Winter Rituals I Can’t Live Without

floral sheets
I think we can all agree January is the worst month! After the hype of the holidays, the next month is a bit of a let down and personally I struggle with the darkness even though I know lighter days are on their way. I’ve learned to be kind to myself and be intentional about comforting rituals and details this time of year to make the days cozier. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Tea time. Every morning, I brew a cup of jasmine green tea. It’s something I look forward to that gets me out of bed.

2. Candles. I light them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and sometimes have one lit all day long. It’s crazy how much a difference in my mood it makes!

3. Speaking of breakfast, I try to take a bit longer with my breakfast ritual each morning, whether it’s making baked eggs or a bowl of porridge. I appreciate the meditative act of chopping vegetables and lighting the stove, all while the kettle is whirring, first thing in the morning.

4. Getting as much light as much as possible. First thing in the morning I love opening the drapes, and alternately, closing them as it gets dark. I try to be more intentional about getting out when it’s sunny and taking advantage of as much light as possible.

5. Walking. It’s sometimes tough to get myself out the door, but always rewarding, and soothes the mind.

6. Cooking comfort foods. I love indulging in cooking and baking. The comfort is also in the process. I light the candles in the kitchen, give it a nice cleaning, before getting started. Filling the house with delicious aromas, and just hearing something simmering on the stove feels special!

7. Fika time!

8. Lighting lanterns if you have a porch or a balcony!

9. Surrounding myself with the color pink. I notice I am drawn to this color a lot, especially during winter. It’s supposed to be nurturing.

10. I tend to hibernate a lot in the winter but forcing myself out to socialize always makes me feel better. I adore having indoor picnics with friends or having a set pub date!

11. Wearing florals!

12. Wearing bright socks.

13. Hot baths and showers, mornings and evenings.

14. Netflix. I adore watching entire series this time of year, as I try to accept that this month won’t be as productive and often give in to watching an entire series. Or for movies, my favorites are the French comedies on Netflix.

15. Books. Especially big picture books about gardens and seed catalogs!

16. Good music. I notice music is a bigger part of my life in the winter, as I am home more. It’s amazing how much it lifts the mood!

17. City strolling. I adore strolling through the city at night when shops or cafes are open late, seeing all the candles, lights, and people out and about makes me feel more alive.

18. Fires. If you are lucky to have a fireplace this time of year, it’s such a fun ritual to light it every morning or evening!

19. Throw blankets. I adore cozying the house with throw blankets on the sofa, on the bed!

20. Wearing big scarves, thick socks, and oversized cardigans.

21. Hothouse flower arrangements.

22. Making the bed each morning! Making home as comfy and enjoyable as possible is so important this time of year!

23. Winter picnics outside.

24. Winter sports! Snowshoes!

25. Going to art galleries, museums, libraries, and ballets on weekends. Having a set date for a cultural event every Saturday or Sunday is lovely I think!

What are your favorite winter time rituals and habits that keep you happy this time of year?

Photo: Chelsea Fuss.


  1. Fantastic list, Chelsea! I struggle a lot in the winters too; once there’s snow on the ground I just want to hibernate. This is unfortunate because I live in an area where it’s not unusual to get 100″or more of snow per winter (not a native to this area, so it’s been hard for me adapt.)

    Anyway, I wear a lot of red in the winter; I find it energizing.

    I live within walking distance to the library, so I headed over there during a snowstorm last week; came home with a workout book and some shelter books.

    I make a lot of soups; serve them with homemade biscuits or bread – comfort food. I made cookies for my husband. Even though we have central air, I don’t like heating up the kitchen too much in the summer, so I make up for it in the winter.

    I’m striving to get at least 30 min of exercise every day (doesn’t have to be done all at once), and also am trying to do something creative every day – playing with colorful fabrics, paints and papers really helps dispel the gray, cloudy days. It’s been several days since we’ve had real sun but I’ve hardly noticed!

  2. Love these. For some reason, poetry always comes back into my life at this point in the year. It isn’t necessarily a ritual, but I enjoy how I drift back to finding poetry comforting in the winter.

  3. Gosh! I hadn’t thought about winter rituals besides cross country skiing. But with the disgusting lack of snow in Massachusetts right now, it’s fun to think about what brings a calm smile at this time of year:
    1. puzzles on the coffee table and playing ‘Battleship’ with my boys
    2. soup, definitely more soups – newest fave: 4 Corners Lentil Soup
    3. giving myself more time to veg out on the couch to read while the kitten sleeps on my chest
    4. hot drinks: tea, lemon & water, hot cocoa (with the REALLY good dark cocoa powder) that last one goes great with popcorn & Netflix!
    5. making Jacques Pepin’s apple gallette: for dessert, for company, for breakfast – it always turns out delicious and get’s enjoyed by everyone

  4. I’ve been enjoying the dark more this year than in past year’s and entered January being grateful for the “quiet side of winter”. I’ve been knitting and quilting like crazy and have a stack of about 5 new books to get thru. I’m starting to do garden planning and the craving for pink is starting to kick in… love the idea of hot house flowers, and will search for some!

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