On January 18th is apparently Blue Monday – the day when people are feeling their loneliest, debt is at its highest and the weather is the worst… 😿With so much of the blues going around, what can you do to stay positive through this time?
Here are a few suggestions for avoiding the winter blues:
Make the most of the light 💡
With limited daylight hours☀️, it’s really important to be making the most of the light when it is available. You might even invest in a SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder) lamp for a few extra rays this season. Some people find this helps their mood, and all you have to do is sit in front of the light box for 30 minutes to an hour each morning. Read more about the ways this may help courtesy of the NHS here.
Get outside into the fresh air 🏔
While it might be tempting to just curl up on the couch 🛋 and never go out, fresh air is really important for our mood. Studies show that fresh air helps energise⚡️ the body and mind. Getting up and putting on your cosy clothes for a brisk walk can make all the difference to your day. Nature, too, has a really positive effect on our mood – go out and appreciate the natural beauty of the winter season!
Move your body! 🏃♀️
Exercise releases endorphins, and even if you are more tempted to sleep those extra hours in the dark, it can be a really great idea to try and get in some extra exercise instead. Even 10 minutes can make all the difference, helping to alleviate depression and anxiety.
If your favourite exercise activities usually involve being outside and this is feeling less than appealing, you definitely have plenty of indoor options too. With yoga videos taking over YouTube 🧘♀️and plenty of other fitness content available online, you can turn your humble living room into the most convenient gym in the world! 💪
Find something funny 🤪
\Laughter is the best medicine 🤣! Investigate the best new comedy films and TV Shows online or on Netflix or Amazon Prime, for an endless supply of funny content to lift your spirits – use this list for ideas to get you started. There are also plenty of amazing podcasts out there, and the best new comedy books for you to read.
Tick off that to do list ✅
Productivity makes us feel satisfied, which makes us feel good. Overturn that low mood or the winter blues with productivity – you might find a project around the house like clearing up a closet, clearing your inbox, repainting a room, anything at all!
Start by setting yourself three small and simple tasks to tick off your to do list each day 📝 or come up with a bigger project that you can break down into actionable smaller steps. Maybe you’ve been meaning to draw up a new budget for the year, build a website, take an online class or start volunteering. Make yourself a list of things you need to do, and make sure you get them done little by little – you’ll feel how good it is to make your own progress happen despite the slow season!
Embrace the seasonal activities ⛷
There are always things to embrace with each season – and winter is no exception! You might try sledging or building snowmen ⛄️ if you’re blessed enough to have some snow, or having a fire outside and roasting marshmallows, going ice skating, stargazing or taking a winter hike.
Treat yourself 💅
Self-care is a huge help throughout those months when life feels less exciting. Take the time to run a hot bath 🛀, read a book, eat your favourite foods or have a good old natter with a friend 💬. Treat yourself with kindness and schedule in those self-care moments. Be more aware of your moods by taking up journaling and meditation – this is a great time to start.
Get crafty – and find a new hobby! 👩🎨
If ever there was a time to discover your inner crochet master, this is it! Whether it’s painting, drawing, gardening, knitting 🧶, or any other crafty, home-based hobby, this is your chance to get stuck in and discover a new joy in life. It’s a really great time to start a book club or dig into those books you’ve had on your shelf for a while, to donate or sell household items you’ve been meaning to clear away, to cook a big meal with family, learn a new skill online or visit a museum.
Eat well 🥗
Avoid getting sick 🤒 and feeling lethargic with a good diet. While comfort food is okay now and again, it’s important to keep eating healthy throughout the season to avoid getting ill or facing any other repercussions to your wellbeing. After all, we are what we eat. Keep up the healthy recipes and avoid sugary snacks. You might learn that new recipe that impresses the whole family!
Just remember Spring will be here soon enough and that you can always pop in for a free consultation with our stress and anxiety specialist, Lorna, if it is all getting too much to handle! Take care of yourself and enjoy finding ways to make the most of the season.