How I’m Romanticizing Winter Vol. 2

I wrote this post last January, and I’m updating it for two reasons. Firstly, I was miserable last winter, late January into February (with a few weeks distracted by work) and then March and April I had the Big Sads. And secondly, my winter content is some of my best performing and most evergreen content. It gets hits when it’s summer where I live thanks to my Australian readers (I also cannot believe I have Australian readers) and when it is winter here because as we all know, Canada is kind of famous for it’s winters.

This year I am going to break it up into two sections, a mood-booster, cozy time, “ugh it sucks it gets dark so early” section, and a Big Sad section, where we are past knitting and watching cozy movies and eating soup and approaching full mental health crisis territory. That said, I’m not a mental health professional and if you are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, or any other true crisis please access a professional. In Canada you can access Wellness Together Canada at: call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth OR call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults.

Mood-booster, cozy time:

Embrace Hibernation

Try a new hot chocolate recipe, you can do mix, but taking the time to be really meticulous and ritualistic with warm drinks are a huge part of my well-being. In the summer an iced coffee and a walk to the beach every morning, but in the winter just taking the time to really focus on the act of making the drink. I want to try these recipes: Bon Appetit Mag, French Hot Chocolate, and depending on who’s with me, this vegan hot chocolate.

Again in savouring things, cooking slow foods: soups, stews, risottos, slow pasta sauces. I’m going to lean into the idea that all other mammals either hibernate or migrate for the winter and while I can’t just eat a bunch and go to sleep for six months. I can lean into the slow down period. The recipes I have pinned include: One Pot Lemon Rosemary Dijon Chicken and Butter Toasted Rice Pilaf, Smoky Potato and Kale Soup, Brown Butter Farro with Mushrooms and Burrata, Pappardelle Pasta with Portobello Mushroom Ragu, Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt Sauce and Pine Nuts, and so many more. I’ll make this Pinterest board public if you would like to see all of them.

Make a movie or TV show list and work through it. This may not work the exact same for you but I do this weird thing where I put off watching things that I know I am going to like. I don’t know why, I don’t understand it, but it’s something I do. So I am going to make a list of these movies and TV shows and actually watch them. You can even invite friends or family over and have a little movie party.

Games Night. You can host or work with your friends to arrange a board games night. You can make food or just do like chips and salsa and a cheeseboard or something. It works best if you have a friend with a house and people can be in different rooms playing different games, in an apartment the group has to be small enough to all play one game, but it also totally works if you all have apartments. It’s super fun and super chill and just a good time.

Just don’t play Monopoly.

Read. If you have been saying for a while that you want to read more this is absolutely the time to do so, The weather sucks, you just want to stay inside but you are starting to feel guilty about how much time you spend on your phone or watching TV, reading is the perfect low energy thing to do that makes you feel like you did something valuable or “productive”. Lately I’ve really enjoyed Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson, the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (I read it in February 2020 and am still thinking about it), and the Chanel Cleeton series about the fictional Perez family.

Plan Seasonal Activities

I think in Canada we tend to focus on the activities that we can only do in the summer, because winter is so long. So I want to apply that mindset to activities that we can only do in winter and hype them up. So that can include ice skating, making snow angels (adults don’t make enough snow angels), snow ball fights, building a snow man, sliding/sledding (depending on where in Canada you are from), skiing (downhill OR cross-country) or snowboarding, snowshoeing, even ice fishing or skidooing (or sledding, depending on where in Canada you are from) or curling. Some of these do require significant equipment and can be a big financial investment, but if you live near a ski hill or outdoor park you can look up if they offer equipment rentals which is a much more accessible way to do these activities (especially if you live in an apartment and can’t imagine storing all this gear for half the year.

Photo by SHVETS production on

Also, as I’ve already mentioned I am a summer walk girl, but even I cannot deny that the sun glistening off the snow, the snow piled on the trees with birds jumping around is really pretty. So get bundled up and go for a walk when the sun is out and pay attention to how the world looks when it is winter and appreciate its beauty.

If you’re feeling motivated

If after the New Year or just one random day you have a burst of energy and motivation I think that winter is an amazing time to tackle home organization, cleaning or DIY projects. Humidity in the air is lower so things like peel and stick wallpaper can have time to adhere really well before the heat comes back and paint is less likely to bubble and peel (although you have to make sure you have excellent ventilation if you are going to paint or stain in the winter). You also are spending so much time at home and are noticing the cupboard that you have been ignoring or that thing that you don’t use all the time. And you can address those annoyances so that come spring and summer when you just want to get outside and be social you just can, no spring cleaning required.

I’m going to use my winter weekends to teach myself to finish needlepoint ornaments and stand ups, these aren’t my pictures, but I got a couple responses that people didn’t know what I was talking about so here are some pictures of what I mean by this:

via Carly the Prepster

via The Wellesley Needlepoint

I have so many stitched canvases just sitting and they’re too pretty to just sit like that.

I think there are also so many other things that you can do if you live in an urban or even suburban area, go to the movies, spend a day getting coffee and wandering around a bookstore, sit in a cafe all day and read or do a crossword or journal or something like that. But I don’t live in an urban area and I try and keep my blog posts to what I actually do (although I am writing this from a cafe in Toronto lololol and all I’ve been doing is eating, thrifting, and drinking coffee and that would be my ideal everyday).

This post has gotten so long, so I am going to do a separate post with tips for the Big Sads in winter and I will link to this post in that post and update this post to include a link to that post.

If you have anything you love to do in the winter please share in the comments!


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