Looking to create a warm and supportive home this winter? Embrace the Scandinavian lifestyle
By Mindful Design School graduate Lucy Frisch
Photo by Svitlana on Unsplash
Lately, we’re finding ourselves at home more than ever before. As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop in many places, the winter months ahead can feel daunting. Rather than resisting our reality, honoring this season can help set ourselves up to thrive in our personal spaces. Going inward in the winter, both literally and figuratively, can be restorative if we live out the season with intention.
Scandinavians are experts at making the most of the winter season, experiencing some of the shortest and coldest days in the world. These Nordic countries are experts of cozy, or as Norwegians call it, koselig, a lifestyle characterized by a sense of warmth and well-being that encompasses comfort, calm, and deep contentment. In celebration of the winter solstice, here are a few ideas for how you can bring warmth and happiness into your home this winter and stay koselig.
Light candles like it’s your job
It can help to shift your perspective from seeing winter as a cold and dark time to celebrating it as a season characterized by an abundance of warmth and light inside. Candles are a soothing and meditative way to bring the fire element into your home. ‘Tenn lys,’ or lighting candles in Norwegian, is an inclination during all hours of the day in the Scandinavian lifestyle, but especially before the sun has risen or is about to set. Lighting candles can itself be the opening of a ritual; sitting down to begin your work day, setting the table for a meal, sinking into a hot bath, nestling up on the couch with a good book. Candles create a comforting atmosphere throughout your days and nights.
Keep your space clean and free of clutter
Part of the reason we can feel trapped inside in the winter is because we may let things pile up around us. Without guests to host, and likely little separation between where we work and where we unwind, the motivation to keep things organized can be difficult to maintain. Our spaces are a reflection of our minds, and the winter versions of ourselves need even more spaciousness when we’re spending so much time inside. Tidy up the kitchen every night. Make your bed every morning. Run the vacuum through your space once a week. Limit stagnation in your home to prevent feeling stuck in your head.
Fill your home with life
Plants are a beautiful and simple way to breathe life into your home during the winter. While the world outside may feel barren, plants and fresh flowers are a reminder of spring and new beginnings. Tending to greenery also creates a nurturing routine which can be very uplifting in the winter months. As with so many things, you get as much back as you give, and household plants are a great way to lift the energy in your home.
Honor small rituals
Having something to look forward to brings an extra glimmer of joy to your day. Even if home continues to be your next destination, you can create simple rituals to brighten your week and uplift your mood. A ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle as you cozy up for the evening, but you might consider setting aside time and space in your home for particular activities throughout the week. Maybe the way the morning light filters through your living room moves you start a morning yoga practice. Or perhaps one evening becomes a night to cook dinner together with everyone in your household. Creating ‘kos’, as they say in Norway, is an important part of winter well-being.
If ever there was a time to move at a slower pace, it is this winter. Savor the little things. Luxuriate in the blank space of an empty social calendar. Abandon pressures to “make the most” of all the time you may have. Or if having spare time is currently a distant memory, be gentle with yourself and your endless to-do list. Accept where you are in this very moment. Take a deep breath. It’s time to get koselig.