4 ways to savor the long winter nights
We may be past the winter solstice...but there are still some long nights (or rather, afternoons!) ahead.
While that may sound daunting, whether it's because of seasonal affective disorder or you just don't love commuting in the dark, these 5 p.m. sunsets don't have to be a drag. In fact, many people learn to love the darkness by cultivating rituals that take advantage of it. (This is in the spirit of "hygge" (HOO-gah), the Danish concept of coziness during winter.)
Here are four ways to make the early nightfall a time of reflection, coziness, and warmth.
1. Surround yourself with loved ones.
There's nothing more important in life than families, friends, and communities. Having a network of people who care about you can provide emotional and mental support, help you cope with stress and challenges, and bring joy and happiness to your life. Close relationships with others can also help boost your self-esteem, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Many of us know that intuitively, yet we also may live far from the people we love most. But that doesn't mean we can't keep them close with our handcrafted pewter picture frames.
2. Find mindfulness in your daily rituals.
Finding mindfulness in daily rituals can be a great way to bring more focus and presence into our lives. By intentionally choosing to be present in our actions, whether it be making coffee in the morning or taking a shower at night, we can live more fully in the present moment, rather than getting caught up in the stress and distractions of our daily lives. Slowing down and appreciating the simple pleasures of life can help us live more intentionally and with greater connection to the world around us.
3. Sit back, take a sip, and relax.
When we relax, our bodies and minds can rest and recharge, helping to reduce stress and anxiety levels. If you're a hard worker, you may find it hard to "turn off" after work—all the more reason to prioritize doing so! Taking time to relax can also improve concentration and productivity, as well as strengthen relationships and boost overall happiness. It can also help us start the next day with more energy and creativity.
So sink into your favorite chair, take a sip, and simply enjoy the quiet.
4. Savor the peace of early nightfall.
Savoring the peace of night can be beneficial for both physical and mental well-being, helping to reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and promote better sleep. Many people cultivate favorite indoor activities like crocheting, reading, board games, or writing—"quiet" activities that can get lost in the excitement of summer.
This is a beautiful way to stay in tune with the seasons, to accept rather than fight or bemoan the changing amount of light.
Change is at the heart of life, and adapting to it is one of the best-kept secrets of well-being. By accepting the long winter nights and finding ways to appreciate, not just tolerate, them, we can find peace and joy in each moment--no matter what time sunset is.
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