Every year, despite my best efforts, summer fades into fall, which fades into the dreary, gray deathscape of winter. It’s definitely not my favorite time of year, but even so, I have some tips for how to enjoy the winter, especially if you hate being cold as much as I do.

two mugs of cocoa topped with marshmallows and cinnamon sticks on a white fuzzy rug in front of a roaring fire with the text "How to Enjoy the Winter Even Though It's the Worst Season"

Before we get too far into it, yes. I’m happy to acknowledge that as someone who lives in Oklahoma, winter isn’t particularly rough here. We do get some below freezing temperatures, but those are generally offset by a few days in the sixties that come out of nowhere.

Even so, it took me a long time to learn how to enjoy the winter, and I’m happy to share how I finally learned how.

Mostly, I Don’t Like Winter

There are places where winter is beautiful. I don’t live in one of those places.

We do occasionally get snow, but for the most part, winter is a very barren time. All the trees are leafless and the grass is a brownish gray. The death is visible. It’s all over the place.

And when you couple that with cold northerly winds that blow at high rates of speed (tornado alley is what it is), winter is just really gross.

It should also be noted that I hate wearing coats and the dry air from heaters. I hate not being able to run and check the mail while barefoot, and even though you can buy veggies all year round, they generally don’t taste good until the summer.

And, not to be a total Grinch, but the holiday season, regardless of where you put it in the year, kind of ruins everything for me. I just hate all the mandatory fun of traditions that no one really enjoys. But because it happens in winter, it’s somehow worse.

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Why I Like the Winter Season

Not everything about winter is terrible. I’m a soup girl, and everyone who is subscribed to my newsletter knows that I have an annual soup day where I cook a ton of different soups and freeze them so there’s always some soup at the ready.

I also love having a fire in the fireplace. It’s one of the coziest things, and I have been known to take my laptop in the living room to write by the fire.

Red wine feels like an appropriate drink for the winter, and I do enjoy it then as well. Plus, winter is truly the season for baking because using the oven won’t make your house unbearably hot. So there are fresh breads and cookies for days!

And as much as I hate the holidays, I do love New Year. And there’s just something perfect about starting a new year when the air is crisp and cold. It’s like a wakeup call.

These little things have helped me learn how to embrace winter, so think about the little things you like during this season before checking out the tips below.

How to Enjoy the Winter

Knowing how to enjoy winter when you hate it isn’t an intuitive thing, especially if you live in a place with inconsistent temperatures. Plus, unless you’re from a really cold place, you may not know all the tricks for actually staying warm.

(This sounds stupid to some, but I’ve survived multiple tornadoes and summers with temperatures consistently over 100 degrees. Have you? It’s almost like we adapt to the place we live in, and making fun of people for not being able to handle a specific type of weather that you’re accustomed to is a dick move.)

So if you want to know how to make the most of winter or simply how to get through the winter months a little more comfortably, check out these tips for how to enjoy the winter.

  1. Embrace soups. Soups are always hot and filling. I recommend perfecting your potato soup recipe and finding a good, hearty stew. Also a Hungarian mushroom soup with a slice of crusty bread really soothes the soul.
  2. Get wool socks. Your white cotton socks aren’t enough in the winter time. Get some merino wool hiking socks. They will change your life. Plus, if you wear them with your slippers, your feet will finally be warm.
  3. Tailor your media to the season. Watch movies with beautiful snow scenes. Read books about winter holidays. Listen to songs that sound like they should be played alongside a roaring fire. Cozy winter media means cozy winter thoughts. Check out these holiday books for adults for some inspiration.
  4. Get sunshine once a day. This may be the hardest thing to do on this list. But if you see some sunshine peeking through the blinds, open them up and bathe in it. Go outside if you can and enjoy it. I’ve got a few more unpopular acts of self-care that I think you might need too.
  5. Lean into anything you actually like during this time. Even if you hate winter, there’s probably something that happens during winter that you enjoy, like decorating for the holidays or winter foods. Add more of those things to your life to help you enjoy this season.
  6. Drink warm stuff all day. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, and cocoa after dinner. I swear by this. Also, don’t sleep on herbal teas. There are tons available, and some of them are specifically made to help you get over winter colds.
  7. Eat cozy. Baked goods, soups, roasts, and potatoes for days, my friends! Find recipes that are perfect for keeping you warm and full. Then, meal plan around those.
  8. Sleep more. Traditionally, people slept more in the winter. And I know that your job and the pace of life doesn’t always allow that now. But if you can sneak an afternoon nap on a day off, do it. Also, you never regret going to bed early.
  9. Partake in snow days. If you have some PTO and it snows, take the day off. Enjoy the snow the way you did when you were a kid.
  10. Schedule some fun times. You need to have things to look forward to, especially when you know that there are months before the sun will stay in the sky a decent amount of time. My husband and I have a Christmas date tradition where we celebrate the holiday together. We go out, exchange gifts, and eat something we want, not something we’re traditionally obligated to consume. I may also institute a January and February date, just so we can have something to do when it’s cold and dark.
  11. Candles and Christmas lights do wonders. If you read all the books on hygge that came out a few years ago, then this will sound familiar. Warm candlelight and the low glow of Christmas lights can brighten up a space and make it feel way more cozy than standard lighting does.
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How Do You Enjoy Winter?

What tips do you have for those of us who struggle with winter? How do you stay warm? What do you look forward to most during the winter season?

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