It’s been 3 weeks since the clocks went back in the UK. The nights continue to get longer. Our moods, even with Christmas coming up, may match that of the days and weather – shorter and colder. The trees are practically naked; their leaves dressing our cars and streets.
I don’t know about you, but I’m susceptible to the “Winter Blues”. I tend to complain how dark it is, I nap a lot more, my eating habits tend to worsen as I seek and chomp on hot greasy food. For some of us it feels like we just act like bears and hibernate until the Spring Sunshine gently nudges us awake. Of course that can’t happen, but we can take steps to make winter a bit more tolerable. Here are a few things that I do which may help you:
Yep, even when it’s blooming freezing…..From walking in the park to a brisk 15 minute walkabout during your lunch hour being out in natural light will help boost your mood and well-being. If appropriate, you could get off a stop earlier on the way to work and walk to your office
Exercise is not just for January or bikini body prep! You don’t have to spend 2 hours at the gym pumping iron; 20 minutes of activity can be beneficial. Exercise can be indoors, outdoors, high intensity like tabata or calming like yoga. Your body will release mood enhancing endorphins and you will feel strangely good about that workout you were bitching throughout. If solo workouts are not your thing there are loads of group classes and run clubs (especially in London) which you can join. For me, I tend to run (either by myself or with a group) or take NTC classes. The “runner’s high” does exist people; I’ve experienced it.
Update your playlist
Music can uplift your mood instantly. Right about now, artists are probably preparing to release smooch songs, hoping to bag Christmas number one. That’s not my cup of tea…..
Find music that basically puts you in a good place. A sunny chilly day it may be high energy hip hop, or Drum and Bass, while for those cloudier days it could be music of a more soulful and calming nature.
I’ll be updating my playlist to include more Afro beats, soulful Old Skool R’nB (the forgotten gems) and the latest music from Disclosure
Arrange that meet up with your friend(s) that you’ve been meaning to do for months. Go ice-skating; for you Londoners, visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park or Winterville in Victoria Park. Take part in a pub quiz. It’s very easy and convenient to just want to stay in and snuggle with your duvet but being around people can boost your mood. You don’t have to be going out every weekend but 1 or 2 outings per months should be ok. I currently have 3 events for December lined up, with another 2 to be confirmed…..One of the things I love about the run up to Christmas is the socialising. I just hope my purse can forgive me!
The heavy winter coats will be out in force very shortly and most of us wear black or dark colours in general. However we can wear brighter colours; they don't just have to be worn during Summer for special occasions. I tend to wear rich opulent colours such as purple, dusty pinks and royal blue. I like a bit of sparkle too so have been looking into buying knitwear with some shimmer to it. For us ladies, we can expand our colour palette to hair, make-up and nail polish; ideal if you still need to look professional.
Eat Healthily (or as healthily as you can)
During colder days, a sandwich or a salad for lunch just won’t cut it for me. I work in an area where the chicken shops reign supreme and I tend to give into food temptation. I can actually tell you that at the time of writing this I am craving a burger with sweet potato fries…..
But eating healthily will boost your immune system
Bake a cake
I know this contradicts the above, but everything in moderation right? For me baking is a therapeutic and mood enhancing experience…as eating it!
Buy Fairy Lights
Not just for your Christmas Tree, you can drape them around your window, table or bed frame. They just look so prettiful!
These are just a few tips that have worked for me. Of course it may be that those low moods you have been experiencing almost consistently could be a sign of a more serious condition such as Seasonal Affective Disorder or Depression, I encourage and urge you to speak to your GP as well as friends and family. It's good to talk x
If you have your own suggestions/tips for dealing with the seasonal change, please comment below!