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10 ways to enjoy the winter in your warm home

In this day and age, thanks to advanced insulation, we can fortify our homes against the cold outside in a way that is both sustainable as well as cost-efficient. But what do you do if you still dread winter blues even though your house offers thermal comfort?

It’s true that the winter season can seemingly drag on and on. After the stress and excitement of Christmas, shortly after the New Year’s resolutions, you find yourself facing chill winds in January, icicles in February, and slush into March and beyond. Your warm home is a welcome contrast against the routine of heavy coats, runny noses and fingers crossed every time you start the car. "Cabin fever" can set in and you may feel locked inside by season’s end.

Whether you appreciate winter for what it is or would rather avoid the season altogether, there are ways to make it more enjoyable. At Weber, we believe that what matters most is to care about people and their environment. We have compiled 10 top tips to show you how to pass the cold season in the comfort of your warm home.

1. Get together with friends and family

Winters are not meant to be spent alone. Traditionally, humans huddled together in the cold to stay warm physically, but there is also warmth, comfort, and peace of mind in the presence of others. When the weather is grim outside, fill your home with laughter. The festive season invites the joy of ceremonial decorations, sparkling lights and magical scents into your house. There is no reason you can’t continue coming together beyond the holidays if you create your own occasions: movie nights and show marathons, card games and board games, dinner parties, baking sessions or simply hot drinks in front of the fireplace or snug under blankets.

2. Eat well

Food is comfort in winter - if you choose the right diet and don’t overeat. Moderation is key when it comes to eggnog, Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. Balance your diet and eat healthy, satisfying food to warm you from within. Hot soups are perfect: pumpkin with sweet potato, Japanese miso or Pho Ga noodle soup. Try spicy curries or hearty winter stews with grains, lentils or beans to give you healthy choices and delicious flavors. Now is also the time to bake. From bread and rolls to cakes, cookies, muffins or French pastries. Teach yourself new recipes and make it a group activity with children or friends. Let the kitchen with its warm oven become the center of attention - nothing better than the anticipation and the smell of baking filling the house! 

Also, make sure to chase the season blues away with enough Vitamin D! We easily suffer from deficiency in winter because we lack sun, so stock up on foods high in Vitamin D: fish, soy, vitamin cereals and mushrooms. 

3. Get comfortable

If your home is cosy and inviting, it will provide you with constant cheer. Keep things neat and get comfortable. Thanks to proper insulation, your home is hopefully well insulated and you can turn on your central heating without wasting energy. Only turn it on in the rooms you are using and make sure not to overheat. Escape the winter gloom by turning on the lights as darkness can make you feel lethargic or miserable. Apply the same principle and conserve energy. Solar lights, LEDs and lower wattage bulbs can help. Warm tones improve your mood, but a daylight lamp can provide an extra kick when you need it.

Introduce new colors and scents with bright flowers (fake or real), candles, or essential oils. Throw blankets and pillows, thick rugs and heavy drapes create snug surroundings and invitations to lounge.

Take care to keep your house healthy and maintain air circulation. Let fresh air in frequently when possible without letting the warmth escape. Only open windows for short periods. Discourage mold growth by cleaning up condensation in window areas and in the bathroom.

4. Stay active

With ice and snow outside, it’s not the time to go jogging, but that’s no excuse not to exercise, so keep moving! It will be beneficial to your health to stay active. You will feel content and more at one with your body if you maintain your normal level of fitness. Moving also helps you keep warm from the inside. Even without an exercise bike or treadmill, there is strength circuit training, jumping rope, stair stepping, weightlifting or even dancing. You can get an exercise ball or an elastic resistance band for strength training. You can also mix in yoga, aerobics or Tai Chi, as each has a wealth of instructional online videos you can follow.

5. Broaden your horizon

Why not use winter time for learning new things? Use the days and nights at home to study. Hit the books oldschool under a blanket on the couch or in front of the fireplace. Or go with the times and choose from the many freely available online courses. Winter is a great opportunity to improve yourself and study what interests you. Pick a skill, subject, language, 

course or topic you want to acquire, get better at or know more about, then find out what resources are available. Check out books from the library, search for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), watch video tutorials or install an interactive app on your smartphone or tablet. Go at your own pace and set a clear goal of where you want to be when winter is over. Don’t hesitate to reach out to others, to ask for help or share your knowledge. Hold study sessions at home or virtually online.

You can also take the opportunity to assess yourself and your current situation. Is your career on track? Do you want to apply for new jobs or training? Are you following your dreams?

6. Relax

Which brings us to reflection and relaxation. The outside world is over-saturated with input and stimulation, so take your time in winter to release stress, rest, relax and reflect. Take a step back from what you have been doing and take stock. Are there any changes you wish to make? Is your life going according to plan, or do you want to correct course? Order your thoughts by writing them down and connect with your desires by looking at what you have and what you need. 

Clear your mind and let go, so new thoughts can take hold. Treat yourself to a hot bath with bubbles or essential oils; pick a "guilty pleasure" and indulge in it; allow yourself time and space to dream or think with no pressure. Identify things that help you in that effort, whether it is shutting yourself in your room or lying on the couch. Consider meditation or mindfulness exercises to get comfortable in your headspace.

7. Rediscover forgotten pleasures

"Why don’t we do that anymore?" All too often, we stop doing things we love for no apparent reason other than that we get busy with our everyday lives. Remember the joy a personal letter or a handmade card can bring? But when was the last time you composed a handwritten communication to a friend, to a relative? 

If you stop to think of it, there are probably a few things you have enjoyed in the past but haven’t done in a long time. Dig out your record collection and put the needle on some of those obscure albums you loved. Dust off the family album and show the kids what grandma looked like when she was a little girl. Read a story to your partner. Whatever you pick, keep in mind that it’s as much about giving as it is about getting; pleasure shared is double.

8. DIY

W inter is associated with wool, but if you are into arts and crafts, you don’t have to limit yourself to just knitting. Use the season to dedicate yourself to whatever DIY project you haven’t gotten around to during the year so far. 

Build a shelf, re-upholster your armchair, construct your man cave in the basement, make a birdfeeder, try your hand at pottery, concoct your own cosmetics, grow a mini garden in a jar, sprout seeds, re-pot all the plants - your imagination is the limit!

9. Sleep well

Days in winter are short and nights are long. Now is the time to fix your sleep schedule and adopt a healthy sleeping pattern. Make sure you get enough quality sleep, which for most people is between 7 and 8 hours per night. Don’t overheat your bedroom as this can give you trouble. About 65ºF (18.5ºC) is a recommended temperature. The room should be cool, dark, and quiet. However, your duvet should provide adequate warmth. The tog rating describes a material’s thermal insulation on an ascending scale. A typical winter weight will be between 12 and 15 tog.

Change your sheets once a week to improve your sleep experience and keep the bedroom feeling fresh. Allow yourself the luxury of sleeping in a little on spare mornings or weekends. Lying in bed with a good book is perfect in winter! If you have trouble getting up in the mornings because of the darker days, get a wake up light alarm clock to simulate a sunrise.

10. Get ready for spring

It’s called spring cleaning because the new season is supposed to motivate you, but once the days are warmer and spring has sprung, you will be out and about, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Beat the season and do your cleaning just before the end of winter. That way your home will already be sparkly and clean when spring arrives and you’ll be free to enjoy the new season. 

Tackle what you need to attack in winter: sort through your closet, organize your wardrobe and donate all items you no longer wear. Why not declutter other areas of your home as well? Take a long, hard look at all the things you are saving for one occasion or another and honestly consider if it will ever come.

And you?

In what way do you prefer to pass winter in your warm home? We at Weber are committed to people. If you haven't insulated your home against winter yet, find out what our innovative and efficient solutions can do for you by contacting your local Weber representative.

Weber Comforts

Comfort is probably the most important factor in our health and well-being. An interior which makes its occupants feel as comfortable as possible is a healthy, actively beneficial environment. 

Comfort is a state of well-being that derives from the material conditions of an environment: the way it is designed, built, decorated and furnished. The intelligent choice of materials and the way those materials are used is a major factor in determining the quality of an interior, and thus the level of comfort enjoyed by its inhabitants.

There are four key elements which contribute to general comfort. Together, they amount to goals building materials must achieve: