Battling the Winter Blues
There's no escaping it I realised today - as I was walking the boss (our pup Barkley) at 4pm in the freezing rain and failing light. Its winter.
Now always in my mind I equate September-November as Autumn, and December 1st through to February as Winter.... but today I felt it a few days early. So when I got home (after the dog washing/nose-blowing/mug of tea making/heating blasting) I thought I'd write a little list of my favourite things to boost my mood, and a list (aided by friends) of other peoples favourite things to keep the positivity going when summer seems a distant memory!
Make a mental note of what are your 'trigger happys', the things that are a failsafe go-to when you need a pick me up:
- Music - I have my own favourites playlist in Spotify, and also a few 'Mood' playlists set up by other people. Music can instantly transform my mood.
- Bath - (usually with music on too!) but just lying still with my thoughts (and a decent handful of bath salts) can bring warmth and relaxation within a few minutes.
- Candles - again often accompanied with the two aboves! Something about that indulgence of lighting a beautiful scented candle can bring the feeling of cosiness and self care.
- Getting outside - granted if its chucking it down with rain, its not always top of my list.... but just being outside in the fresh air (and yes I'm lucky to live in beautiful countryside) can really be a mood booster. I do also like a good old run to give me some extra happy hormones - its never failed to make me feel better afterwards (and makes me feel like I've earned the hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows!)
- Meeting friends. Sometimes you're not feeling sociable, but knowing that you'll feel better after some hugs, belly laughs and sharing of your days (cruddy or otherwise!)
- Reading a book - a bit of escapism, usually curled up under a blanket with a cuppa
- Watching your favourite movie or boxset (again curled up in a cosy blanket with chocolate and tea!)
- Indulging in some self care - whether its the aforementioned bath, a face mask, nails, trying out a new beauty product. Remembering that you are valuable and worth investing in.
- Cooking - trying out new recipies, or making a favourite comfort dish.
- Writing/phoning/meeting up with someone who needs a boost too. Sometimes shifting the focus from ourselves to other loved ones can give us that feel good factor. Send them a gift, let them know you're thinking of them.
- Cleaning/reorganisation - this is actually another one of mine. There's something about flinging open windows, shoving the furniture aside to properly spring clean the house and banish germs as well as negativity that really works for me. Stick on some loud music to accompany it - and its a powerful positive action.
Of course - when I talk about 'blues' and the above checklist, I don't mean any flippancy toward those who really do suffer with depression in whatever strength that comes, and that is a whole different ball game and not always fixed with 'a list'.
But I do know, from my own personal experience, that knowing what helps to pick me up when I feel life, work, weather, or any number of other factors weighing down on me is a real positive step I can make to help me up again.
- Katherine Worden