Top 7 Tips to Bring Summer Inside This Winter
1. Fake That Flora
What is summer without flowers? Gardens and fields burst into bloom and splash the season with every imaginable colour. Naturally, flowers turn shy during the colder months and the neighbourhood becomes drab. One can only take so much white snow or frozen dirt. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a magic wand and run like a crazy person through every garden and whisk up some magical flowers for everybody? You'd probably get arrested, so let's focus on getting those flowers inside your own home.
Outside of season, those petaled beauties come with price tags that can make one's mortgage look cheap. It's not necessary to take your toddler's college fund and buy real flowers imported from some fancy distant nursery. These days, many shops (mortar and online) have stunning collections of fake flora. Even better, they are often affordable and you don't have to watch any wilting after purchase. So, pick your favourite summer flowers and arrange them everywhere that provokes a pleasing emotion.
2. Stained Glass
Summer is synonymous with heat. Perhaps you already cranked up the heater and your home has a cozy glow. But did you know that stained-glass can provide a semblance of warmth through light and colour? This is a fantastic way to add a magical touch to any room. All you need is a sunny window and some coloured glass.
Maybe you are lucky and already have a window or door installed with stained-glass mosaics. If so, you can still bring this colourful warmth to other rooms by hanging smaller stained-glass art pieces where there are sunny areas. In essence, one can achieve the same effect with cleverly arranged coloured bottles. Yellow, green and red vases are welcome to join the project. Once positioned on the window sill, or perhaps a table, the glass will cast colourful shadows against cloth, walls and the floor. For some, this display is a relaxing and beautiful way to capture the sunlight.
3. Serve Some Summer
This may sound crazy, but another way to banish a dreary day is to indulge in summer dishes. Emphasis on favourite. When asked about their most memorable summer moments, people often mention food. Things like picnics and barbecues with family and friends.
Winter is a lovely time for hot meals and for most, ice cream, water melon and chilled lemonade just won't bring the feel-good fuzzies. One can still hold a picnic. Kids, in particular, love weird parents who lay a spread out on the living room floor or pretend the seasons are different. Sometimes the simplest activities can knit a family tighter. So, arrange those fake sunflowers in the middle of the blanket, take out the salads and hot dogs and tell the offspring they're having picnic for dinner. There's no guarantee your teenagers (if any) will agree that what's happening is cool.
Awaken Your Favourite Aromas
4. Can You Smell it?
Never underestimate the end of your nose. How many times did a smell hit you out of nowhere and your mind pulled up a near-forgotten memory? Scented memories are like the brain's own bookmarks, but how to use them? Take the time and think what summer smells like to you. A tasty seasonal fruit? A particular dish that aunt Mabel makes every year at the family barbecue? The smell of a location you visit every summer? If possible, try to replicate these seasonal scents. To be honest, some will be very hard to recreate and others just plain impossible. However, a meal can be made and if a certain fruit or flower triggers summer in your brain, artificial versions are available. Often, with a little searching, one can find incense, essential oils or perfumes that come close to the real thing.
Speaking of senses, don't forget to use all five in your quest to defy winter. The flowers and stained-glass certainly count as visual elements and you already pigged out on aunt Mabel's apple pie. Perhaps you bought a flowery essential oil to flood the room with a warming scent. That leaves hearing and touch.
5. Hearing and Touch
The sense of touch could be a little difficult to use in this context. You could somehow give yourself sunburn or find a heated place to swim, if the latter is an activity the family enjoys during bikini season. Then by all means, go for it (the swim, not the sunburn). Sound, on the other hand, could banish the winter blues. There are countless apps available that play classic summer sounds from the beach, camping and forest noises. They can be incredibly soothing for insomniacs too. Just flip open a book, stretch out and let the waves break against a digital beach in the background.
Take a Break
6. Get Lazy
That's right, hold a summer holiday. Depending on your number of chores and toddlers, this vacation may last anywhere from thirty seconds to an hour. Grab it with both hands and relax! Sometimes, the so-called 'best' holidays only leave us more exhausted. Think of all the planning, travel arrangements and the struggle to stay within the budget while on holiday. If you stay home this winter (sorry, this synthetic summer), give laziness a try. Valued for its financial and flexible nature - laziness can be done anywhere and it's free - this anti-activity can bring more rest and rejuvenation than a busy family vacation. If the L-word makes you shudder, call it a well-deserved break instead.
But how to make it sunny? The problem is that most summer activities take place outdoors. It seems rather off to hang in a hammock wearing two jerseys, a beanie and thermal socks, among others. Your neighbours might call the medical services, even when you clutch a coconut with a party straw. A brainstorming session is the ticket to an energy-boosting rest. What lazy things made your summer evenings worth it? That glass of wine by the barbecue's glowing coals? If your barbecue is indoors, fire that baby up for a cozy evening. Should your grill be the mobile kind hibernating in the garage, no worries. Take any ideas that come to mind and get creative. Maybe the barbecue is out of the question but you can still enjoy some wine. Like writing? Consider writing about your happiest summer vacation moments while you sip a glass. You get the idea.
7. Bring it All Together
Life is busy. Often, there's no time (heck, energy) to make elaborate plans. Sadly, this holds true even for the things we need because they bring beauty and tranquility. Should you count yourself among the busiest of bees, start small. Add touches of summer as you go. The next time you run to the store for something and the place happens to have artificial flowers, essential oils or a small coloured glass, put just one in the basket and try it at home. Select white noise that reminds you of summer and fall asleep to a camp fire or fan. Eventually, combine the tips for more peaceful moments. Adorn a room with flowers and stained-glass, then go there to write your memories or sip wine in peace.
Bottom line is this; don't become so busy in life that you cannot have fun anymore, you know, like holding spring in autumn. Give season flipping a try and see what happens!
© 2018 Jana Louise Smit