit of twilight time for the next hour. I know we are gaining light, but at this exact moment it doesn’t feel like it.

What can any of us do when winter and the darkness seems to descend for an endless loop. Well, first thing, is to hold on to one’s mine and remember – quite literally – we are gaining time. Check out your local weather forecast and they tell you the sunrise and sunset times for each day. It is indeed a fact that the days are lengthening — even if they don’t quite feel like they are just yet.

Second, this is the time to take a page out of the hyggle lifestyle and make these dark days cozy. The Danes definitely know a thing or two about making their lives cozy during winter. It’s a fun little read. The idea was all the rage about five years ago, but such concepts never truly go out of style and so here are a few ideas for making your home and life cozy during these dark days of late January into February.

Cozy up to your favorite hot beverage — cocoa, coffee, tea, or any number of other fancy hot drinks. Enjoy the ritual of making it for yourself and really taste the warmth in the depths of our cold temperatures.

Knit, crochet, or just touch material that is warm and soft — cashmere anyone? It’s always soothing to make things out of these materials, but if you aren’t into such craft projects, even touching something soft and warm can bring coziness to your days.

Make a meal — perhaps a rich stew or slow cooker meal? Try your hand at making something delicious that will not only keep your stomach full and warm, but allows people around your dinner table to linger and savor each other’s company as they enjoy the meal. Being with people as you “break bread” can lead to a light that is kindled deep within.

Bath anyone? Can there be anything better than a warm to hot bath with salts and bubbles? Get your temperature just right and soak away. Bring into the bath a favorite book, podcast, drink, and more and linger, relax and unwind. Don’t forget to light a candle or two.The ultimate to creating a warm, relaxing feel. Towel off and use moisturizers and oils to extend the self pampering.

Light a fire or candles. If you have a fire pit outdoors, light it and cuddle up around it with warm outdoor blankets. Just looking into a flame can be meditative and relaxing. Also, as it gets dark early in evening, it is nice to light candles to continue the light at soft levels. Add candles to your dinner table too — it’s not just for special occasions.

Get in touch with yourself. With the pandemic still raging and light hardly around more of us are finding ourselves indoors. This is the time for vision boards, journals, and other inner wanderings where we can be in touch and in flow with ourselves that may be harder to do when warmer weather abounds and one wants to be outdoors in the literal light. For now, give yourself the gift of introspection to shine a light within.

When you do see the sun outside during the previous daylight hours, get out into it. Walk, run, have your hot beverage outdoors. Take in that shot of pure Vitamin D and let it soak in. Seriously, it will help you find even more contentment when the darkness arrives way too early in the evening.

These are just a few ideas to making the dark days cozy. I think the Groundhog is about to climb out of the ground and let us know how much more winter to expect — 6 more weeks or not? Whatever the time, enjoy each day and make it cozy.