12 tips for a gentle winter

Written by Mary

The winter, the greyness and cold - brrr! Not exactly a dream come true. But, there is more than one way to hibernate the right way, to make up for what you can't avoid with something more pleasant, like cooking up some nice little dishes that are sure to warm your heart, body, and soul. For each of the twelve signs, here are your best bets for having a great winter!

Aries:Fondue. Between Christmas and the New Year party, you have few calories left to spare. But that's not what is important. What counts is keeping the party going, staying in touch with friends, and having more good times. Sure, you might be able to bring friends together around a quinoa salad and cucumber juice, but that's not too fun, is it?

Stay in bed. And let your naughty side out with a partner who is willing and ready for anything. All it takes to get things heated is a little roll in the hay. Play the guessing game. Mystery intrigues you as much as it annoys you, but, if your curiosity is piqued, it's because you're interested. If you go along with it, you will get to explore, discover adventure...

Plan. Whether its putting the finishing touches on plans for next summer's vacation or organizing a day with the kids, you need to do something, to look ahead, plan for the future. Which means that the cold, and the night, come too quickly for you. Runny noses and all that - no thanks! You'll zone out until better weather arrives.

Talk over a cup of tea. You prefer action over talking. But, when the frigid winter means you can't even stick your nose outside, realize that a passionate conversation can be an exercise all on its own. Counter your own ideas. Seek out contradiction. Push your conversation partners up against a wall. You will learn something about them - and a lot about yourself. All this information can come in handy during the colder months!

Taurus:Build your nest. Light a fire, wrap yourself in plaid, drink hot chocolate, and watch a rom-com. Isn't winter great? Winter's harshness and bad weather are all the reason you need to stay home and snuggle up in your cocoon. Zero guilt and maximum pleasure.

Have a blast in the kitchen. Take advantage of these long, frigid Sundays to hide away in your kitchen, experimenting with new recipes, coming up with original mixes, and spoiling your fellow foodies, of which you are the main representative. All these aromas filling the house, all the joy you take in pleasing your loved ones - that is what will keep you warm all winter long.

Eat light every once in a while. Let's be honest: depriving yourself of treats isn't a thrill for anyone. But packing on a pound - or two or three - isn't either (especially on your thighs). If you want to dance all summer, think about it now, in the winter.

Cuddle up. What luck: the nights are long -very, very long. For a lover with as much endurance as you have, this is just more time for sensuality, pleasure, and employing your entire gamut of maneuvers and moves.

Decorate the house. The living room could use a fresh coat of paint, and the wallpaper in your bedroom could use a makeover. When it's ugly outside, it's time to make it beautiful inside. Scour the home-repair stores, hunting for a good deal, and make your already comfortable interior the epitome of refinement, of coziness, of fine taste.

Gemini:Read. Think about the rain drizzling down the window panes and curl up on the couch with a good book. On the one hand, the intellectual in you will love the menal stimulation. On the other, you will at last get to enrich your conversations talking about books you have actually read for once, instead of just talking about them.

Keep a journal. This is the mark of a writer and good communicator. Why not keep track of your impressions day by day and deepen your thinking? It might just push you to throw yourself into a more ambitious work. In the short term, reading these notes of yours will give you the perspective you need to better handle your emotions.

Stay young. Invest in anti-wrinkle creams or face scrubs to use during the winter only... Anything, really, that makes you look good and your face smooth. Otherwise, a few snowball fights with the kids will do the trick, too. Young is a state of mind as much as an attitude. And in this regard, you are on top.

Stay away from drafts. Easier said than done, but it's not the most difficult thing in the world, either. You are rather prone to bronchitis, so wrap yourself up tight as soon as you step outside. This way, you won't get the sniffles.

Have friends over to your place. You are never happier than when you are surrounded by people, so why not invite some friends over? The benefits are twofold: you get to maintain your all-important social life while avoiding going out into the cold and coming back home in the middle of the night... It's all about being comfortable...

Cancer:Get back in your shell. You are often accused of curling up into yourself, but in winter, you have an excuse to. Besides, you don't have to justify it anyway. Use your comfy, cozy home to grow, surrounded by all the good deals you managed to pick up, that give you pleasure. Don't deprive yourself.

Go to the movies. Action movies and comedies feed your already highly developed imagination. In a temperature-controlled, dark room, you will have comfort, popcorn, and perhaps a good movie-loving friend by your side: all you need to have some fun.

Soak in a hot bath. Showers might be more energizing, but who needs energy? Showers might take up less water, but given how long you plan on soaking in the tub, it totally makes up for it. And, besides, who cares? It'll do you some good! Warming you from head to toe. Plus, the steam will help your exfoliating face rub do its work.

Communicate. Since outdoor activities are limited, focus on what can be done with two people within your cozy little nest. Start off by talking about what you like, what you are, and then what you expect from your partner, your relationship. Winter lets you set things straight again.

Knit. In and out, in and out - it's not very complicated, but it helps pass the time and develop your creativity. Add to that the pride you'll feel from making your own unique pieces, as well as keeping your family warm all winter long.

Leo:Drink. Before work and during. It is obviously out of the question to neglect your health just because of a little black ice or nippy temperatures. The cold makes dehydration work, and so it's important, even imperative, to drink water. Which is why you should always have a water bottle by your side.

Get bored. Yup - that might seem weird, but winter is the ideal time to do nothing. You are no longer required to be everywhere at once. Be idle, be lazy - it can actually be quite productive. This free time, devoid of any obligation, will help you reflect, think, use your imagination, form new ideas, and dig deep within yourself for energy you didn't know you had. That's right: boredom is your friend.

Change the decor. Change the layout of a room, expand the bay windows, add some light to the kitchen. It's important for your house to be worthy of who you are - theatrical and showy - so that you can blow your friends away as soon as better days come along.

Go shopping. What else? Well-lit, and well-heated, stores and malls draw you like a moth to the flame during the never-ending winter. The benefits are twofold: you get in your daily dose of walking while sprucing up your look so that you can stay the most fashionable and remarkable of all the people bundled up in their winter jackets.

Shine bright like a Christmas tree. Even after the party is over, dress yourself up with jewels, bracelets, shiny, bright clothes - the holiday continues!

Virgo:Reorganize your closet. Between the clothes you don't wear anymore and those that are out of style, your closet is chock-full of clothing, making it hard for you to find what you want when it's time to head to work. What a waste of time - and space! Use the winter to get your closet as well organized as a specialty boutique. It's better on the eyes - and on your morale.

Bring in some wood. A nice, crackling fire in the living room - there's nothing better! Stockpiling wood puts you at ease, as there is then no risk of running out when you need it. Plus, it's better than spending a fortune on natural gas or kerosene. Added bonus: you'll get some exercise, too. Anyone who hasn't had to haul in 3 stacks of wood won't understand...

Dine by candlelight. You like refinement, courtesy, good manners, and will have every reason this winter to cook up a warm, intimate dinner for you and your lover. A roaring fire, the soft glimmer of candles, the glass shimmering; this is all you need to create an atmosphere for getting closer in all sorts of ways.

Play bridge. You could also play war or craps, but that would be an insult to your intelligence as well as your observational and analytical skills. You need 3 players, time (since the nights are long, this shouldn't be a problem), and great concentration (no problem here, either).

Restock your medicine cabinet. Colds can hit you fast in winter, and it is totally out of the question to be caught with a runny nose, pale complexion, and red eyes. Though there isn't any good reason that you should fall ill more often than at other times of the year, it still comforts you to know that you have all you need in your medicine cabinet to cure what ails you during the winter.

Libra:Visit museums. Marvelous paintings, sculptures to discover in the most sublime (and well-heated) of places, isn't this just pure happiness for an aesthete like you? No need to be there forever, though. There are loads of splendid things to discover nearby - so nearby that you've promised yourself you'd go there one day but never seem to get around to it. Winter, then, is your time to be a local tourist.

Hibernate smart. The weather outside is an invitation to sleep. But, instead of sleeping in, which will only make you feel drowsy all day, just take a nap. You will be rested and ready for the long winter nights this way.

Buy some flowers. A magnificent bouquet of poinsettias or charming anemones will add some color to your decor. These natural flowers will prove that not all life is slumbering and will boost your morale. Plus, it just makes your home look pretty.

Go antique hunting. Old trinkets, fragile furniture - antique shops invite you on a voyage through time, through beauty, elegance, and unusual. Drink a piping-hot tea in some fine China. This will spice up your winter immediately, don't you think?

Listen to some music, close the blinds. Shut off your phone. Form your own cocoon. Put in a CD and let the music sweep you away for one, two, three hours - time doesn't matter anymore. You are in your own bubble - do not disturb!

Scorpio:Place your clothes on the radiator. Before taking your shower, put what you've decided to wear on a piping-hot radiator. You, who hates fighting the cold and the heat, will get to start off your day in the right mood.

Be naked under your sweater. Do away with the undershirt. Even if it keeps you warm, it's a known love-killer. It's much more sexy (and you know sexy) to wear nothing under your big sweater. Your lover or mate will love to warm you up.

Wear fine lingerie: lace, garter straps, silk. It'll work its magic all year long. But, when it gets freezing cold, the contrast is even more striking. Hot inside, cold outside. Warm up with pleasure - both enjoying it and sharing it. Now there's an exciting idea...

Get out. Slip on a big winter jacket, some moon boots, and a hunting hat and brave the cold. And for good reason, staying inside the house doesn't do you any good. Hibernating drains your system quick. So keep going out, seeing your friends, and hang out like you did during better days. Anything that warms your heart will keep you in shape.

Put snow tires on your car. And just in general: adapt your behavior to the cold weather. Even though you like risk and playing with fire, don't put yourself in danger. Don't over complicate things, either. Strengthen your relations with others.

Sagittarius: Air out the house. No point living in a sauna just because it's freezing outside. Ten minutes every day, throw open the windows and freshen the place up. You'll sleep better - or won't sleep at all. If you need another blanket, your lover or sweetheart should do the trick just fine.

Have some themed parties: home cinema, board games, or just for some good food. Gather up your friends! Together, everyone will feel warm and forget all about the cold, the night, and the gloom.

Look at travel catalogs. Africa, Asia, Patagonia - maybe one day you'll get there. Or maybe never, but oh well. During these winter nights, it does you good to expand your horizons, to dream of magical places, to imagine yourself under the hot, hot sun. No need for a visa or vaccines when you can travel in your mind. Business class office!

No sweat pants. Once you get home, of course you need to feel comfortable, but it's a long way from that to wearing sweatpants, slippers, plus the poncho you brought back from Lima. Even if you're just hanging around the house, at least make an effort. Your partner will appreciate it!

Brave the cold. Even if you're the only one. Outside, in the cold, no matter the blizzard. You love a challenge, and this should be one that will reveal your bravery. Winter, harsh? Not for an adventurer of your caliber!

Capricorn:Celebrate your birthday right. It's normal to have a blow-out celebrating Christmas and New Year, except that you have one extra thing to celebrate: your birthday. Think of it as just one more chance to have a party, to invite over your pals, and party until the break of day. With you, winter becomes a real happening event! And you're the star!

Treat yourself to some chocolate. It might not be reasonable, but if it isn't good! Moreover, it's chock-full of magnesium, which is indispensable for your body, and it will boost your morale. Plus, you always pay such close attention to everything. Don't you have the right to let go every once in a while?

Eat soup. And good soups, with vegetables, like your grandma used to make. There's nothing better for warming up. But, instead of the usual onions, carrots, potatoes, mix things up, play with the flavors, have some fun. Maybe a purée of squash and chestnuts, ham and bean soup, or even a pistou and parmesan soup - winter's not that bad!

Turn down the thermostat. Even if it is that cold outside, this is no reason to live in a sauna. Overheated rooms will turn you into a mollusk; not really your style... Keep the thermostat around 65 degrees. This will keep you in shape and will save you some money on heating - and that, that is your style.

Grant yourself a few moments of relaxation. You have the right to do nothing and the duty not to feel guilty about it. Slipping into a foamy bath won't hurt anyone and will do you a world of good. Following that up with a back-rub from your lover will do you both some good. Give and receive pleasure: something good for everyone.

Aquarius:Blow out the candles. Let the party continue! After the end-of-the-year banquet, celebrating your birthday will give you another chance to bring your family and friends together, throw a party, and add some heat to this cold winter.

Dare to do what you've dreamed. Time not spent outside can be spent differently, doing things that you're not used to doing the rest of the year. Why not start writing a book or creating something that will turn out to be useful to you and that you can't find in the mall, the video stores, or by practicing yoga. In wintertime, move on to winter activities.

Stop smoking. Whether at home or a friend's house, smoking inside should be phased out. Plus, lighting up a smoke when the temperature is pushing zero is hardly fun. You could use this as a chance to quit tobacco, too. With the money you can save this way, maybe you could set sail for warmer climes next winter?

Dress warmly. And take a stroll. It is important to stay in touch with nature, to get rid of toxins, and fight stress, which only saps you. Stay in good health by staying properly clothed and swaddled.

Plan time just for the two of you. Sure, intimacy isn't your forte. But in winter, with the days getting shorter and the temperature dropping, you will be forced to stay indoors more and spend some one-on-one time with your lover. Talk together, do things together, do nothing together. Discover each other, get to know one another once again... How long has it been since this has happened?

Pisces:Eat the Christmas cake. Think about the days of cuddling on January 21st and don't forget Saint Valentine's, Candlemas, Mardi Gras - there are a whole lot of celebrations in sight this winter. You are very focused on the family and so will love bringing everyone together around you. Your parents' smile, the children's joy - this is what will warm your heart.

Go to a Turkish bath. Wrap yourself in its humid vapors, let it form droplets on your flesh, open up your pores, give your skin a deep scrub, soothe your aching muscles, and clear your lungs. It is not only a pleasure but a necessity that you shouldn't go without. The water, the heat - everything will go swimmingly in the winter!

Curl up on the couch. Snuggle up against your sweetheart or partner. Let your hand wander across their body and invite theirs to do the same... Whatever happens next is for you.

Get comfy. Invest in some furry slippers; it's your job to get comfortable once you get home. To hell with fashion and its dictates. Focus on the comfort of a cozy vest or silk pants. Home sweet home!

Have breakfast in bed. This way, you can put off getting up. A cup of hot coffee, some toast, and a glass of orange juice followed by kisses, snuggles, and all the rest will get you through until noon. Without winter and the cold outside, would you have had such a good morning?

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