Get Social and Make Plans
After holiday parties, cookie swaps, and big dinners, it can feel refreshing to plan activities that don’t necessarily center around food. Consider holding a game night, book club meeting or movie night. Long winter nights also make an excellent time to make plans for the year ahead. Book a trip you can look forward to or buy advance tickets for a concert or other event you would like to attend.
Check Heating Systems and Fireplaces
Making sure your fireplace, wood stove and central heating system are in good working order means you’ll stay warmer, use less energy and avoid potential safety problems (like creosote buildup in the chimney) that can cause fires. While you’re at it, check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the fire extinguisher too.
Revamp Your Sleep Space
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for good health. Give your bedroom a thorough cleaning and consider treating yourself to new bedding or pillows during January white sales. If streetlights keep you awake at night, it may be worth investing in blackout curtains as well.
Let the Light In
The days are short — make the most of every hour of daylight by removing window screens and opening curtains wide during the day. In the dark evenings, boost light with extra lamps, mirrors, and candles. Have string lights up for the holidays? Consider leaving some in place through the winter to add another layer of light.
Make Space for Exercise
When you can’t make it to the gym or the weather is too poor to exercise outdoors, it’s good to have an indoor option. Your home workout space doesn’t need to be large or elaborate — a corner setup with a yoga mat, free weights and a meditation cushion is probably sufficient.
Warm Up With a Hot Sauna or Soak
Steamy winter bathing rituals are popular around the world with good reason: The heat and steam feels wonderful when the weather is cold. Boost the benefits by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the bath or shower water, or to the water bucket in a sauna.
In winter, we tend to keep our homes buttoned up tight and the heaters blazing — which is great for warmth but not always good for indoor air quality. If your air is dry, consider adding a humidifier to boost moisture and make breathing more comfortable. If you add a humidifier, clean it regularly to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Also consider adding a few extra houseplants or an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
Make Room in the Kitchen for Healthy Foods
If you’re making healthy eating a goal, set yourself up for success by arranging your kitchen to encourage good choices. Display fresh fruit and veggies on the counter, keep fresh herbs on hand, and place the healthiest choices at eye level on pantry and fridge shelves. Bring out healthy appliances, like juicers and blenders, and organize healthy cookbooks where you can find them at a glance.
Sometimes, there’s just no getting around it: Being stuck in the house gets boring. So, bundle up and head outside! Take a winter walk, go snowshoeing or observe birds in your winter garden.
After a brisk walk in the chilly air, you’ll be happy to come back to your cozy home. Ramp up the hygge factor with extra candles, toasty throws, good books and something hot to drink.