good-things-about-winter1.pngHere at Dollymix we're doing everything we can to resist the idea that winter, and in particular the bit of it that comes after Christmas, has to be miserable. Instead, we're seeing it as a time to look after ourselves a bit better, focus on our health in a nurturing way and seek a bit of pampering - while remembering to appreciate the many things that are good about this dark time of the year. Winter is nature's time to take a break, and so should you...

Read on for a few of the things we really love about winter.

1.  Guilt-free nights in

There's nothing more miserable than having to go to bed in broad daylight if you're feeling out of sorts in summer. What's more, when you do go to hide under the sheets you'll soon be swimming in sweat. There's immense pressure on everyone to 'go out and enjoy the sun', and there'll always be at least one day when you just don't want to face the great outdoors.

In the winter, it's perfectly OK to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and a good book at almost any time, particularly after a hard day's work on a rainy day - it's total guilt-free relaxation. Enjoy the natural impulse to hibernate!

2.  Winter walks

Get the right gear to keep you warm, and you'll soon find there's nothing more satisfying than a long walk in the winter wonderland. In summer, you have biting insects, noisy picnickers and possible sunstroke to contend with, plus it actually rains more in the summer than it does in the winter - and we're less well-prepared when it does! In the winter, as long as you've got a warm waterproof and wellies, you're good to go.

3.  The telly is better

There's no better time than winter to re-discover the joys of the gogglebox. Most TV shows worth watching re-commence in the autumn and carry on until spring, but even if you don't like the entertainment currently on offer (what, no Celebrity Big Brother!?) you can always use the enforced early-dusk curfew to get into a good DVD box set.

4.  Heart-warming winter food

We naturally have bigger appetites in winter due to the extra calories our bodies need to keep warm. What better excuse could you possibly need to indulge in a little bit of hearty stodge? From casseroles and crumpets to porridge and pies, winter fare is designed to warm the heart and soul, and doesn't have to be unhealthy: jacket potatoes and soups are both healthy meals that taste great in winter. On a less healthy note, now is a great time to re-discover baking.

5.  Winter style

Summer fashion tends towards the floaty and the flimsy, but there's something inherently satisfying about a heavyweight winter coat or pair of shealing booties. Your winter wardrobe should be as much about comfort and practicality as style, and the garments are designed with these factors in mind, making them far more enjoyable to wear.

6.  Instant ice-breaker

Talking about the weather is a national pastime here in the UK, so if you're often stuck for conversation topics, you never need look far for one in winter. Whether it's unusually mild or blowing a gale so violent it seems like the apocalypse has come early, there's always something to chat about at the watercooler.

7.  We're in it together!

To some extent, everyone expects to get the January blues, so we all do our bit to ensure there's plenty to keep us busy. This means that there's usually plenty going on. Just ask your friends: I often find my diary is busier in winter than in the warmer months, as people rush to find fun things to do to chase away the gloom.

8.  Long hot baths

Who doesn't love a long hot bath? On a cold winter day, there's nothing quite so enjoyable as lying in a warm bubble bath listening to the radio or reading while the rain beats down on the window. In summer, washing is more of a get in, get showered, get out affair: in the winter, bathing is far more of a leisure activity.

9.  Sale Shopping

With a recession in full swing, it seems that retailers will do anything to encourage us to part with cash at the moment, meaning there are some incredible bargains to be had if you know where to look! The rise of internet shopping means we don't even need to leave our own cosy homes to get a great deal, and you can enjoy the anticipation of the postman calling with a few post-Christmas pressies, bought with gift vouchers if you're lucky...

10.  Snow Days

Winter has been exceptionally mild (so far) here in the UK, but the promise of a 'big freeze' is never far from our lips and with it comes the possibility of snow days. We're never very well equipped for freezing temperatures, so what this means for many of us is a few days off work 'snowed in', enjoying all of the above trappings of winter if we want them! 

[Top Image: London Transport Museum Shop]