Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Top 5 Tips for Winter Blues

I feel like we need to make a public apology. Last week we celebrated shedding our winter wardrobes for lighter spring clothes... and the Beast from the East has made a second, miniature appearance. We jinxed it and we're really sorry!

This winter seems to just be draaaaaaagging on and on, with no sight of ending. As I mentioned last week, March is normally the month where flowers bloom, the sun finally touches our faces and we stop being mole people. not this year! Even with the lighter evenings, the biting cold makes me just want to hide under my duvet and wait it out. Rather than sleep my way to spring, I'd quite like to try to keep an even keel. 

Here are a few things I actually do to shake myself awake:

1.) Live by my Lumie Bodyclock.
The artificial sunrise alarm may seem gimmicky (and expensive) but ohmyword it is brilliant. Mine is 5 years old and still going strong. At the moment I'm not actually using it for purpose, which is to gently wake you with a slow sunrise-style light. The sunrise is getting there by itself. However, I do sometimes turn the light on in the evening to trick my brain into thinking it's still bright daylight. It helps me avoid the 7pm doze- especially when I'm aiming to exercise at home. Which brings us to-

2.) Exercise.
Jeez, I hate it. It's always the advice for any mental health issues though, and with good reason. Walking in fresh air- and making the most of any daylight hours you can eek out- is ideal. I also like to do yoga or use my exercise bike the second I walk through my front door. (Lumie light on full whack)  Otherwise I find myself making excuses and that's me trapped for the evening, slowly slouching down into a lying down position. 

How did that blanket get there? Might as well close my eyes, just for a second...

3.) Make plans.
Basically, do the opposite of what you feel like doing. By filling my diary with nice things- and people!- the days go faster, I feel productive and I don't have the time to mope around. This month I'm chasing around after my toddler nephews and nieces, which keeps me busy!
But I alternate this with evenings of scheduled slobbing around because I recognise that, despite my best efforts, my energy levels are still in conservation mode. I'm pretty bad for overdoing it to the point of burn out. Scheduling laziness weirdly removes the guilt of flaking plans for a rest, and I never find myself cancelling my Netflix plans! ;)

4.) Cook.

A couple of years ago I had a light bulb moment. I've always enjoyed baking sweet treats but I really didn't enjoy making meals for other people. Because, pressure. I get a Come Dine With Me sweat on. My growing Pinterest boards and international flatmates really boosted my savoury repertoire and having to avoid gluten has made me more experimental. Getting creative in the kitchen has totally changed my outlook. It keeps me healthy, gives me things to do, saves me money, and it's really sociable. People like being fed!
If cooking isn't your bag, I also like to do something tactile that gets me away from all the screens. Knitting, drawing, growing kefir bacteria (I wish I was joking but it's Ian's latest hobby), get your hands busy!

5.) Dress up.
Last week I talked about not being in the mood to dress nice, and it's a rut I fall into easily. It's not just the energy required for styling an outfit. It's also that when my mood is low I'm subconsciously drawn to plain, dark clothes. It's a habit that I need to kick because in the long run it can pep you up all day. I'm not someone who dresses up or wears makeup every day, but I often kick myself later on in the day that I didn't bother. Especially when it comes to selfies! A dash of bright lippie or the addition of bold earrings can psychologically boost you.

Now that I've written this, the sun seems to be peaking out. I'm not even mad. Hopefully this blog post doesn't have longevity- I'd much rather have the warm weather than the views!

What are your tips for boosting your mood in this rubbish weather?

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