Winter Nesting- Cozy Style

Thanksgiving is over. Winter holidays are coming soon. The air is chillier. Winter is the perfect time to be cozying up into our nests for warmth, for self-care, for love of the self.

Many people start to get depressed in winter as the temperatures drop, as we are inside more, and this winter, as Covid drags on, we need to be even more mindful about how we care for ourselves. Also, some people feel lonely or have difficult memories around the holiday time. We can work with those feelings by creating nests for ourselves and cozying up into them- not in an isolating way, but in a healthy renewing way.

We sometimes have the idea that if we feel sad or anxious that we are bad or weak or vulnerable, I would say, it’s okay to visit those feelings, just not for too long, a brief hello and go. Then let’s take ourselves to our nest to re- up ourselves. Re-up. Re-charge. Re-new. Re-visit all the things that make us amazing complex human beings. In our nest, we can do things that bring us joy and pleasure, that make us feel happy and good, we can enjoy a range of feelings and work to feel on an even keel.

Leaning into our nests can provide us self-care, strength, and renewal. What do I mean by a nest? I mean our space where we can be vulnerable and build our strength back. A nest is a place where we can re-charge. The main purpose of a nest is to re-new us. In our nest we can have things we like around us. Maybe this is a room. Maybe this is a chair with a blanket around it, a nice image beside it, with a letter from a friend we like to read over and over again, with stationary we can write letters on, with a magazine with colors we can cut out, with poetry we can read or a journal we can write in, with a stuffed animal we thought was cute, with a picture of a crow we thought was witchy or crafty, with a soccer ball we like to kick around, with a trophy we won once and felt proud of, with a rock we found walking and had to pick up and carry.

What do we bring to our nest? How do we make our nest? What do we do to be cozy for winter? How do we make a cozy nest for ourselves? One that make us feel cozy, content, able to recharge and renew.

This post today is thinking about self care and nesting in a way that nurtures us. How do we do that when things might start to feel glum? We are human after all, we are capable of so many feelings. Sadness. Anxiety. Anger. Joy. Happiness. Love.

We want to be able to feel them all but not dwell on the more difficult ones. So, how do we build our nest around those things?

Today we have 2 possible writing exercises to choose from and if you want, you can, of course, do them both.

  1. Write about how you build your nest. Literally, what do you bring to the nest and what do those things bring you? What do they help with? Do they make you feel cozy? Joyful? Loved? Do they bring a smile to your face? Do they make you feel silly (in a good way)? Do they make you wonder and imagine? Make a list of these things. What does your nest look like? If you don’t know how to begin, begin simply with: I build my nest…
  2. The second option is: build a nest imagining you are a bird or an animal and everything in the nest is a metaphor for something else. So, you might bring a red string from a child’s winter hat left on the bench of the park where there is a table with a chess table mosaic on top. Maybe that hat is from your daughter or the neighbor kid but the string is a symbol of community to you or of games that you like to play, like chess. Bring different things into your nest that have meaning to you. Build that out in your writing about your nest, or don’t. You will know. Either way, build your nest so it is still comforting to you, so it renews you, but do it in metaphor. Begin however you like, if you are unsure, simply begin with: I build my nest…

When you are done writing, go back through what you write and think about how you will nest this winter and about how you will use your nest to care for yourself in harder moments and moments when your self needs a little more love. Is the nest you built on paper something that needs to become real? Maybe so. Maybe all of it. Maybe only parts. If not at all, what will you do to nest to be taking care of yourself, to bring yourself joy? If you would like, write about that too.

Thank you for writing with us! If you would like to write with us every week, please follow the blog.

Take care. Be well. Be cozy. Nest.



Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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