For some of us, winter is hard. Shorter days and colder mornings. Shoveling out the long driveway before work. Our bodies can have a tough time adjusting to the changes in climate and sunshine. And even the most introverted of us can get cranky if we don’t get outside enough to move and stretch and exhale. The antidote? A mix of simple ideas that remind us that adding a touch of warmth, nature and fun to the season is all it takes to help us embrace the season.

Make Time for Family Time

What’s better on a cold, snowy day than planning an activity with the family or friends? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create new memories together, but you do need to be intentional about planning the time to plan! Gather the gang together and talk about where you could explore, and what outdoor activities you could dive into together. Get the dates on everyone’s calendars so there are new adventures to look forward to. Who can you reconnect with that you haven’t seen in a while? What matters is making the time to talk, and making new memories together.  Let everyone share their ideas, and have fun dreaming up new ways to enjoy winter.  Try a new winter sport like snow shoes or revive an old one by sledding down a new slope. Plan a pajama party for the next snow day at home with popcorn, a new board game, and hot cider. Grab your friends and drive somewhere new to hunt together for fresh greens, berries, and pine cones. Bring the great outdoors – and memories of your time together – inside.

Warm Up Your Spaces

One of the simplest ways to love up winter is by adding layers and soft texture to your living spaces. Think cozy by adding soft sherpa throws to your family spaces for nights by the fire. Make sure everyone has a great pair of cozy slippers to slip into. And layer up your beds with flannel sheets, extra blankets, and quilted pillows that invite snuggling and comfort. And naturally, light the fire! Whether you have a traditional fireplace, wood stove, or gas-fired hearth or insert, nothing says “exhale” like sitting by a crackling fire.

Set the Scene With Scent

There’s a reason why real estate experts say to bake cookies before an open house. Comforting aromas signal “welcome home” and invite friends and visitors to share space with you. in winter, the scents that draw us close are those that evoke warmth: woodsy, earthy, and spicy fragrances such as evergreen, pine, cinnamon, and smoke. Place a basket of cinnamon scented pine cones on your entry table; light candles scented with nutmeg, pumpkin, and clove; and add a scented log to your fireplace. Don’t forget the upper portions of your home. Add evergreen clippings to a vase by your bedside, and switch up the fruity/floral air fresheners to warmer, spicier scents. Hang a bouquet of fresh eucalyptus inside your shower for a spa-like sensory treat. And treat your linens and bedding with a spritz of relaxing, inviting, lavender linen spray, available at any home store.

Share Memories

Simple things are the best, right? Start a conversation about favorite memories, and the conversation itself becomes a new memory. Ask the kids: What was your first memory of winter? Ask the grandparents: What did you guys d to entertain yourselves without screens and devices?  Share stories from the past: How did you and your siblings spend your winters? What were your favorite books in college? What were your funniest holiday moments? When we share stories and make space for listening to one another, we feel connection and love.

Sound easy? It is! So bundle up and go for a long walk in the new snow. Then make plans for a luxurious soak in the hot tub under the winter stars. Leave the phones at home and practice appreciating the splendors of the season. Then head inside and light the fire.

Winter is coming, and you’re going to love it.