The cold season means hitting the slopes, donning your ice skates, enjoying hearty meals and hot chocolates, wrapping up in beanies, scarves and cosy mittens, and curling up in front of a log fire (OK, for most of us a log fire may be out of the question but you get the picture!). That said, all of this winter goodness aside, it’s worth remembering the ‘not so fabulous’ side to the colder months – yep, we’re talking about their renowned capacity to bring us down. We’ve all heard of SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – but you don’t need to be diagnosed with it to suffer from the winter blues. Many of us hit a slump come winter without even realizing it.
If you feel like you could be perkier in winter, we’ve got 5 handy tips to help you go from Moping Mildred to Happy Harriet in no time:
1. Get up 15 mins before you normally do and take the time to do something for you, just you.
Make yourself a cup of tea, watch some terrible morning television, read a chapter of your book, catch up on the news, meditate, do some stretches, or just enjoy having that extra time to get ready – a nice long shower, better applied make-up, a closer shave… You can achieve a lot in 15 mins (yes, we know). Whatever you choose to do, it’s your time. Enjoy it!
2. Get outside in spite of the cold.
Go for a brisk walk, get out for a coffee or warming chai, take a proper lunch break… Just a few minutes of exercise and fresh air will help get your circulation going, clear your mind and change your perspective.
3. Stick to your social engagements!
Invest in some warm clothes and a sturdy umbrella and get yourself to that dinner date, art exhibition or exercise class. Rain or shine. Winter doesn’t have to mean putting your social life on hold in favour of couch-bound hibernating.
4. Avoid the tendency to fill up on stodgy, fatty and sweet foods.
If you like stodgy, go for hearty stews, soups and curries instead. If you crave fat, get your fix with raw nuts, nut and seed butters, and healthy oils (olive and coconut). If you have a sweet tooth, make yourself a healthy hot chocolate with almond or organic milk, raw cacao, a pinch of cinnamon and a drop or two of stevia.
5. Last but definitely not least, book a holiday!
Winter is the perfect time to get away. Even if it’s just for a weekend, a change of scenery is often exactly what the doctor ordered. If you can’t afford to go far, keep it local and book a hotel somewhere an hour from home. Even a simple day trip or night away can break things up a little.
In the words of Albert Camus:
“In the midst of winter, I found there was within me,
an invincible summer.”
Hopefully these tips will help you to find your summer and keep smiling!