Tiny pleasures that make people happy on a cold day

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I love the feeling of being able to wrap myself up in a cosy blanket on a cold day. It doesn’t matter if I’ve just woken up and made my way to the couch, if I got delayed at work and arrived home an hour later than usual, or if I’m doing a jigsaw puzzle on a quiet night. My 100 per cent wool blanket is always there for me.

In an effort to prove that it’s the simple things in life that are the best, I reached out to YourLifeChoices members on Facebook to ask what little pleasures make them happy on a cold day. And boy, do some of these ring true.

Alcohol

Lyn says: ‘An Irish Coffee’
Bronwyn: ‘Irish coffee and fruit and nut dark chocolate’
Val: ‘Open fire, wine, good company’
Wendy: ‘A glass of wine next to the fire after the animals have been fed for the night’
Tony: ‘Beer’, although Geoff doesn’t agree and says, ‘Too cold for a beer!’

High consumption of alcohol can give you a bout of the blues but drinking in moderation triggers the release of endorphins in certain areas of the brain. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and boost pleasure, resulting in a feeling of wellbeing.

There’s a lot to be said about enjoying a glass of wine with friends or sipping an Irish coffee by the fire.

Animal companions

Diane: ‘Warm dog’
Heather: ‘A dog on my lap’
Ruth: ‘Warm cat snuggled up on my lap’

It’s no secret that pets bring people pleasure and happiness. According to studies, stroking a cat or dog can even lower your blood pressure and make you feel calmer. Being with your pet releases feel-good chemicals in your brain such as dopamine and oxytocin, which are known to trigger pleasure and happiness.

Tasty food

Roswitha: ‘A nice cup of hot black tea and a good shortbread biscuit’
Sheryl: ‘A plate full of pancakes with lemon juice and sugar, mmm!’
Frances: ‘Soup and toast’
Jan: ‘Homemade soup’
Sasha: ‘Hot food, warm fire’

Homemade pumpkin soup with crusty bread will do it for me.

Physical touch

Debra: ‘My fire and cuddles from my grandchildren’
Jennifer: ‘Cuddles’

When we touch, cuddle or even hold hands, our bodies release more of those feel-good hormones. Namely oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. An increase in these hormones can lead to feelings of happiness, relaxation, improved mood and lower levels of depression. There’s nothing better than cuddling up on a cold day when there’s nothing else you have to do.

A warm drink

Gloria: ‘Hot coffee’
Josephine: ‘Snuggled on the couch, having a hot chocolate’
Jan: ‘A cup of milk coffee and some dark chocolate’
Yvonne: ‘Socks and a hot chocolate’
Susan: ‘My electric blanket, a cup of coffee and a good book’
Debbie: ‘Lighting a candle and drinking hot chocolate’

One thing I miss about living in England is indulging in various flavours of hot chocolate at Christmas. Candy cane, gingerbread, marshmallow. I suppose I could try spiced frozen chocolate this year …

Warm, comfy clothes

Barbara says: ‘Warm, woolly socks’
Sue: ‘My Ugg boots’
Leanne: ‘My dressing gown’

All these get a thumbs up from me.

Coffee in bed

Jean: ‘My lovely husband bringing me porridge in bed AFTER he’s already brought me a coffee’
Heather: ‘Not having to get out of bed and my husband leaving my coffee on the bedside table for me’

Well, we can all dream, right?

Sounds glorious to us.

Nancy isn’t convinced though: ‘Nothing, I hate being cold!’

What little things bring you pleasure on a cold day? Do you agree or disagree with any of these?

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Written by Ellie Baxter

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