We thought we would take a different approach this week with our blog post. As the days get shorter and colder, it is really easy to fall into a negative headspace. Us Brits naturally struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to the constant grey and rainy days. Roughly one in three of us will be affected, and it is forty percent more likely to affect women than men. If you fall deep enough into SAD it can be very difficult to get yourself back out. As I sit in my office looking out at the greyest and rainiest day I have seen for a while, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my best tips for combating the winter blues.
When it's cold and dark once you’ve finished work, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to workout. The darkness makes you even more tired, and the last thing you want to do when you’re sleepy and freezing is drag yourself to the gym. But, there really is nothing better than exercise for your mental state. The release of endorphins is a real mood lifter, plus it will warm you up! Don’t neglect your workouts; your mind and your body will thank you for it. If the gym is too big a financial investment for you, buy a workout mat and hit Youtube - there are millions of videos and there will certainly be something for you.
After a long day of work, driving home in the pitch black, it can also be much easier to cancel any evening plans and crawl into bed at 6pm with Netflix. Though this seems like the warmest idea, it is so important mentally to see friends and family as much as you can. It is so easy to slip into a reclusive state in the dark months, but this can be really damaging and lead into a deep dark hole. Don’t cancel plans; see your friends and catch up. They may well need you as much as you need them.
Winter is a great time to take up something new. We all seem to have a lot more time on our hands than in the warmer months, and it's important to use it to the best of our ability. If you start doing it now, it will become a natural part of your routine a few months down the line. Joining a yoga or a ballet class is a great way to exercise and meet new people. Beginning an online course is also a great idea - a huge number are free, a way to get further accreditation for yourself and to learn something new. On a smaller scale, taking up journaling can be extremely therapeutic and a great way to express emotions that it can be hard to share with anyone else. If you are not yet a photographer or are keen to further your abilities, do not shy away from the darkness. The crisp clear winter nights are the perfect time to practice long exposure shots of the night sky and capture some incredible shots. If you are leaning more towards the city for your photos, make sure you check out our blog post from a few weeks ago on photographing the city lights at night. Just because our daylight hours are spent at work, it doesn't mean that we can’t make the most of the weekday evenings! And of course, we highly recommend you get out in the sunlight on the weekend and get your camera out!
As the cold nights draw in, it is becoming easier and easier to reach for a glass of wine earlier and earlier. We are all guilty of drinking more in the winter - it is proven to keep you warm in the cold - and the festive period around Christmas makes it easy to slip into bad habits. Now that Christmas is over, it is important to get back to normal. Take a good few days off drinking, motivate yourself to make this a great year and look after yourself. You'll find work a lot easier without the constant drum of a slight hangover, and high productivity in the office will make you feel more positive in every aspect of your life. Your mind and your body will be very grateful for it - it is easy to forget that alcohol is a depressant, and just how much it can affect your mood.
A final point from me, is to prioritise self care in every way. Put your skincare at the top of your agenda - you’ll thank yourself for it in the decades to come. The cold and wind are not your skin's friend, so make sure you are protecting it even more in the winter. Regularly painting your nails, using face masks, making a hair mask at home and trying some fake tan are all great and inexpensive ways to perk you up in your appearance. Although it's most important to feel good on the inside, you can help this by making yourself feel better on the outside. And we all know it's important to look after your hair even more in the cold. Book that appointment, change up your hair and give yourself a confidence boost.
We hope that you enjoyed these points on how to keep yourself positive during these bleak months. Keep yourself busy and active, make sure you’re seeing your friends and family, and use this time to start something new!