I have lived on the sunny-Gold Coast on the east coast of Australia practically my whole life. It’s the type of place where the sun shines for almost 90% of the year, and you’re more surprised when it’s overcast than when it’s a beautiful clear-sky day. It’s also more hot than it is cold, and it’s practically beach weather all the time (even in the height of our “winter!”) So you can imagine that I was in for a bit of a shock to the system when I arrived in Copenhagen because it is practically the exact polar opposite of what I am used to experiencing day-to-day.
I’ve been pretty lucky so far, as I arrived in late-June, meaning that it was prime-weather time for Copenhagen. The first week or so of living here it was actually very warm and the sun was shining almost every day. But, last week we officially went into Fall and I have already noticed a change in the weather and temperature. Today I’m sitting in our apartment, rugged up in a blanket and watching the rain fall outside!
But I have a plan to combat those rainy-day blues using these 5 simple ideas. I am sure that it will prove full-proof in the long winter that is to come.
1. Make your home feel like a sanctuary for comfort and happiness.
The Danes are BIG on home decor and they are very proud of the extensive range of Danish design that accommodates this love. I’ve been lucky enough to survey pretty much all of the homeware stores in Copenhagen since arriving because we were literally moving into a bare apartment and so had to buy all of our furniture!
Because people don’t really want to spend their time outdoors when it is bucketing down, it is so important that you feel comfy and cosy in your home as this is where you will be spending majority of your time. So in an effort to not feel house-bound during the winter, we’ve put a lot of time and effort into decorating our apartment so it feels like a sanctuary for relaxation and happy-ness!
2. Use scented candles to create a mood and delicious smelly-apartment.
If you know me personally, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with scented candles (thanks to my sister Sammy!) They have an innate ability to instantly lift my mood, no matter what is happening. I’m not sure whether its the fact that they can turn a regularly-smelling room into a perfume shop, or the relaxing flickering light effect, or a combination of both.
All I know is that it is so satisfying to watch the candle burn down while snuggled under a blanket with a warm cup of tea in my hand. To me, this screams comfort and cosiness (perhaps the essence of Danish hygge too?!) If you’ve never tried scented candles before, I would recommend running to your nearest homewares store NOW to find one. My favourite brand back in Australia was Glasshouse, but now I am obsessing over Zara Home’s collection of scented goodies!
3. Bring the outside-in
Judging from the results that pop up when I search for “home decor” on Pinterest lately, the most sought-after accessory to have in your home is indoor plants. Having recently purchased an indoor plant to add to my ever-growing apartment I can totally see why!
There is something about having a bit of greenery to look at while chilling in your lounge-room that makes you feel a little more connected to the outside, and to nature, without even having to leave your house. It instantly feels as though there is more life around you, and I think that this has a direct impact on my mood! The bright colours also make for a good contrast against a grey sky when it’s rainy outside. So in my opinion – indoor plants are well worth the added cost!
4. Have friends over instead of going out
I absolutely love going out. No matter what it is – coffee, food, sightseeing, shopping, I love looking at what is around me and what the establishments around me have to offer. But let’s be honest, when its cold and grey outside, I don’t really want to be walking around the streets getting drenched.
So I’ve taken the approach of embracing my discomfort and chose to turn it into an opportunity to stay in but without having to sacrifice the company of the people you love! If you’re in need of some human interaction, invite your friends and family over for a meal, coffee or even just to hang out in your newly comfort-proofed pad. I’ve found that this is not only an economic way of enjoying everyone’s company (cause you don’t have to pay premiums for food or coffee!) but sometimes it can even be more enjoyable because you can do and eat exactly what you want.
5. Appreciate the sun when it is there!
Now that I’ve lived in a mostly rainy place, I’ve realised that I used to take the sun for granted because it was there all the time. It was as though the people on the Gold Coast were their usual selves when the sun was out, but super unhappy when it eventually decided that it had to rain (I mean, it is a tropical climate afterall!)
But there is a stark contrast in the outlook of the Danes. They are their usual selves when it is rainy, or cold, or even just overcast. But when the sun finally comes out – you can actually feel a change in the mood of the city. Everyone is outside enjoying the sun, whether they are sunbaking, riding their bikes, having a picnic or just walking the streets with their friends. And in all honestly I think that that is a much better way to be! So change your outlook and embrace the fact that it will be cold, but appreciate the sun when it is there.