Ten ways to lighten up those winter blues

Ten ways to lighten up those winter blues

In these cold, dark winter months, it’s easy to get the doldrums. If you’re feeling a bit down and need a little pick-me-up, here are just a few suggestions to banish the winter blues. (Do try at home!)

  1. If your space is a mess, you’ll feel like a mess. But if you have limited (no) energy, the last thing you want to do is add to the pressure and set yourself huge cleaning tasks. Put your timer on (say 15 minutes), turn the music up, and clean as though you’ve some unexpected guests coming round. It’s amazing what you can do in a short space of time.
  2. Get outside and see a bit of nature. Take a walk. Even if it’s to the local park. A bit of greenery is a reminder of how wonderful life and our planet is. Really open your eyes and observe. But don’t just stop there. Use all your senses, one after the other. And if you really can’t get to somewhere with plants (and hopefully, animals and birds), look up at the sky. That can be pretty incredible too.
  3. Get creative. Again, if you don’t think you have the energy, set your timer and force yourself to try for a short set period. You just might get into ‘the zone’ (i.e. lose yourself) and keep at it for longer. Do some drawing, painting, write a poem, play an instrument. The options are endless and you might just create a work of art.
  4. Decide on one task that has been bugging you and tackle it. Again – and sorry to repeat myself, but it does help take pressure off if you’re feeling a bit useless – set your timer for 15 minutes (or 25 or 45). You don’t have to finish the task, but once you start, you might realise it is taking less time than you’d imagined and wonder why you’d built it up to be such a mammoth issue.
  5. Connect with a friend. Reach out and tell somebody you’re feeling down. They won’t know unless you do and they’ll most likely respond with a gesture that could really help. If you’re not seeing somebody face to face, calling and speaking to a friend is the best idea, but if you’re really not feeling up to it, at the very least, email someone. Do this every single day.
  6. Just as important as connecting with others – or more so – is nurturing yourself and giving yourself the space you need. Allow yourself to feel low. Remind yourself that it is temporary. And that as humans, we feel a spectrum of emotions and feelings. Sit with it. Accept it and always, but always, be kind to yourself.
  7. Have a playlist. Music has the power to change your mood in a (drum or heart?) beat. I’ve sneaked a few of my own suggestions in the blog.
  8. Look after your appearance – at least a bit. Of course, it’s what’s inside that counts. But if you give yourself a bit of self care, well, it’s in the description. You are showing ‘care’ to yourself. The phrase, ‘You are worth it’ punches power because if you go half way to believing that, you’ll feel good. I’m a pale-faced mousey blonde, and especially in winter, if I leave the house with zilch make up on, I look like I’m barely alive. People comment that I look ill (which does nothing for my self-esteem either). An extra reason to wave the mascara wand towards those lashes.
  9. Cook yourself a warming soup. Or bake a sweet cake. Whatever it is, if you lose yourself in the process, smell the smells, concentrate on the quantities and the colours (oh yes, and the tastes), you’ve still got the best bit (eating it) to come. Worth the effort!
  10. Do some journaling. This may sound clichéd, but it can be so helpful. If you don’t have a beautiful book to write in, you deserve one. I have a slight addiction to notebooks (there are worse addictions, right?) and I’ve found some little beauties at the cheap shops. Write about how you feel (you may find insights into why you may be ‘stuck’). Write about all the amazing things you have done during your life. Write about projects you’d like to do (they’ll become more concrete). Or if you’d rather, write a list of things that help you feel better (and please share in the Comments).

Whatever else happens, let’s remember that:

The only thing that is constant is change.


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  1. Hi Eilidh, very good tips against the winter blues. Especially the one about “allowing yourself to feel low” (sounds so easy!). As I am a bookish sort of person, here is a link to a book I’m reading just now, by Thierry Janssen – a Belgian medical doctor turned psychotherapist (with a focus on meditation) – about his “quest for coherence” and the lows you get (even if you try hard to be coherent). I thought you might be interested. https://www.thierryjanssen.com/livres/broches/152-confidences

I'd love to hear your thoughts

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