“AS A SELF CONFESSED WINTER BLUES SUFFERER, AS MUCH AS I’D LIKE TO SAY YOU CAN POSITIVE THINK YOUR WAY OUT OF IT; IT ISN’T ALWAYS THAT EASY.”
No matter how positive your outlook on life, it can be difficult for even the best (and chirpiest) of us to struggle to shake the winter blues. As the months get colder and nights draw in, I find my motivation fading, mood declining and ultimately, I get myself stuck in a little rut. It’s easy to feel uninspired and disappointed with your days achievements by the time the evening rolls in, seemingly premature. I’m a self confessed winter blues sufferer, and as much as I’d like to say it’s a state of mind and you can positive think your way out of it; it isn’t always that easy.
Over the last few years, I’ve found that from January to mid March, I have a considerable lull in my overall mood and wellbeing, which is something I always work on improving. I want to enjoy every moment, not lusting for the sunshine and bare limb season to come back. There are, however, numerous ways in which I find help lift me out of the post-Christmas mood rut, from upping your vitamins and health, to mimicking sunlight on your bedside table. Here’s what personally helps me through those months, and here’s hoping it helps some of you also!
LEARN TO EMBRACE THE SEASON
First and foremost, I’ve reminded myself to not wish away the days and to embrace the season and all the ‘hygge’ vibes it brings. Treat yourself to a new, cosy jumper and replace an old, bobbled one. Grab some fluffy PJ’s and snuggle up in a blanket to your favourite film in the evenings. Light candles (many, many candles!) and fairy lights, every evening (ambience and setting a nice atmosphere makes me feel so good and content). Change your home decor around a little and make it more autumnal and wintery. Take bubble baths, often, and make the most decadent, ridiculous hot chocolate to enjoy alongside it (or a mulled wine!) Do festive baking, make pies, cupcakes, cookies and gingerbread. Let it all go horribly wrong and enjoy your delicious creation anyway. Pinterest search for seasonal activities to do on rainy days, such as crafts and making things. Enjoy mixing around your winter wardrobe. Go to markets, vintage shops and cosy coffee shops now and again. Enjoy the atmosphere they bring and the general feel in the air in the winter months. Go for a walk in woodlands or the seafront, and fill your lungs, bundled up like a marshmallow in scarves and hats. Reminding myself to appreciate the seasons as they come and go helps me enjoy being in the moment, whilst still looking forward to the next season.
“Exercise and move your amazing body. A cliché tip but for good reason; it’s PROVEN to boost your mood and personally, helps beat that dreaded feeling of being unaccomplished at the end of the day. A run always clears my mind and is a beautiful way to watch the seasons change. Go for a walk, a sprint, at home yoga or pop out and try a new gym class with a friend. You’ll feel a lot more satisfied at the end of the day.”
GIVE YOURSELF A ROUTINE AND THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Don’t be too harsh and strict on yourself with a military like regime, but routines are so important for giving you direction, purpose and motivation. Especially if you work from home and struggle with managing your time. A vague routine can help you feel ready to tackle the day, such as going about your daily tasks. Even if it’s writing a list at the beginning of the week or day, setting yourself little goals, when you’re going out, popping in a pamper evening to look foward to and fitting in some sort of exercise. Again, this is also great to help tackle that feeling, if like me, you’re prone to beating yourself up about not accomplishing enough. By having a list you can tick off things and know what direction you’re heading in for the next day/what you have left to do. Be kind to yourself; a flower doesn’t bloom all year.
Sometimes after busy periods, such as Christmas, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with lack of plans, or a bit empty if you don’t have anything to look forward to. I felt like this in January, and it really put me in a tough place and mindset, whereby I had no passion or drive left for anything, because I didn’t see the point. If you don’t have plans? Make them! Even just a coffee date with your sibling, mum or friend. Go shopping, to the cinema, take yourself out for a bit of ‘me time’ or visit a nearby town you’ve never been to or discover historic buildings with the National trust! When you’re down, you’ll have a little something to keep you going and to look forward to/start planning towards!
MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT DEFICIENT IN ANY VITAMINS AND LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Previously, I wrote about 3 ways to boost your mood in the winter, after a visit to Soho Farmhouse with Get more Vitamins. It was an eye opening experience into just how deficient in a lot of vitamins and minerals I probably am, and how much of an impact this can have on your health and mental wellbeing. It’s not just a case of sorting out your skin and hair, but a deep rooted reason into why a lot of us suffer from SAD and low mood during winter in the first place. Especially if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it’s extremely difficult to naturally attain certain vitamins without meat, so finding GOOD supplements are key. A quick search will tell you what you’re probably deficient in due to diet, and how you can fix that! They’re not cheap, but I totally overlooked the power of vitamin supplements until last year.
Another factor that can really help not only boost your mood and spirits, but also help you wake easier in the mornings, is by investing in a light mimicking lamp or alarm clock. In my post about getting a good nights sleep, I showed you guys my Lumie lamp, which has been a saviour since I got it last Christmas. It basically mimics sunlight, to naturally and gently wake you up; particularly useful when its pitch black on wintery mornings, which for me, makes it really difficult to wake up (where in summer I leap out of bed at 5am!) They also so SAD lamps, as well as alarm clocks, if you just wanted a light to bring a bit of sunshine into your space. I personally have found these really effective.
LASTLY AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT
It’s difficult to distinguish why you feel down/sad/empty sometimes. There’s no denying what a plethora of cold and flu remedies, lack of sleep and antibiotics can do to you, but sometimes you need to sit down and look beyond that. How long have you been down? Are you struggling to cope? Open up to friends and family, even I’ve found solace online – sometimes it helps to talk to people in similar positions. Talk to your GP if it’s looking more than just the January blues, there’s no harm in quickly popping in and you’ve absolutely got noting to worry, be afraid of. If the doctor makes you feel uncomfortable or nervous; ask for another. It’s also important to ask yourself why you’re feeling like this, are there any underlying factors you’re turning a blind eye to? It’s totally natural to feel down during these months, but it’s also important to let people know how you’re feeling, why, and figuring a way through. Take it easy, be kind to yourself and surround yourself with good people who care for you.
SHOP THE OUTFIT
Would love to hear your thoughts on this one – do you struggle with your mood in winter, or do you find it doesn’t affect you at all? I’d love to hear as always! Pop a comment below or my Insta DM’s are always open for a chat!
I also have so much style and travel goodness over on my Youtube Channel so make sure you’re subscribed!
Photography by Ben Kapur