Welcome to the season slowing down, warming up, reflection and hibernation: Thaw yourself with some invigorating ideas.

Winter is a season for reinvention. The quietness that falls like a fresh blanket of snow is the perfect opportunity to reconsider our relationship with both the landscape and ourselves. It’s the time to look back on the past, make some changes and reemerge from self-imposed cocoons rested and revitalized ourselves and looked at the season through fresh eyes.

       

Gezelligheid

LANGUAGE: Dutch

PRONUNCIATION: “huh-zell-ich-hait”

ETYMOLOGY: Derived from gazel: a companion or friend, someone who belongs

MEANING: It’s is an atmosphere, a vibe, a serendipitous togetherness, an aesthetic, a relaxed mood, a feeling of flow, a sense of belonging. No matter where you are or what you are doing, it describes the sensation of being at home. You will find it where the coffee is hot, the beer is cold and a fire is roaring.

The hunger games

Chocolate dominoes, shortbread Jenga and Turkish delight checkers – who says playing with food shouldn’t be creative?

How to hibernate:

Drafty rooms, lukewarm tea, wet socks: When the cold winds blow in, wouldn’t it be nice to curl up into a fuzzy ball and snooze through winter? Humans may not be able to hibernate in the way some animals do, but we can find moments of brief respite from the season’s chill.

 

The meaning of light:

The daily rise and fall of the sun is one of the few reliable occurrences in our lives. Despite this simple cycle controlling the happenings of our planet, we don’t pay much attention to sunlight’s effect on our physical and mental health. And as some neuroscientists are beginning to discover, harnessing its radiant power could provide phenomenal benefits to our well-being.

For the past few billion years, the sun has reliably risen every morning and set every evening. Our bodies have therefore come to expect its daily spiral through the sky and most of our biological systems work on the assumption that we’ll follow along with its sunlight-based sequence. But now instead of waking with dawn, we have snooze buttons. Instead of dozing at dusk, we have Netflix.

Improving our relationship with the sun could help both our personal well-being and society overall.