The Christmas and New Year celebrations are all done and out of the way. The decorations are down and presents are put away in their new homes. Goals and new years resolutions have been written and new diaries and calendars have been bought. Nothing like the start of a new year to refresh you right?
Well, maybe not so much. Here where I live it is dark by 4:30 pm and still dark when I wake around 6 am. The weather is rainy and cold most days which keeps us stuck in the house. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine and waking up sitting on the back doorstep sipping coffee in the morning (I love to do this in the warmer months).
Despite being motivated to smash my goals this year, you could say that there is a touch of the winter blues in my house. I’ve noticed since the new year started that we’re all a little bit irritable and short with each other. It’s not that we don’t love each other dearly, because we totally do. It’s that quite frankly the winter seems to make us all a little down in the dumps.
During the spring/summer/autumn, we spend most of our time outdoors. Hubby and I working on things such as our vegetable garden and the children spending 95% of their time playing outside. In the evenings we light the fire and we all sit around, cooking some food or watching the flames dance. It really is bliss. I miss that at this time of year.
I think it is important to recognise that this is just a season we have to go through, but there are things we can do to help ease the symptoms of the winter blues.
1. Get Outside
Yes even when it’s cold and wet. Just go, the fresh air will always do you go. Going for a walk with the family is a great way for the children to burn off the built-up energy and a great opportunity for parents to connect and talk. Try and make a habit of going for half-hour walk as a family every day. I promise everyone will feel the better for it. Who cares if the rain gets you a little wet. Put your wellies on, no one is ever too old to jump in puddles.
2. Focus on Your Goals
While the days are short and the weather is pants focus on the goals that you can achieve from the comfort of your own home. Some of the goals that I’m working on over the winter months are things such as, learning to knit (I already crochet), reading 50 books, and trying out one new recipe each month. And guess what, I’m smashing these goals already. It’s always a pick me up when you get to cross a goal off your list.
3. Eat Well
While it’s easy for us to eat for our ‘winter body’ we really don’t have to. Try and focus on nutrient-dense meals that are hearty and warming. This time of year I love to make casseroles, soups and roast dinners. I also love to spend time with the children in the kitchen baking. It keeps them busy, creative and full up.
4. Get Some Rest
This time of year is the perfect opportunity to pile up duvets, blanket and cushions and make the warmest comfiest of beds ever. Make it your own little nest and commit to going to bed when you are tired.
Tips For A Great Nights Sleep
- Turn off your screens at least a half-hour before you plan to go to bed
- Diffuse some essential oils such as lavender and cedarwood
- Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated before going to bed
- Avoid caffeine and opt for herbal teas such as camomile
- Snuggle up with your loved ones and talk about your day before going to sleep
5. Get some light
Although this goes hand in hand with getting outside, some days the weather is just too nasty and it’s better to stay inside. But we all need vitamin D and we all need sunlight. For those with serious winter blues or S.A.D, a light therapy lamp can work wonders. They can help raise energy levels, boost your mood and help with keeping your body clock in check. They are very affordable and easy to use. Most have a choice of programs to use and are on a timer.
How do you feel about winter? Love it or loathe it? How do you beat the winter blues? I would love to hear from you.