Top 5 Steps to a Cozy Autumn

First, comfy clothes. As I write this in November 2020, we are all experts on lounge wear, athletic wear, and pajamas. Even for those of us who are still working, there is nothing much to do the rest of the time.

I most enjoy getting into comfy clothes after a good run or work out, but a lazy Saturday from start to finish has its place too, especially after a long shift or when it’s your first day off in a long time.

Favorites include: Flannel pajamas. Leggings. Thermal shirts. Sweaters. A little something called “cabin socks,” which were a Christmas present a couple of years ago, and are basically extra thick and fuzzy socks with a cute pattern on them. If it’s not cold enough for cabin socks, then fun socks of some kind. Or slippers.

Second, FIRE. Yes, I have written elsewhere about wildfires, fire safety, and in general the horror of seeing the entire landscape of home reduced to black and white ashes and barbecued wildlife. (Thanks, California.)

But our caveman ancestors were wise. Fire gives heat and light and banishes the dark.

I love a good fire in the fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it is actually possible to install a woodstove insert so that you retain much more of the heat. More on that later.

In an apartment or other situation where that is not an option, a clean scented candle gives much the same mood-lifting effect. I will even accept an essential oil diffuser, especially if it has a nice warm glow.

Third, beverage of choice. This is a fun step. There are infinite variations of cider, mulled wine, hot toddy, or the classic coffee or tea. I love a chai latte with a couple of shots of espresso.

Alternatively, homemade soup is so easy to make and so comforting.

Fourth, piles of blankets. This is an essential element. As soon as that first frost hits, out comes the big basket of blankets and the throw blankets. The cat loves it.

This is another one that I think is best enjoyed after a long run, or just a long day. There is nothing like settling in with a book, show, or project, simply surrounded by blankets. Wrapped in a blanket and sitting on more blankets. It reminds me of making blanket forts with couch cushions growing up.

Fifth and final, good company. Again, writing this in 2020, this is a difficult one. Has there ever been a more stinging year to live alone? There is only so much we can do before cabin fever sets in… But human interaction is more essential than ever. Usually, it is only a text message away.

Daily walks have become a staple of routine, as have video chats. Sometimes that is the best we can do. It’s really not the same as normal times, is it?

Socially distanced visits and chats with neighbors (outdoors) have been nice. Podcasts and the radio have been a revelation as well. I recently discovered the Zombies, Run! app which is a gamified running app. I would recommend highly to anyone who walks, runs, or needs a little more motivation to do home workouts.

Winter is inevitable. Let’s get cozy!

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