January was such a long month and as soon as it hit February I was ready to begin wearing less layers and get out my pastel lavender coat. Alas, it’s only got colder, frostier and there have been more grey days than any signs of sun. Anyone else feeling slightly drained and ready to get a one way ticket to Spain? Unfortunately the world ticks on and my sunny dreams will have to be on hold. However there are some things that we can do to beat these blues and keep us going strong for another 5 weeks, until the clocks go forward.
1. SAD lamp – If you actually suffer from seasonal affective disorder, where you experience depressive symptoms in the Winter months this will really help you.*
2. Get up earlier – Make the most of your day and wake up just a bit earlier, it’s getting lighter in the morning and starting your day with the sunlight is so much more motivating.
3. Active – We all know that exercise releases endorphins. Getting some air or doing some activity that will get a bit of a sweat going will have you feeling great. I’ve been trying to make sure that I get at least 15 minutes fresh air on my lunch break during the week and try to exercise 3 times a week minimum.
4. Plan a Summer trip – It’s good to have something to look forward to and once you start making plans for Summer it’s great how your mood lifts! Even if it’s just a long weekend away or a day out in the city, it’s not too early to start planning.
5. Eat good foods – As much as I’m craving just carbs and junk foods I’m trying to be balanced and make sure I continue to get fresh and healthy food in my diet. I also drink at least 1.5 litre of water a day.
6. Treat yourself – There’s a reason it’s called a treat. Pick yourself up by treating yourself to a new book, that new lipstick you’ve been longing for or even go on, be a bit of a daredevil and have a bit of chocolate.
7. Music – Play your favourite music and build your playlist. I begin my day with some music whilst I get ready for work, in the car and maybe also during work if I’m just doing some data entry. Whilst looking out of the window to see the cloudy sky, listening to a few of my favourite songs throughout the day brings a bit of joy that I need to pick me up.
8. Make your environment brighter – Where I can I’ve got little lamps and fairy lights to add some brightness to my room. I keep my curtains open for as long as possible too, to try to absorb as much natural sunlight as possible! I have also bought myself a bouquet of tulips to bring some life in my room. However as plants have a shelf life, I have also bought some small fake plants for my room so there’s constantly a bit of greenery on my desk. Although I’m mostly working or out of my room, every morning when I wake up this brings a smile to my face and reminds me that brighter days are coming!
9. Social – Stay social with your friends and family! Surround yourself with your favourite people. Laughter is the best medicine after all.
10. Sleep well – Getting quality sleep is so important and often it can be the main problem impacting our mood. I’ve been making sure that I’m winding down an hour before I sleep; that my make-up is off and my skin is cleansed, that I haven’t had any caffeine just before bed and that I am actually in bed at least 30 minutes before I plan to sleep! I’ve also invested in some black out curtains and have my trusty eye mask for those nights where I may be sleeping away from home and need something a bit extra!
Just remember that before we know it, Spring will be here so make the most of your bobble hats and keep warm!
*If you or anyone you know does feel these Winter blues to a greater extent than just a longing for the Summer months to return, you should visit your local doctor for some more information.