I don’t know about you but I find this time of year to be pretty tough. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas and New Years, but once all the festivities are all over, it can be pretty darn depressing. I often find that it starts on the day that you come to take down those Christmas decorations, and you’re left with a big empty space where the tree used to be, bare walls, and no pretty lights. Yeah, it sucks right? However, there are always so many other events to look forward to during the year, and hey the festivities will be back (in 11 months time don’t you know!). There are so many things you can do to help shake off those post-Christmas/New Years blues, and here are my top ten:
Winter is a time where everything shuts down. Just look at nature- animals go into hibernation, trees lose their leaves, and the sun sets earlier. We are all very much connected to nature and our environment, so it is no wonder that we often feel our own bodies going into shut down mode. So take it easy on yourself, and take extra time out to replenish your energy levels if needed.
2. Get outdoors
Yes I know when it’s cold and dark all you want to do is snuggle up on the sofa but it’s so important to get out into nature each day. Wrap up warm and take a brisk walk around the block, trust me you’ll feel a lot better for it and that sofa will still be waiting for you when you return home!
3. Move your body
A little bit of exercise is such a great way to boost your mood and it can often make you feel more energized, even though you might assume it would do the opposite! It releases chemicals called endorphins, which basically make you feel really good. My favourite thing to do is put on some feel-good music, turn up the volume, and have a secret dance session whilst nobody else is watching- try it!
4. Feed your mind
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Eating foods that feed your body and mind and make you feel good is a great way to top up your energy levels and fight off illness. That means plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. One of my favourite things to eat during winter is soup as it’s an easy way to cram loads of extra vegetables into your diet, and it keeps you warm- win win!
5. Eat chocolate
As much as it is important to eat your fruit and veg, there ain’t nothing wrong with a little sweet treat in your life! Chocolate releases happy chemicals, and there’s just something really comforting about it. If for whatever reason you can’t eat chocolate, try hugging somebody instead…it has a similar effect!
6. Get an extra boost
If you’re lacking a little bit of sunshine in your life, top up your vitamin D levels by taking supplements. A vitamin D deficiency can leave us feeling more tired and sluggish than normal, and although there are foods that contain it, sometimes we need a little extra help to get our daily dose.
7. Practice gratitude
Even if you feel like you have nothing to smile about, there are always things to be grateful for. Yes, always! Get into the habit of writing down one or two things each day that you are grateful for, no matter how small it is.
Yep, I had to throw this one in somewhere. I find baking to be so therapeutic, and that’s partly the reason that I got into it in the first place. Go on, switch on that oven and bake yourself something nice. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked goods wafting through your kitchen. Oh, and if you’re looking for recipes, I’ll be sharing plenty of my favourites in the near future so watch this space!
9. Tell a friend
I’ve got to admit, I have always been one to keep things to myself, however over the years I have realised how important it is to speak up and share things with others. It’s like they say, a problem shared is a problem halved!
10. Be kind to yourself
If you are feeling rubbish at this time of year, don’t beat yourself up about it. We can sometimes feel guilty or ‘silly’ for having certain negative emotions but remember that it’s perfectly healthy and just part of the natural flow of life. Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions, and remind yourself that it will pass.
Do you have any advice of your own to help beat the winter blues? Please share your thoughts and comment below, I’d love to hear from you!