5 tips on how to keep warm during the cold months by the creative director of KUMA Design, Mari Ojasaar
The autumn and winter months of the Northern climate can be breathtakingly beautiful with the colourful leaf beds that cover the ground, the first magical snowfall and ice flowers that the night cold paints on the window. However, the downside of those beautiful moments, is the cold that sneaks up to us and sometimes even steals our health. Since I have always been afraid of the cold, I have learned some valuable tricks on how to keep myself warm when it’s cold outside and today I’m going to share them with you.

1. Do something heartwarming

There is a reason why it’s called heartWARMING. When you are constantly looking around with an intention to do good, you won’t even notice how the trees loose their leaves, how birds say goodbye and fly to the south and how the autumn becomes winter. I like to keep that desire to “do good” burning inside me by finding little ways everyday how to make someone’s day better. If you are looking for ideas for your “one good action a day”, then here are some examples of different heartwarming actions that have made me feel good lately: donating clothes and toys to children in need, inviting my grandmother for a hike to a sacred spring, bringing flowers to my mother-in-law, making a compliment to a stranger on the street and donating money to an animal charity.

2. Drink tea

Drinking tea is an excellent tool for getting warm and one of my favourite teas, that I always drink when I feel like I’m getting sick, is fresh ginger tea. Sometimes, a warm drink can also bring back positive memories - for example, when I drink tea made from plants I have picked in the summer. It reminds me of how the Nettle burnt my hands, how the great Mullein needed to grow to the level of my eyes until I dared to pick its blooms or how the sun was glistening on the leaves of the Fireweed. In case you don’t have herbal tea that you have picked yourself, make sure you choose the cleanest tea possible and brew it in see-through glass. That way you can see how the herbs come to life, blossom and start to float in the warm water.  A little tip for you: you can make an incredible yellow tea with the Mullein. If you want to explore the mystical world of teas in even more depth then I recommend visiting a tea ceremony. My recent favourite has been the Kuu Ruum. 

3. Wear a scarf

I have learned that investing in a scarf made out of high quality materials is worth every cent in the cold climate. If the scarf is made of natural warm materials and is long enough, then you can keep your head, neck and chest warm at the same time. Whenever the cold months arrive I look like a Middle Eastern women but in a cold climate: head wrapped in a scarf, only eyes peeking out. I recommend to choose as natural materials when it comes to clothing as possible, because they keep your body warm, but not too warm, so you don’t start to sweat. In general, I’m an advocate for natural and environmentally friendly materials, that’s also the reason why most KUMA products are made from natural materials.

4. Go swimming

It doesn’t sound like swimming in winter is going to make you warm, but believe it or not - it will! I have been gathering my courage to go for a swim during winter for years now, but there has always been something stopping me. Finally, I found a group of adventurous women, who inspired me to do it. I have to say that it was a truly amazing experience and it felt like a restart for my body. But keep in mind that after the swim your body might need a little rest, because it feels like you have just walked out from a heavy training session. So put on warm clothes and snuggle up under a blanket with your favourite book. 
My recent favourite book has of course been “Mees 3: Otse ja Ausalt” by my partner Jesper Parve - truly inspiring! Another favourite book genre of mine is children's books! I have quite a collection at home and I always make sure they have beautiful illustrations by rewarded illustrators. That is my secret way of escaping to my La-la-land.
However, when swimming sounds a little daunting then you might want to start with a cold shower. Turn the water as cold as possible for the last minute of your shower, breath and dance yourself free from the uncomfortable feeling! This routine will work magic on your lymphs and start your day with the mindset to jump out of your comfort zone! You will never hear me singing in the shower, but instead, I have my own morning cold dance.
Photo: Elis Seppius

5. Heat source at home

When I was choosing a new home it was extremely important for me, that it had two warm features: a fireplace and a bathtub. It’s fun to enjoy the winter wonderland when you know that you have a warm place waiting for you at home. My favourite is the heat of the fireplace, when the fire smell awakens my senses, the cracking of the woods calms me down and the dance of the flames takes my mind to wonder. A tip for all the moms out there: fire is also a good way to calm down energetic kids. 

In case you don’t have a fireplace at home, then candles will create a similar zen feeling in your home. Try to choose natural candles whenever you can, because regular candles emit petroleum residue when burning. Did you know, that even if the label says: “Made from soy wax” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the candle is 100% natural? “Made from soy wax” is just a clever advertising trick, what’s more important is how much soy the candle actually consists of. That’s why all KUMA candles are made from 100% soy wax and enriched with essential oils.  

Also, did you know that most scented candles are made with chemical oils? Although scented candles have a stronger aroma, they emit chemicals that will end up in our blood circle and irritate our body and hormones. Try to bear that in mind especially when you have kids in the same room. I have actually experienced the poisoning of chemical candles when I was expecting a baby. I was selling KUMA products on a Christmas fair and burning a gingerbread cookie scented candle to create the Christmas spirit. After a while I started to feel nauseous and I could feel and taste the smell of that candle even in my mouth. So be very careful of what kind of candles you burn around yourself. In addition to 100% soy wax candles I also like beeswax candles so much that I have actually tried to make them with my kids at home. I believe that candles create a peaceful ambience.

I hope I gave you some tips on how to keep yourself warm during winter and if you have a good trick of your own then let us know down in the comments.
Have a warm and wonderful winter season!