I live in New Zealand and it is Winter here. We have had a lot of grey, rainy weather lately so I thought I would do a post on some ideas for how to pick yourself up when you are feeling the Winter blues or a case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). First of all, it is completely normal to feel a bit down sometimes! Everyone does. I think the most important thing is to recognise when you’re feeling in a lower state than usual and then make sure you take steps to change your mood into a much happier one.
Here are nine quick pick me ups that I find really help me in the middle of Winter:
Take action: Don’t let yourself ‘sit’ for too long. Inaction leads to more of the same. For boring or repetitive tasks set a timer to help with motivation. My oven has a timer on it so I like to set that when I am cleaning up my house. It really helps to stay focused and get things done much quicker. I like to make lists also to stay on track – I find physically crossing things off very motivating!
Pick up + vacuum: It might sound silly but I find that there’s something about vacuuming that instantly lifts your mood. Generally, you have to quickly pick-up and wipe all surfaces before you start so your house looks much tidier afterwards. Plus it gets you moving and it is instantly gratifying as you can quickly see progress!
Turn on the lights: It has been really dark in the mornings here so at 7am when the rest of my family is waking up I turn on all of the downstairs lights. I think having all of the lights on really helps to wake everyone up in winter and brighten the morning. I will also have lights on during the day in my office or wherever I am working if it is grey outside as I think it really helps with SAD – sorry environment!
Play music: Music is so amazing at lifting your mood! I could not live without music in my life. I have music going all of the time at the moment, I think it really helps to keep the rest of my family happy in Winter also. I have been thinking about creating different playlists for different parts of the day.
Add flowers + plants to your space: In the middle of winter when you can’t get outside as much bringing living things into your space can really help to lift your mood. Don’t wait for someone else to bring you flowers! I like to buy myself flowers once a fortnight as I find that they really help to brighten up your indoor environment.
Get outside: It is really hard for our bodies to get enough Vitamin D in Winter, especially when all of our skin is covered up. Take a multi-vitamin if you are worried. I try to do more walking in Winter. Even just a quick walk on your lunch break can really help to beat the Winter blues. I find that getting outside and changing up your environment can really help to uplift your spirits even when the weather is not the best!
Exercise! So important! The number the one way to stay bright and happy in Winter. Ideally, we should all be doing some form of exercise every day. I find running and yoga really help me to stay happy during winter. I definitely notice a difference in my mood if I skip a session. Try adding different forms of exercise into your week to keep it interesting.
Eat well: Usually, we eat less fresh food in Winter but I think it is really important to keep it going. Fresh salads and fruits contain vitamins and minerals in their intact state which is really important for our bodies cell renewal and self-healing processes. They also help to keep nasty Winter bugs away!
Laugh: Make regular catch-up dates with friends/extended family or plan to watch some funny movies or comedy shows. Laughing helps to reduce stress and boosts happy chemicals in our brains!
How do you like to stay happy in the middle of Winter?