Clocks have changed, marking the start of the fall – the season of warm sweaters and layering, pumpkin spice everything, extravagant foliage colors, and, of course, cozy evenings. There’s something comforting about transitioning from the active summer days to the slower, calmer fall when there’s no rush to leave home in the evenings. Here at MYSA, we live by the idea behind the name.
Cozy up, the Swedish Way
Mysa is a Swedish word that can’t be literally translated into English but roughly would mean something like “cozying up” or “to snuggle.” It also means “to have a nice, relaxed time” with your family and friends while being comfortable and content. It is the time to release stress and enjoy the moment with all your senses.
Similar to hygge, a Danish obsession with coziness, which has become a worldwide phenomenon, mysa means enjoying activities such as snuggling under a blanket, drinking a hot cup of tea, or simply spending time with loved ones – making it a perfect concept for fall and winter evenings.
While shorter and colder days that mark the transition between summer and autumn bum some people, we think it’s a lovely time of the year to slow down and enjoy those longer, chillier nights: they mean better sleep, warm drinks, thick blankets, and hearty fall food.
Set the Ambiance
Cozy evenings are all about the atmosphere: a scented candle that smells like fall with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, apple, or cedar notes will infuse your space with warmth. If you’re more into simple, toned-down scents, a beeswax candle is a nice, sustainable option. As an alternative to a scented candle, you can fill a small pot with water, apple cores, ginger, orange peel, star anise (or whatever spice you prefer), and simmer it on a low heat – this is a lovely, sustainable, and a low-cost way to infuse your home with autumn aromas.
Turn the Music On
Another instant mood-booster or at least mood-setter is music – if you don’t have a list of your favorite fall tunes, there are plenty of fall playlists out there, and we’re bringing some of them: Jazzy Vintage Fall Playlist for nostalgic souls, Easy Autumn as a relaxing, unwinding background, Autumn in New York if you’re daydreaming of travel.
Suppose you’re one of those who enjoy Christmas music as soon as November arrives, no judging – there is something relaxing and comfortable in those familiar holiday melodies that make you wish Christmas hurries up a little bit.
Wear Cozy Layers
Fall season wardrobe is all about infusing the concept of mysa into our everyday outfits, especially when staying at home. Cold evenings are a perfect excuse (or a necessity) to wear cozy, oversized sweaters, pajamas, soft flannels, and warm, fluffy socks. Tuck your yoga pants into your socks, ballet core style, and curl up on a sofa, book in hand, steaming hot tea on the coffee table.
Have a Cup of Something Hot
Brewing yourself a steaming cup of your favorite seasonal drink is a comforting ritual: herbal tea or fruit infusion (with cinnamon, hints of apple, cranberry, and spices) to calm down and prepare for sleep, homemade hot chocolate, to simply indulge in every sip of its creamy texture or a classic crowd-pleaser pumpkin spice latte. Rich, creamy, and indulgent, these drinks are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while your body is warming.
Read a Good Book
As Joseph Addison, a famous English writer and politician, once said: “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
Here at MYSA, we’re big fans of reading all year round – it is as indulging on the beach as it is curled up under a blanket. Be it as it may, cozying up in the warmth of our homes on a chilly fall evening calls for a good book. Whether it’s a classic novel, a thrilling mystery, or a heartwarming romance, reading is a great way to escape into a different world.
Our autumn recommendations include Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s quirky and warm “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” (set in a Tokyo café that brews coffee that can make you travel in time), “Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club” where friends in a retirement village meet weekly to investigate unsolved murders – until one happens right at their doorstep, Zadie Smith’s coming of age “Swing Time” where a complicated friendship of two girls dreaming of becoming dancers abruptly ends, but remains deeply rooted and influential for both.
Watch Fall Movies
And if reading is not your cup of tea (pun intended), curling under the blanket and watching a good movie is a legitimate way to cozy up. Series have taken the world by storm in the last couple of years as a simpler, less demanding way of unwinding. However, movies bring a level of artistic and human value that usually doesn’t fit into a series format. In any case, 2023 saw some good movies – Past Lives is a touching story of two childhood friends who were separated after one of them’s family emigrated from South Korea to Canada. Decades later, they are reunited for one week in New York, where they contemplate love, life choices, and destiny.
An atmospheric dip into fall is The Nest from 2020, starring Jude Law and fantastic Carrie Coon. The slow-paced story follows the decaying life of a family that moves from the safety of their American suburbia to 80’s Britain eerie manor house.
Enjoy Comfort Food
As the season slips from summer into fall, the farmer’s markets fill with piles of chestnuts, pumpkins, mushrooms, apples, beets, pomegranates, and mandarines – bursting with flavor and reflecting the colors of fall foliage, those are perfect for hearty fall stews, pies, and earthy salads. Lower temperatures make us crave soups, warm drinks, and fragrant sweets – this recipe list ranges from soft, doughy cinnamon rolls to classic apple pie, and if you prefer good old cookbooks, Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries is a wonderful nod to seasonal changes.
Spend Creative Time Off-Screen
Whether drawing, journaling, knitting, or cooking, fall is a perfect season to draw out your creativity and get off the big and small screens. Taking time in the evening to engage your mind and your hands in something other than scrolling will bring something new to your daily routine and relax you before bed. And who knows, you may discover a new talent!
Get Some Fresh Air
It could be as simple as opening the windows to let the fresh air in right before bed, drinking a cup of tea on your balcony, or taking a short walk around the neighborhood – sitting in the office (or at home if you’re working from home) makes us breath in the stale heated air for much of the day so make sure to breath some fresh air at some point during your evening.
Finally, embrace the season’s warmth, fragrances, flavors, and slowness – enjoy your evenings by doing what brings you joy and relaxes you. As the world outside settles into hibernation, you’ll find that these cozy fall evenings are the perfect opportunity to do the same. In a busy life, small moments like this can make or break our day, no matter how simple they might be.