October 17, 2017
It’s that time of year again for us northern-hemisphere dwellers. The nights are drawing in, there’s a chill in the air, the leaves are changing and there are plastic pumpkins, Halloween costumes and even Christmas decorations in every shop you go into.
Us humans thrive off sunlight, and many of us can start to feel a bit down once summer’s over. I’m definitely one of them. Some people love winter, but the rest of us can find the lack of light a bit trying, to say the least.
A good way to minimise the effect that winter has on your mood is to prepare yourself before it really kicks in. Here’s how.
People that like the colder months of the year generally talk about their love for winter clothes, how cozy it is to be inside when it’s cold and rainy outside, pumpkin spiced lattes (or whatever else Starbucks has dreamt up) and the fact that they now have an excuse to stay in all day and watch Netflix under a duvet.
Fans of winter often say that in summer they feel a lot of pressure to be out and doing things, so winter comes as a welcome relief to those whose favourite place is their bed.
Even if you’re someone that thrives in shorts and flipflops, it’s time to love your winter wardrobe. Go shopping (thrift shops and charity shops are great both for your pocket and the environment) and find yourself a pair of boots, a flattering new coat, some fun winter jumpers and a few wooly hats.
Light a fire, or crash your friend’s place if they have one and you don’t. Light candles in the evenings. Treat yourself to some new, natural bath bombs and soak away in the tub, candles lit and chocolate to hand.
Take the opportunity to do a bit of pampering, the natural way. Try making your own facemasks or giving your hair a drink with a coconut oil hair mask.
If you come across a market selling wintery treats, splash out a little. It’s worth it! There’s nothing like the taste of mulled wine to make you feel better about short days.
Focus on the different sensations and the little pleasures, and you’ll be feeling happier about winter in no time.
So the Netflix thing is all well and good, and this is definitely the season for catching up on everything you’ve missed, but you can’t turn into a hermit. That won’t do anything for your mood!
Make sure you make plenty of plans to meet up with friends during the week and fill your weekends. Although a cozy coffee in a café or drink in a pub is always a great idea, don’t let it all revolve around alcohol.
Do active things like going for walks or to exercise classes, whether with your friends or alone, to make new ones!
Plans should also come in the form of little weekends away. Can you afford to squeeze in a little break to somewhere a bit warmer in the next few months?
Grab the opportunity with both hands, get it booked, and give yourself a slice of sunshine to look forward to.
2.Do the things you have no time for in summer
I’m guessing there are quite a few things that get pushed to the bottom of the priority list when you’re busy being a social summer butterfly. Now’s the time!
Been meaning to improve your cooking? Winter evenings are made for that.
Been wanting to try out veganism? Now’s the time to properly do your research and try out a few winter warmer recipes that you’d never even know were vegan.
Been wanting to take up a language? Sign up for evening classes.
Been meaning to get your files in order? Your finances? It’s admin season, baby.
Is there a skill or craft you’d like to learn? Knitting and Netflix go together beautifully. Think of the Christmas presents!
Just have a think about everything you’ve been meaning to do once you have the time, and get cracking!
3. Get some light in your life
Early mornings when it’s still dark outside are never a recipe for happiness.
If you suffer in the mornings and have to drag yourself out of bed, a great investment could be one of those lamps that wakes you up by gradually lightening the room, imitating natural light.
You’ll feel an awful lot better if your alarm goes off when you’ve already started to surface rather than when you’re in the depths of a sleep cycle, trust me!
Overall, it’s all a matter of keeping things in perspective and knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Get plenty in the diary, get those getaways booked, and throw yourself headfirst into winter, enjoying all the fun parts of it! On days when it all seems incredibly gloomy, be sure to treat yourself.
Before you know it you’ll be out the other side, spring will be upon you, and you might well find yourself wishing you were back to your winter nights with candles, knitting needles and Netflix.
Katie is a wellness expert who spends most of her time trying out new plant-based recipes, trail running, travelling and napping. When she’s not doing that she’s writing for Sleep Health Energy a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about enjoying top-to-toe health and getting a restful night’s sleep, which will leave you bursting with energy.