It's here. The days are shorter, nights are crisp and mornings are hard - but we all know the real cold is yet to set in.
So let's fight the seasonal dread: here are seven ways you can brighten winter days, enjoy winter nights, and generally love the cold season all the way 'til spring.
Spiced hot chocolates: delicious proof that winter isn't all bad...
Roll with it. Summer knows we miss it, but let's focus on the greatness we can discover this winter!
2: Make Your Home Warmer
Kiwi houses are famously freezing, apparently all built in the middle of summer by people who were too optimistic about our "South Pacific" title.
Staying warm is an incredibly important factor for our health and should be a high priority (within your means) for you and your family.
- The Sustainability Trust
This organisation is an amazing resource offering tips and products to help make your home warmer and safer. They run workshops, have a curtain bank, install insulation and more.
- Heat your home for free
If you have a fire get free wood from businesses (like us) that offer untreated pallets. Get bonus body heat working to break them up!
Do you have a smaller spare room you don't use? Consider turning that into a winter living room. Smaller rooms can be heated much faster and more efficiently than large living rooms, plus they add a cosy factor!
3: Make Yourself Warmer
- Nana up
If knitting can come back into fashion so can the classic grandma look, right? We think hot water bottles, knee rugs and slippers are set for a comeback too.
- Keep moving
Walk to work if you can, and go on weekend expeditions. Keeping up your fitness through winter can help keep you warm with optimised circulation, and beat the winter blues with boosts of exercise endorphins.
- Ask the boss to turn it down (nicely, of course)
Being warm is important, but spending 9-5 in the fake Tropics of an overheated office is unhealthy. If you need to, find out who sets the temperature for your building and see if they can make it more reasonable. Remind them of the sick day pay they'll save!
4: Embrace the Embrace
Snuggling has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and boost the immune system, and winter is the perfect time to get your snuggle on.
Cuddle up on the couch with your partner, or pile on the kittens and puppies, share the kid's duvet while you read bedtime stories, or go 50/50 on a knee rug and plate of cookies with your bestie while you catch up on Game of Thrones.
5: Refresh your Wardrobe
The change of season is the perfect excuse to have a wardrobe clear out (and restock).
Store summer clothes out of the way, making a pile of giveaways as you go. Now you can either organise a clothes-swap with your friends, or donate your pre-loved beauties to op shops or charities.
And as nights turn Arctic remember that everyone looks fabulous in PJs - go for it!
6: Cook for the Season
Cold weather calls for hearty recipes. Get out the slow cooker or big pot and plan soups and stews all week long.
Warm up with Italian Bean and Tomato Soup
There are also certain seasonal delights which we only get in these months too. Root vegetables come to the fore of course, but don't forget fruit treats including persimmon, tamarillos and feijoas (these can be enjoyed raw or added to warming baking like tarts or crumbles).
To round an evening off why not enjoy a spiced hot chocolate or warming stout? Astounding but sad fact: in 1814, 1.23 million litres of beer (2.6 million pints, mostly stout and porter) burst from a gigantic brewery in London and flooded the surrounding suburb, killing 8.
7: Take Care of Your Health
Winter can bring with it specific health considerations such as vitamin D deficiency, compromised immunity, and dry skin.
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