Stay Active With a Winter DIY Project

Spending more of your time at home likely means more wear and tear. Now that it’s winter, one good way to stay #active is by doing a few #DIY projects to make your space more livable. Start with a good #decluttering (as always, ClothingDonations.org will be happy to pick up your extra stuff) and #deep-cleaning, then sand the floors or try out a new coat of paint. Not only will such projects keep you moving instead of languishing on the couch, they will make it your home that much more inviting when you do decide it is the time to binge-watch your favorite shows. #StayActive

Take Your Winter Workouts Outside

Going to a health club or gym may not be your first choice to stay active as the #omicron variant is pushed #COVID-19 infections to record levels. Walking, running and cycling can be good, socially distanced wintertime alternatives, the Cleveland Clinic says, as long as you dress for the #weather. Invest in a good pair of shoes — waterproof, if necessary — and remember to incorporate stretching exercises into your workout since muscles constrict in the cold. Traditional cold-weather activities such as ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country and downhill skiing, are great options, too; vary your routine and you won’t get bored. #StayActive

Trick Yourself Into Getting Active

It’s difficult to start an outdoor exercise plan in the new year, exercise psychologist Jack Raglin told Today; the weather and lack of daylight often provide good excuses to stay sedentary. “People have been overindulging, they feel guilty, they feel like they have to do it, and they’re starting at a time when the environment is kind of conspiring against them,” he says. Luckily, there are ways to trick yourself into getting active: Get an exercise partner, even if you exercise on Zoom sessions; make your first goal just to get to the gym; or put your exercise clothes on before bed for the early-morning workout. #StayActive

Getting Active as the Temperatures Drop

The dead of winter has arrived in many parts of the country, with frigid temperatures and ample amounts of snow. While it’s tempting just to curl up under the covers in an effort to stay warm, it’s more heart-healthy to keep up your exercise regimen throughout the year. Find an activity that’s fun to do outside and dress in layers, Heart & Stroke says. Take advantage of the daylight hours to keep seasonal affective disorder at bay. And remember to stay hydrated even when you aren’t actively sweating or thirsty — cold air is often dryer than you think. #StayActive

Make Your Home Into a Hygge Haven

As readers may recall from previous wintertime posts, hygge (pronounced “HOO-guh”) is the Scandinavian concept of creating warmth, comfort and conviviality in spite of the frigid outdoor temperatures. With temperatures dropping into the single digits, we at The Organizing Blog thought it was time to offer a hygge update.

With the pandemic entering its third year, it’s worth noting that hygge jibes well with the stay-at-home ethic. It doesn’t require dressing up — just the opposite, in fact. Your most comfortable loungewear, flannels and woolen socks will be the height of hygge style.

A hygge home always includes flickering lights, according to Self magazine. Whether it’s a crackling fire in the fireplace, an arrangement of candles or holiday string lights, lighting should be muted, soothing and romantic.

You’ll also need a warm blanket to hygge-fy your home. Quiet pursuits such as a good book or jigsaw puzzle are extremely hygge, but practitioners are also welcome to binge-watch their favorite television programs. Calm relaxation is the key.

Eating in a hygge household should also be geared toward warmth: Coffee, tea and hot chocolate; hearty roasts and stews; and home-baked breads, pastries and cakes are definitely on the menu. Indulgent but fortifying, hygge foods might be called hearth-healthy.

Practiced most assiduously in the world’s happiest country, Denmark, hygge espouses #simplicity over #clutter. Too much #stuff, and hygge becomes difficult to achieve. After all, a #cluttered atmosphere is a hectic and stressful atmosphere.

Hygge and #decluttering are a match made in heaven,” says Do You. “While hygge by itself offers moments of comfort, you might be distracted or stressed by feeling that you are in an environment that is #untidy, cluttered or reminds you of things pending.”

If you’re stuck in a cluttered home, start by setting aside a small hygge haven; a single room can be your #sanctuary. Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to calm and cozy feelings, and #donate the things you won’t need again to  ClothingDonations.org.

Then, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate or whatever best warms your bones against the winter chill. You may just find that hygge is the #simplified lifestyle you’ve been missing!