With Christmas now a distant memory, it’s hardly surprising that many of us might feel a little deflated during Winter. With the festivities now well behind us, we all face the return to routine normality, the continuation of cold, dark days, a lighter bank balance and generally not a huge amount to look forward to! Enter the winter blues.
With lighter days and warm summer nights still a fair way off, it can be some of the hardest few months to get through so it’s no wonder the most depressing day of the year (Blue Monday) falls in January.
So how can we change all this and help inject some well needed positivity into our lives?
Here are 5 tips you might choose to follow..
1. Get moving!
During the chilly months, it’s only natural to want to stay inside, snuggled up nice and warm on the sofa, but if you’re feeling down, this mindset can often backfire, lending instead to a lack of energy and motivation as well as a short term feeling of general exhaustion.
Instead, exercise is one of the best ways to lift your mood.
As a proven stress buster, exercising can automatically help your body to feel relaxed and calm, improve your memory, help you sleep better as well as increase your self-confidence. All of which lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.
This is largely due to the feel good hormones our body releases when we exercise. Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain which in turn can make you feel happier and healthier. Even just taking 30 minutes out of your day to move your body can have dramatic results!
2. Be sociable!
Although you may not always feel like it during the winter months, socialising with friends and loved ones can have a profound effect on your mood. Whether it’s going for a walk, having a coffee with a friend or playing cards; staying social is scientifically proven to reduce feelings of loneliness and boost your sense of well-being.
And if you do still find it hard to face anyone in person, even just a quick phone call or Zoom/Skype chat can also really help to lift your spirits.
3. Make plans!
Having something to look forward to can actually help us feel optimistic about the future, whether it’s catching up with friends, hosting a party, starting a new hobby/exercise to a trip to the cinema. Making a list of future events to look forward to can help you keep these positives front of mind when you’re feeling low. After all, anticipating something fun means that you get to enjoy the happy experience for longer.
4. Be kind to yourself!
Although we can often take ourselves for granted, it’s important we take the time to focus on self-kindness and make self-care part of our daily routine, even more so during these tough winter months. This in itself can hugely enhance our sense of mental and emotional well-being.
Learning to be more kind, compassionate and forgiving with yourself can help put an end to that negative inner voice and thereon any negative feelings. On top of this, by just allowing yourself one thing every day that’s just for you, whether it’s that extra hour in bed, a relaxing bath, catching up with friends or a walk around the park, will help keep you feeling motivated and ultimately happy.
5. Focus on the good in your life!
If you’re feeling down, another good way to help yourself feel more positive is to create a gratitude list. By making a list of things that make you smile, no matter how small they may be, is a simple way to help you recognise and feel grateful for the good things in your life which in turn can help boost your happiness. These entries can be as simple as having a warm cosy bed, a good supportive friend, a caring family around you – through to having a healthy body or simply just feeling well. This is a great exercise for truly reinforcing the positives you already have in your life.
So, why not use these tips to make a positive start today and see for yourself how these small changes can lift your mood, and fast!
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