Do you loathe winter? Do you start having existential crises in the colder months (who am I, what am I doing)? Are you in and out of nagging colds? Semi-depressed from the lack of sunlight?
Making it through the winter months is tough for many of us in the colder parts of the world. As a born-and-raised Minnesotan, I’ve slid out of practice after years of residing in a milder climate in Indiana. This year, I’m delving in a bit more with the question: how can we take an emotionally healthy approach to the colder months?
- Change your mind. Instead of seeing winter as a depressing series of dark days, look at it as a finite season of rest. It’s an opportunity to slow down and take stock. Cultivate thoughtfulness and intention, and prepare for the warmer months ahead.
- Hygge. Hygge is the Danish word for cozying up: both with family and friends, and with actual fuzzy soft things. Surround yourself with fluff. Light candles. Drink tea, and warm your hands on the mug. Sit by the fire. As much as I hate to say it, there’s no hygge in summer (my favorite season), so live it up!
- Cook more, starting with soups. Everyone’s on the healthy eating train in January, and soups are an approachable place to start. They’re simple to put together and a delicious way to pack in a ton of nutrients without realizing it. A few we suggest: Tomato artichoke lentil stew (pictured above) | Creamy coconut curry pantry soup | Sweet potato soup with harissa and greens
- Read more. Immerse yourself in a story. As humans we’re captivated by story, and there’s nothing like a good story to pass the time. Alex and I are in a monthly book club and it’s a great way to motivate yourself to finish! A few we’ve loved: 11/22/63 by Stephen King, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Exercise, indoors. Exercising not only brings physical fitness, but keeps those endorphins flowing to encourage emotional balance. If you can’t bring yourself to go out into the cold, try exercising in your home. Alex and I have found this to be the right fit for our lifestyle, and there are tons of free resources for in-home exercising. Two of my favorite videos as of late: Best Abs Ever by Rebecca Louise, 45-Minute Cardio + Toning Workout by Jeanette Jenkins
- Solidarity! This is the first winter where I’ve asked for help from others to get through the season, and it’s already working.
Will you join us? Share with us what you do to survive winter in the comments below, or even better on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #survivewinter.
Listen to our tips on surviving the winter here: Episode 35 Survive winter.
We’d love to hear what you do to survive winter! Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram, mention @acouplecooks and use the hashtag #survivewinter.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.