Who says winter has to be the season of discontent? Prevent your mood and energy level from heading south during the cold, damp days of winter by creating an indoor oasis that will infuse your life with a welcome dose of fun or serenity. Here are five ways to do that.
Make a scrapbook. Spend some time sorting through photos, and let family members create their own pages of favorite memories from each season last year. It’ll be a pleasant walk down memory lane while you’re putting the book together—and when you look at it again in the future.
Build a living room fort. Let your kids use supersoft sheets and blankets to construct a fort. Start by creating a palette of cushions and pillows on the floor for comfort (don’t forget blankets for warmth). Make a tent out of sheets and blankets, using the couch or chairs for support. Then, grab some flashlights, picture books, and cups of cocoa (with marshmallows, of course) and head under cover. Give the blankets and sheets a soft, soothing boost with a liquid fabric softener in a soothing scent.
Create a meaningful still life. For a quick dose of happiness, gather some of your favorite things—photographs, fresh flowers, small pieces of pottery or sculpture, even your children’s artwork—and arrange them in a tableau that reminds you of the small pleasures in your life. Make sure it’s in a place you walk by or gaze at frequently (on your desk or nightstand, for example), for maximum impact.
Schedule a home-based matinee. Put on a classic movie and snuggle up with your kids on the couch for a private screening. Pop a large bag of plain, microwave popcorn, and then divide it into individual bowls. Let each snacker choose how to flavor their batch (think: cinnamon sugar, Parmesan cheese, cumin, or other spices). For added fun, let everyone do a taste test then vote on the best flavor.
Prepare your own stress SOS kit. Think about how you could treat your senses to some R&R when your stress-meter hits overload. Organize a basket of soothing items like scented candles, bath salts, and your favorite tea (try calming flavors such as green, chamomile, or vanilla), and keep a playlist of your favorite relaxing music on hand. Turn to these tools as needed and enjoy the comforts of home.