It’s a little bit hard sometimes to live with the fact that it’s pitch-dark in the morning when you drag yourself to the office, and then it’s pitch-dark in the afternoon when you leave work. And the fact that things are going to stay this way for months to come doesn’t make it any better.
BUT! We are all aware of positive thinking and everything good that comes with it, so let’s not dwell in angst but instead look on the bright side and all the things that we can do now, that don’t necessarily feel quite as great when there’s an abundance of light and warmth outside. Here’s my ultimate survival list for getting through the dark period:
Make a cozy spot at home and enjoy the time spent indoors
Sometimes I find myself sitting on the sofa, with a glass of wine in my hand and candles burning on the coffee table and on the window sills, thinking “I’m so fortunate!”
I feel so privileged sitting there in my warm clothes in my beautiful, warm home with all the possible comforts in life that most people in the world can’t even dream of. Realizing this, even if only for a brief moment, makes you appreciate the little things that go unnoticed on a regular-basis. And it’s a great feeling, appreciation!
To help you see the awesome little everyday things, that this time of year provides us, I recommend you do as I did and pick a spot in your home where you feel particularly comfortable. It can be a couch, your bed, or if you have one of those ‘reading corners’ with a comfy arm chair and a table to set your cup of tea on, then I’d definitely go for that. I also very much enjoy sitting on a window sill watching the world go by outside.
Think about some little things that you could bring to your comfy spot to increase the comfort-factor: a wonderfully scented, elegant candle; a pillow or four; or a warm blanket. Organize that one little space so that you can stop there for a little while at least once a week and just chill. Enjoy the moment, read a book, watch a film or just rest your eyes for a bit.
If you’re not yet familiar with slow living, this is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with it!
Visit Christmas markets
This is a particularly European phenomena that I love, love, LOVE so much! Christmas Markets! Every country, even every city has their own Christmas Markets that open their gates at the end of November, some of them even in mid-November.
If you have yet to discover the joys of European Christmas Markets I suggest you book a flight ASAP and head to (seriously) any destination on this wonderful continent. It really doesn’t matter which country you end up in, there’s a Christmas Market there for sure!
I would suggest aiming at Central Europe; Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary all have spectacular Christmas Markets. And since all these countries are so close to each other, why not rent a car and visit as many of them as you can. One could easily fit even 3 Christmas markets in just one weekend (believe me, I’ve done it).
Check out my tips for the ultimate road trip here.
Make plans for the year to come
How many of you like to make New Year’s Resolutions?
I sure don’t. And the reason for that is simple; I know I’d never keep them :D Those resolutions often tend to go along the lines of “I will lose weight”, “I will get a raise/promotion/new job” and “I will stop eating candy”.
All good ideas but there’s just one thing: life happens. And that means that more often than not you find yourself in a situation where such resolutions simply cannot be kept. Things like breaking up with your boyfriend: nobody should be left to endure such a situation without the release that candy brings to it!
Instead of actual, concrete resolutions, I like to just take a look ahead and think about what can be expected from the year to come and what are the things that I’d like to put some more effort into in the future.
For me 2019 is literally going to start with a BANG anyway: I’M TURNING 30 IN JANUARY! The party plans are already well on their way and I can’t wait to get all of my favourite people together for a great night out! Otherwise that year is going to be a tad harder to plan:
Our aim was to move possibly away from Europe by the end of this year but the timeline has been pushed further and further into 2019. Right now nobody seems to know anything about our move…
Basically it all depends on my boyfriend’s work things. I’ve never been one to move anywhere for a man but here I am, waiting for my man to tell me when we’re going and where… Never say never, peeps!
Organize a get-together with friends
Since the dark months reach their tentacles across the year’s end, we should plan a little bit ahead and think about some survival tactics for January and February as well. One of my no.1 things to do when things get blue is to contact my favourite people!
Get-togethers with friends equal actual therapy sessions but cost considerably less. And since it’s your friends you don’t need to go to all the trouble of squeaky-cleaning the entire house from top to bottom, polishing those silvers and hiring a student or two to serve the coffee (unless you really, really like going to all that trouble).
Just purchase some cheese, grapes and a couple bottles of wine, and invite them over for a chat or a movie night. Simple but effective.
Book a pampering day at a Spa
Sometimes we all deserve a treat. Especially on those days when snow and wind are literally lashing you in the face so that your already dried up skin feels like it’s gonna crumble off your face any minute. OK, perhaps most of yous are living South enough to never experience such a weather phenomena, but every country has dark and rainy days that piss people off ;)
Treating yourself to a day at a spa is the ultimate favour from you to you. Sweat that stress out in a sauna, chill to the max in a jacuzzi and get a relaxing massage. If you still have some time left after all that chill, you might also go and get your nails done.
In many countries a spa day can cost more than many of us are willing to spend. Not that many people realize that it might actually be cheaper to travel a bit to enjoy a more reasonably priced pamper day. Here’s how:
Fact is that Eastern Europeans are crazy about spas. They’ve got it all; inside pools, outside pools, dozens of different kinds of saunas and pools with mineral water that keeps you young and healthy (if you believe in such things).
Make a quick search on Google or on Tripadvisor and compare the spa prizes in, for example, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine (I know that might sound like an outlandish option, but most of Ukraine is actually completely safe, it’s an enormous country after all). Personally I would opt for Ukraine because I know for sure, it’s ridiculously cheap.
And then click on to Skyscanner and find yourself some cheap flights. This might sound like an extravagant thing to do but trust me, where I come from it’s more expensive to pay for just 1 day at a spa than paying for flights, one night in a hotel and a day at a spa abroad. Been there done that :)
And there you have it; my survival kit for Winter. What do you think? I’d love to know if there’s anything you would add to the list? xx