Ah, January: a deep sigh of relief that we have a clean slate for a new year, and yet one of the longest, coldest months of the year. While resolutions are in high gear and every treadmill is occupied at the gym, I try to find peace and happiness in January by making plans that celebrate the winter season. Without much effort, I’m able to fight the Winter Blues every year, thanks to my lifestyle habits that brighten up January. Have you tried any of these cozy habits?
Make a Pot of Chicken Soup
Chicken noodle soup is just what the doctor ordered for a cold winter’s night. If you catch a 24 hour stomach bug (I was knocked off my feet a few days ago by one), this soup feels like a warm blanket of comfort. Soup and crusty bread are the perfect easy combo for hosting friends or for a week’s worth of work lunches. I’ve attached my father-in-law’s recipe below if you need a trusty recipe! This one doesn’t include chicken (ironically), but I like to add raw chicken breast at the same time as the dried pasta so they can boil together.
What is your go-to soup recipe? I also enjoy the idea of a Soup Group to survive winter and still maintain a social life (laughs).
Decorate with Winter Flowers
When the trees are bare and there’s a chill in the air, I love coming home to a home filled with flowering plants and greenery. Lately, I’ve been favoring winter flowers like tulips and flowering kale. I swing by Trader Joe’s every weekend for a $5.99 bouquet of flowers and am always delighted by all the variety. This week, I decorated with an assortment of carnations, flowering kale, Calla Lillies, and Billy Balls to brighten up my bathrooms, living room, kitchen, and breakfast nook.
I’m able to stretch out one bouquet by displaying the flowers in smaller vases for each room of my home. You can find quirky vases at thrift stores like Goodwill, or receive hand-me-downs from family like I did (thanks, Peg!).
Even if the outside world looks all gray and dark (at 4pm, no less), you can create a colorful garden inside by bringing seasonal flowers and plants into your home. Flowers are even known to boost your mood and relieve stress, so treat yourself!
Eat Citrus Fruits (and display them, too)
As citrus fruits are in season during the winter months, I relish in displaying oranges, lemons, clementines, and pomelos in a bowl in my kitchen. Not only do these fruits provide an immune-boosting source of Vitamin C during the cold and flu season, but they also have a low glycemic index and satisfy a sweet tooth. Currently, pomelos are my ultimate favorite citrus due to their enormous size and flavor (like the cross between an orange and a grapefruit). Plus, the bright colors of these fruits cheer me up when I display them in my kitchen.
Use Light Therapy or Turn on a Salt Lamp
If you are looking to add some soft lighting to your space, I highly recommend a Himalayan Salt Lamp. You can pick one up at Target or Walmart for $10 and make your space feel cozy and warm. Not only does a salt lamp provide a calming presence, but it also serves as a natural air purifier. Charlie and I received one from our sis-in-law Liz and we love using it everyday. I put it in our kitchen to add some warmth and a soft glow to the space. If you are needing some extra Vitamin D, you can also purchase a light therapy lamp that mimics sunlight to boost your mood and help fight the Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Just turn it on for 30 minutes near your body every day and reap the benefits!
What did you think of these ideas? I hope that these lifestyle tips will spiff up your January and inspire you to celebrate the winter season. Let me know how you combat the Winter Blues in the comments below!