Fall and winter can be a dark, cold and depressing period. The temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter fast. It may sound extreme, but I actually haven’t seen the sun in a while now, and it won’t get any better until after the new year has started. Moving to Norway has definitely forced me to implement some extra self-care and apartment hacks to make the dark and cold season feel warmer and brighter. I’m sure these tips will make the dark winter days less depressing, and even more enjoyable, for you as well, no matter where you live.
I see those string lights everywhere these days, and with a reason! They don’t only literally brighten your house or apartment during dark winter days, but they also make everything look and feel like Christmas! The nice thing about them is that they’re brighter than Christmas lights, without making your room too bright, so everything still feels cozy in the evening. They’re also available for outdoor use, and I think they’re perfect to make small balconies more attractive.
Where the lamps bring more light to your day, tea and other hot beverages will easily warm you up during the cold months. There are so many different herbal teas, it’s actually pretty easy to find one that fits the correct season. For autumn and winter, I prefer teas that have cinnamon, cloves or anise (or the combination of them), and peppermint tea is a good fit as well. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for in the stores, you can always create your own tea blend.
As soon as summer is over, the blanket season starts for me. They’re extremely cozy and warm, and can also make for great decor. Most of the ones in my apartment are plain white, but I also enjoy some that have more colorful patterns. Especially during autumn, when the sky looks gray and the days are generally pretty dark, bringing some color in your home feels really necessary.
Fall and winter are definitely the best seasons to read, wrapped in a blanket in the front of a fireplace. It can also be nice to get a few pillows, blankets and other nice decorations (such as lamps) to create a small reading corner in your house or apartment. I made a small self-care/reading corner like that on my windowsill, and it’s a really enjoyable place to be. I can be productive while also enjoying the view outside my window.
Whenever I see a cute plant, I buy it immediately. And I’m I do so because it makes my living room so much greener and happier. My favorites are definitely succulents and cactuses, mainly because they’re extremely easy to take care of. Every store selling plants usually also sells succulents and cactuses, but Ikea has a lot of really cute ones as well.
I’ve always been into self-care and wellness, but it becomes extra important for me during winter. I do hot yoga on a weekly basis, it’s 90 minutes of yoga in a HOT room. It relaxes me, keeps me in shape, and warms me up, which is very important during winter. It’s just so nice stepping into a hot room when it’s freezing outside! And after the yoga session, the cold temperatures feel really enjoyable.
I also have a sauna visit and an after-work massage planned during the next months, but if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on wellness, it’s pretty cheap to have a wellness routine at home. You can practice yoga for free at home, use essential oils and homemade scrubs in the shower, use bath bombs in the bathtub, and use a massage ball or foam roller to give yourself a massage. The massage ball feels a bit better, but it’s easier to access yourself with the foam roller.
Candles are a must-have this season. They’re the perfect decoration, provide warmth and light, and they come in a variety of different smells. Personally, I like a combination of small tea lights and bigger, smell candles. You can also put them as an oil diffuser, to spread your own essential oil blends in your room.
Find a new project
Finding a fun project during the colder seasons is only something I started trying out this year, and I love it so far! I’m finally picking up my photography again and documenting how the season is changing in and around Oslo. It makes being outside way more fun, even when it’s freezing or raining outside because I have something fun to do outside and I can complete some goals. You could also try picking up a sport or make it a hobby to try as many different coffee shops or bakeries as possible in your area. Or, if you’re really not keen on going outside, try drawing, writing or playing video games inside.
Essential oils make your room smell more enjoyable, and can also bring the season inside. I wrote a DIY about essential oil blends that fit well into autumn, all based on cinnamon, but you can also try oils that give off a warmer and more summery smell. I usually just put them in an oil diffuser, but you can also use them to make a scrub, moisturizer or perfume. I definitely recommend using an oil diffuser, though. When buying one you can choose from two different types: some work on electricity or batteries, others need a candle inside or underneath to work. While the ones with the candles don’t look as modern as the other ones, they do bring an extra layer of coziness to your place.
Prepare for the holidays
If the darkness is really putting you down, and none of the tips above help, why not start the holiday preparations a bit earlier this year? Try out some recipes for Christmas eve, do some fall or winter DIY’s, go shopping for presents or get the Christmas decorations out already. Or, start planning your summer vacation already (it will be cheaper now)! It’s so much easier to stand the cold temperatures, rain, and darkness if you have something to look forward to!
What are your tips to make the cold and dark days more enjoyable?
This post contains affiliate links, but everything I wrote is my own and honest opinion.