4 Ways To Brighten Up Your Winter

Simple tips for adding light to this dark season.

November 16, 2016
painted winter landscape

Winter brings darkness. For some of us (like me!), that’s hard to handle. But I was chatting with my butcher at the farmers’ market, lamenting summer’s end. He said the warm months are his busiest, so he looks forward to winter, when he can sit by the fire and read. He got me thinking of ways I could brighten up winter. Here are four I thought of. I’d love to hear yours. (E-mail me!)


Don’t just stick to the regular holidays. Host a game night or a potluck to get loved ones together, even though it may seem too cold to get out of bed.


Surround yourself with light and heat.

Many cultures have a “festival of lights” to symbolize faith that the sun will return. Throw your own festival: Light candles (safely), take hot baths, find a sauna to sit in, or build a fire in a hearth. And make sure to get outside during the few hours of daylight to absorb that essential vitamin D.

Related: How The Darkest Town In The World Survives

Plan your garden.

My favorite way to brighten the gloom is to eat foods I made from my garden and froze in August: pesto, tomato sauce, broths, freezer pickles. The earth might be fallow, but these dishes remind me that plants will sprout again—if I pay attention to them now. Winter is the time to plot out your garden and find seeds. I love online sources like Seed Savers Exchange, but many supermarkets now carry organic seeds. (Check out these 8 gardening tasks you should do this winter.)


Be a beacon for others.

Think of yourself as a shining star with light to share. Love has the biggest glow. Let it shine!