5 Ways to Go From Dark To Cozy This Time of Year

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The time of the changing of the clocks is swiftly heading our way...how are we to deal with the dark days ahead?

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Back when my kids were little, I dreaded this time of year. I've always been sensitive to lack of sunlight, and the end of the yom tovim and the changing of the clocks would mean those dreaded, dark, after school, but not yet bedtime periods, when I would turn on all the lights, blast music, and throw dance parties in the living room to keep my kids, but mostly myself, from going insane. Remember, this was way before social media, so we all felt pretty isolated and stir crazy. Eventually I would give in and put on a video or computer game and let the kids space out until it was time for bath and bed time. Maybe I would actually pick up the phone that was attached to a cord  in the wall, and call a friend to chat while Walt Disney or Roller Coaster Tycoon would turn my kids into zombies for just a peaceful hour or so.

Getting involved with charities and school events really helped change my perception of those days. There were lots of meetings with like-minded creative women to attend, and phone calls to keep us busy during those hours when we were juggling the kids. It gave me a sense of purpose and camaraderie outside of being a stay-at-home mom. And slowly, for me, those dreary evenings turned into cozy ones, when the lights in the house glowed, the family bustling and busy.

As the kids got older and attended school full time, there was a security in knowing that from the end of the chagim and on, our lives would be structured and scheduled. Those dark days were a sign of that blissful stretch of routined life.

I still do get affected by our long winters and lack of sunlight, but that usually doesn't kick in until January, when I've pretty much had enough. Until then I relish in the coziness of autumn. Here are some of my favorite ways to take advantage of this time of year and turn these dark days into a warm and fun experience, as much as possible.

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1. Take advantage of your local cozy book stores.

Who doesn't love the smell that hits you when you walk into any Barnes and Noble? The combo of strong coffee and books is one of the most intoxicating aromas ever. Take your laptop and find a cozy spot to work, read, blog, or just people watch. Today's book stores and Barnes and Nobles are like the cozy Inns of yore, a calming respite from the eerie early evening gloom. A warming cup of hot coco (or an almond milk latte) doesn't hurt either.

2. Netflix and chill.

When it's bright and sunny, not too many people are interested in family movie time. But when it's dark before dinner time, movie night is a really cool and fun bonding experience. Go ahead, dig out one of those old Disney classics you watched when you were a kid (when your mom was going crazy) and enjoy it as an adult with a buttery bowl of popcorn, or even better, a square of dark chocolate and a glass of wine. The humorous commentary and conversation of your family members may be even more entertaining than the actual movie.

3. Embrace the magical glow of the city.

The other night I went out to dinner with my husband, and as we pulled into the city from the Lincoln Tunnel, I told him that every single time, it feels like I'm entering into a magical place, like Emerald City. There is just something about the sheer volume of energy, from the masses of people to the glitter of all the electricity, from deep underground to stories way up high, that just offer a buzz of delight to the senses.

Fur by Fur by Shirelle. Boots by Stuart Weitzman.

This time of year in any city is just magical. And because it gets dark so early, you can literally go out, reap the magic, and be home, tucked cozy in bed, by 10.

4. Get creative.

I've always blogged way more in the winter than in the summer. I never really understood why until now, writing this post. As I sit in my cozy Barnes and Noble, I realize that being creative brings as much, if not more, of a hit of dopamine to the brain, as laying in the sun does, just without the harmful UV rays. Whatever your passion is, get to it. Paint, redo your furniture, write, redecorate your house, plan a party, get involved in a local charity event...just get out there and get creative. When you're in the 'flow', the dark you won't even know.

5. Relish in the fashion.

You don't have to be a stylist to know that getting dressed is way more exciting and fun in the fall and winter. Did you ever go to Miami in January when it's 68 degrees and the locals are wearing chunky sweaters and boots simply because they finally CAN? How lucky are we that by August we have thick, juicy magazines (and blogs) to guide us into the lush fashions of fall and winter. Who doesn't love layering their gorgeous new boots over cozy leggings, wool skirts, and fabulous sweaters and scarves? And I haven't even mentioned the coats and jackets. This season you can choose from rich camel coats, funky patched moto jackets, and fabulous furs in every color and design. Or choose them all.

Hey, in the winter you can even wear the same thing every day and just change up your booties and your outwear. So fun and cozy!

Here are some more fabulous and cozy fall/winter items I've chosen for you to shop right here from the blog. (Click on items to shop.)

Which are your favorites? What are some of the ways you banish the dark day blues?

Until next  time,



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