Finding joy in winter • Art de Vivre

Finding joy in winter

8 minutes to read
Dec 19, 2023

As the days get darker, work feels harder and people are louder - finding joy in the winter months can get a little tricky. Our bodies seem to want to prepare for hibernation mode yet the elongated Christmas party list, work events and end-of-year rush want the opposite from us. Christmas time can be a time of joy or great anxiety for many, and it’s important to slow down and find joy in the little moments. Going a little slower, being a little kinder and unravelling from the hype and rush around the last few weeks of the year.

1. Cold water swimming 

Cold water swimming Cold water swimming

It might sound like the opposite of what you want to do, but trust us - there’s nothing like baring your skin in the winter months in some cold water. In fact, in many places, it’s a bit of an institution. Swimmers meet up in the morning at Hampstead Ponds in London or the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park with flasks of warm tea, baked cakes and big smiles ready to exhilarate their minds and body in the cold. The benefits are extensive but it’s also just a fun way to integrate with a new community, make new friends and keep your mind happy. Let’s face it, if you start your day with cold water - nothing else will be as painful for the rest of the day, and you’ll feel like a superhero. Make sure you wrap up warm afterwards and don’t push yourself to stay in for too long, even just getting into a swimsuit in the cold is a huge achievement!

2. Morning walks

Instead of lingering in bed in the morning, make yourself a warm drink and go for a walk. Morning in the winter months can be beautiful, filled with birdsongs, crisp air and stunning light. Instead of rushing, take each step with intention. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath, the crunch of the ground beneath your feet, and the subtle sounds of the environment. This mindful approach to walking can help centre your thoughts, reduce stress, and foster a sense of gratitude for the beauty around you.

3. Winter Book club  

Winter Book clubWinter Book club

Create or join a winter-themed book club with your nearest and dearest. Select books that can transport you to snowy landscapes, cosy cabins, or magic winter worlds. Reading and discussing these books with others can be a lovely way to stay connected, discover new perspectives and share the joy of reading in the winter months. We always recommend starting the session with some writing: a one-page gratitude list. Write down anything you’re grateful for in your week or in your year, who you’re grateful for and what you’re happy about - this is a great way to start a book club session because it reminds everyone they don’t have to be there, but they’re choosing to be there.

4. Winter gardening 

Even in colder climates, there are winter-friendly plants that can bring life to your outdoor space. Consider planting winter blooms or maintaining cold-tolerant herbs. The act of caring for plants, even in the winter, can be therapeutic and rewarding. Plus, a touch of greenery in your surroundings can lift your spirits on grey days. Remember, finding joy in winter is about embracing the season rather than resisting it. It’s about finding a little bit more joy in the ordinary. 

5. Hygge evenings

Hygge eveningsHygge evenings

Embrace the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), which is all about creating a cosy and content atmosphere. Light some candles, put on your favourite soft jumper and trousers, and indulge in simple pleasures like reading a book, listening to soothing music, or enjoying a warm cup of herbal tea. It’s a wonderful way to find joy in the little things and create a sense of calm in your home. 

Finding joy in winter is like an art, a delicate dance between embracing the season’s unique offerings and creating moments of warmth and connection. From invigorating morning walls that welcome the crisp air and birdsongs, to reading and lighting cosy candles to create the perfect calm-down atmosphere. As we savour the pleasures of winter, we discover that the joy resides not in the grand gestures but in the small, tender moments. Winter is not a hibernation from life; rather, it is an invitation to explore new avenues of happiness. As the cold blankets the world outside, let us wrap ourselves in the warmth of winter activities, fostering connections, creativity and contentment in the heart of the cold. 

Want to read more from us? Check out our events to experience in Berlin this winter.

Photo Credits: © Unsplash

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