Although everywhere I go, I hear people saying they can't wait for winter to be over, it has only just started, and we've got a few months until Spring comes around and the days get noticeably longer and warmer. For as long as I can remember I've struggled with winter. I get ill, tired and so miserable, but the last few years I turned things around and enjoyed the winter. Instead of feeling the winter blues, I beat them, and although Summer will always be my favourite season, Winter is now coming a close second.
Turning those cold, wet (yes in the UK they are more wet than frozen), miserable days into ones that we can connect as a family, enjoy and get cosy in the evenings was a turning point, and although I still get coughs and colds, they don't hit me as much as they used to. Whereas I used to dread December to March, now I embrace the season and all it has to offer, There are some simple things that you can do, just like I did, that will help you.
5 Simple Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
It may seem simple, and the rain, snow and wind maybe blowing up a storm, but getting out of the house for 15 minutes every day no matter what the weather will really help. The wind will blow those cob webs away. If it's sunny and cold then make it longer than 15 minutes. Places that you normally visit as a family in the summer are fantastic in the winter - the beach, park or forest are so magical with frost, ice and snow.
Open the windows
You may think I am crazy, but every day no matter how cold it is, for 10 minutes in the morning I open all of the windows that I can let the stale air out and the fresh air in. I open them in the morning and then 10 minutes later on a cold day, 15 minutes or 30 minutes later close them and keep the heat in. The house feels better and I really think that this has helped us reduce the number of colds and coughs over the last couple of years.
There is nothing I want more than to sit down with a big bar of chocolate and devour the lot, then follow it with something savoury and add in a couple of cakes. But, it doesn't help, so instead we eat warming, healthy food during the winter months just like we do in the summer. I make sure that we have plenty of vegetables and fruit - more of it is from frozen than fresh, but when it's frozen soon after being picked, the vegetables are better than if they have been shipped halfway across the world for us.
On the 1st January 2014, I went out and brought a bunch of flowers from the supermarket, and from that moment on there was always at least one vase of flowers in the house. They weren't expensive - just the cheapest bunch in the store or at the market, and over the spring and summer they were picked from the garden when flowers popped up. Just that splash of colour made a huge difference all winter long, and during the Spring, Summer and Autumn the colours changed and the flowers too, but as I walked past them I had a smile on my face.
Let there be light
Mornings are the hardest time for me, they are dark, and even at 7:30 am, when my husband heads off to work, the world outside is dark still, and the street lamps we can see from our house are on. This year we've changed all of our lights to LED and energy efficient lights that are warming - we had some LED lights before but they were cold and not that bright. We switched those out for the same wattage but with a warm light rating and the difference was immediate. In the rooms that we use often in the morning - bedroom, kitchen, lounge, dining room, the lights are on in the morning. I've even put a timer on my bedside light in the past so that it comes on before the alarm meaning I wake to light.
How do you beat the winter blues?
There are some days that I still struggle, but doing these simple things means that my days are better, and the instead of approaching the first 3 months of the year with dread, I enjoy the season and the cosiness and feeling of home and hearth that it brings.