Enjoy The Great Indoors

Here in beautiful Cleveland, we are heading into the stay indoors months. Some of our readers may be braver than some and enjoy cold temperatures, but personally I enjoy a blanket and Netflix when it drops below 40°. I don’t mind staying indoors for months on end, since a few years back I adopted a strategy of preparing emotionally, mentally, and domestically and embraced the coziest of seasons: hygge season.

Pronounced HOO-gah, hygge is a term commonly used in Nordic countries that comes from a Danish word meaning “to give courage, comfort, and joy.” In countries that touch the Arctic Circle, it is important to find comfort in intense, inhospitable conditions, since they last more than half the year. Finding happiness in the softness and familiarity of your home is key to this concept, and comes with it a certain embrace of the good and the bad, along with the good in the bad. For example, the same lake that brings us Edgewater also helps the sky dump inches and inches of lake effect snow on us every winter, especially you poor East Siders.

There are just two stages of prep for me, which can be described as out with the old, in with the new:

  • cleaning- dust is mostly fabric particles and dead skin (gross), and if that isn’t enough to make you want to get as much of it out of your house as possible, our old genetic material carries with it old energy that you want to oust before you close up shop until daylight savings time starts again. I am not here to browbeat you over not getting out your vacuum cleaner all summer because neither did I, but take a day and get into the corners and under furniture with the hose attachment. Run over your rugs twice, including maybe the runner you always skip in your hallway. After all this heavy lifting, look into whether the filter on your vacuum needs replaced, along with the filter on your furnace. If you like to do yoga I also recommend putting your mat in the tub and cleaning it with hot water and dish soap if you haven’t in a while.
  • nesting- tea and candles and books are what come to mind first now when I think of winter. Take a peek at your tea box- if you can’t remember when you bought that tea, it’s time for it to go. Then go to the store and pick up some chai, pu-erh, or Earl Grey (all great in cold weather). On that note, right now is pulling season for honey, so if you don’t have any, it’s the perfect time to get some locally. If your candle game is not at it’s best, head out and grab a few. They don’t even necessarily need to be scented, the warm glow of a real candle flame is simply good for the soul. Finally, try to limit your screen time this winter. More studies come out every quarter that blue light is bad for our eyes and mental health, so your best option for blue light free entertainment is a good old fashioned book.

Winter is my favorite season since it helps me find gratitude in the comforts of my well-made walls. I hope you find courage, comfort, and joy this winter.