The UK meteorological winter officially kicks off on Wednesday 1 December to mark the season’s start, show the warmer side to winter, and help winter whiners beat the blues, so let’s get together and celebrate Winter’s Eve.
The Winter Solstice. A reminder of the cycles of life. An invitation to pause and tune in to the miracle of nature, to rest and be rejuvenated. A moment of quiet just for you, knowing that where there is darkness there will also be light Accept that the past was then, and it was what it was. This is now, and it is what it is. Your life is happening right here, and every day is the beginning of the rest of your life.
Fredagsmys translates, quite literally, to “cosy Friday,” and refers to the Swedish end-of-the-week ritual of holing up at home to relax, indulge in comfort food, watch movies and enjoy quality time after a week of hard work.
Winter in Sweden is all about enjoying cosy as temperatures can drop to as low as -30°C. There is even a dedicated Swedish term to describe cosiness and the pleasure that being cosy provides: Mysig.
I truly believe that ‘creating cosy’ can really help to elevate our mood, allowing us to celebrate the season rather than scorn it. After all, there is so much to love about winter – cosy nights in, dimmed lighting, intimate gatherings with friends or family, comfort food and drink, roaring fires and snuggling up in layers or blankets.
Research is revealing that four in ten of us believe cosy nights are THE best thing about the colder months, I’d be well advised to take inspiration from the pros on how to master the art of ‘Cosyology’:
Fredagsmys & National Cosy Night
Embrace “cosy Fridays” the Swedish way by snuggling on the sofa with a good book or film, grabbing your favourite foods and getting ready to enjoy a relaxing evening. Blankets, slippers and flickering candles will add to the homely atmosphere. Light the fire and enjoy the glow of the embers for a truly cosy touch.
A hug from homemade bake
Baking is a national pastime in Sweden, with typical wintery treats including cinnamon and saffron buns, caramel knäck and warming glasses of glögg. Not only does baking provide a welcoming aroma, but it also warms the home and brings families together to create culinary delights.
Why not plan a winter’s worth of fun baking events or competitions with friends or colleagues to see you through the colder months?
Brighten dark nights with soft light
In Sweden, it’s customary to use lamps rather than ceiling lights in the home. To create a soft glow, keep overhead lights off and opt for strings of fairy lights and table lamps to create a cosy living space.
You can’t get cosier than a roaring fire in winter. The smell of the burning wood, the sounds of crackling logs and the warming glow from the flames will provide the much needed toasty temperatures and make your home inviting.
Comfort food and drink
Get creative in the kitchen and cook up some warming foods this winter. Soups, stews, casseroles, pies, curries and roasts are simple to make and will provide the comfort to see you through cold weather. Sweet treats could include crumbles, steamed puddings or warm chocolate brownies.
For warming tipples, stock up on mulled wine and cider, plus good quality hot chocolate and coffee. Brandy, whiskey, rum and Baileys are good warming alcoholic options too, whilst mulled apple juice will help the kids feel part of the winter rituals.
Although it’s tempting to go straight for PJs after a long day, Swedes prefer to look casual but put together – after all, you never know when a friend or neighbour may pop round for a cup of coffee!
Try a fleecy jumper with lounge pants or harem trousers for a stylish evening option and opt for natural fibres such as wool, linen, silk and cotton for your evening attire to win out on both aesthetics and comfort.
We inevitably have to brave the cold in the winter but being cosy outdoors can be easy if you have the right gear. Invest in some new knits, a good coat, a smart hat, and start enjoying a winter wardrobe that can keep you both stylish and warm.
Indoor crafting for QCT (quality cosy time)
A great way to keep little ones entertained at home is to make your own winter decorations. Wreaths, paper chains, photo frames, Christmas cards, candle holders, tablecloths… there are endless possibilities. On a cold or rainy day, crafting is a great way to spend time indoors, get cosy and help pass the time.
Snuggling up with a good book is a splendid way to get through the long winter evenings. Rather than spending time glued to apps, tackling emails or scrolling through social media, reading is a great way to escape the daily grind and the perfect distraction for a successful ‘digital detox’. How about starting a winter book club with friends or family? An evening catching up on the latest bestsellers over a glass of wine is the epitome of a cosy night in.
Embrace Contura’s Cosyology tips and inspiration by creating a cosy and welcoming environment at home and winter will be far more enjoyable. Incorporating Mysig at home is easy too. Try a relaxing candle-lit bath, do some baking, enjoy cake with friends, start a new book or box-set, dim the lights and add lots of cosy soft furnishings.
Mysig involves being kind to ourselves, enjoying little indulgences and taking pleasure in simple things. It’s about embracing downtime, making our homes cosy and spending quality time alone or with others. It’s fair to say that we Swedes get through our long winter by being devoted followers of Mysig living.
*Do connect with me on Instagram at @KiranSinghUK for behind the scenes, daily updates, inspiration and more!