Long gone are the sunny summer days of our first COVID lockdown when soaking up the sun in the garden was the UK’s favourite past-time. Now we’re under lockdown again, days are cold and wet, and afternoons are dark, but it isn’t all bad news. Winter is the perfect time to spend quality time with the people you love enjoying your evenings in front of your wood stove.
So, you have the fire going, the living room is hot but there is only so much Netflix you can watch. What other activities go hand in hand with a fiery log burner? We have included four of our favourite wood stove fun ideas below, but we would love to hear your ideas so let us know on our social media channels! In case you need us to fuel your inspiration here are our four stove activities.
1) Flame Gazing
Letting yourself drift as you stare at the flames in your log burner will not only fill you with a sense of calm and awe, but give you (science backed) health benefits.
We know this sounds like pure common sense, and in a sense, it is, but it’s also not! How many of us light our stove, get cosy and only remember to peek at the dancing flames when it’s time to throw in another log?
According to three studies conducted by Associate Anthropology Professor, Christopher Lynn, from the University of Alabama, watching and hearing fire produces a significant decrease in blood pressure. These results are thought to be associated with the key role that fire has played in our evolution; fire being intrinsically connected to warmth, protection, and social acceptance.
These studies help strengthen and prove the common beliefs and anecdotal evidence about the relaxing properties of fire.
Now that there is scientific evidence backing your desire to just relax and curl up in front of your log burner, you have the perfect excuse to do it more! Just remember to watch the flames and listen to the wood crackle, according to the studies these in combination will provide you with all of the associated health benefits!
Take in the flames and let yourself relax.
2) Playing a Board Game
Although computer and console games have very much taken over our concept of indoor entertainment, the wonders of games like Monopoly, Pictionary and Trivial pursuit are unique to board games. Social interaction, laughter and hours of fun come hand in hand with most board games. Granted that unlike our first suggestion, you do need more than a wood stove and your own company, but not much more. With a few friends, a good old fashioned board game and a log burner running hot, you are in for an evening of toasty fun.
Games get your mind going.
3) Dinner in Front of the Fire
There are foods that are perfectly suited to enjoy in front of a stove—you can explore our Food in Front of the Fire for a few examples—but what we are suggesting is setting up a table and chairs by the fire and preparing a wonderful meal for a soirée to remember. This might sound like a lot of work if your current wood stove or future stove is in a living room that is quite far from the kitchen, but you can always use a few poufs or pillows and sit on the floor.
The idea here is to set up a full restaurant/pub ambiance knowing that you control seating arrangements therefore guaranteeing yourself the best table in the house—the fireside one.
Once the table is set and the food ready, throw a log on the fire, maybe dim the lights, and eat and chat with your company of choice relaxed in the knowledge that the bill for the meal has already been paid.
The best seats in the house.
4) Hot Yoga
Yoga has been practised for more than 5,000 years and its combination of poses and breathing techniques promote strength, flexibility and mental calmness. It has become a must for 300 million practitioners around the globe, but a variant called Hot Yoga gained widespread popularity in the 1970’s.
This yoga version is performed in a room heated to more than 40 degrees Celsius and is said to burn more calories, increase flexibility and ease depression—all welcomed health benefits.
With a yoga mat, a wood stove, and the willingness to get sweaty, and to take some time for yourself, you can give this type of yoga a go in your own home.
Yoga and a wood stove...bliss.
There are thousands of other activities that can be done in front of a wood stove and that will switch-up your evenings during this winter lockdown and beyond; because honestly, there are few things that aren't enjoyable in front of a nice warm fire!