It’s easy to feel a bit down at this time of year. Spring still seems so far away, and the cold and dark evenings can start to drag, can’t they?
Here are five small steps I’m taking to kick the winter blues to the kerb and to improve my mood at the moment. Hopefully they’ll come in useful for you too!
Rekindling my love of reading.
Last year, I only read about three books from cover to cover. I adore reading but never seem to make enough time for it.
The cold and dark evenings are the PERFECT time to get down that reading list of yours. I’m currently perusing Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life by Katherine Ormerod. (I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something to read…)
Fresh flowers adorning the fireplace and coffee table.
The perfect reminder that Spring is on the way.
They don’t have to be expensive… We often pick ours up from Aldi and they actually last longer than far more expensive bouquets from proper florists, in our experience! Aldi blooms have honestly lasted longer than some Bloom & Wild bouquets that I’ve bought before, plus they’re a fraction of the price.
I’ve written about the impact that flowers have on my mood before, and that still stands!
It’s a simple, but effective, way to perk up my day.
Saying no to social media.
Perhaps it’s the book that I’m reading at the moment, but I’m even more cynical about social media usage right now.
I haven’t ventured onto Twitter for months, nor have I logged onto Facebook for over a year. And I feel so much better for it.
While I’m still obsessed with Instagram and pop onto Pinterest a couple of times a day, I’ve found that limiting my usage of the social media apps I have has really helped to keep my mind from descending into a frazzled state.
Limit the amount of time you spend on them (IG now has a really handy tool for this) and stick to it. The world won’t spin off its axis if you scroll a little less throughout your day.
Catching up on TV.
It’s the perfect time of year for curling up on the sofa with a boxset for company, isn’t it?
I’m terrible for not caring about what’s hot on Netflix right now. I’d much prefer to curl up with a cosy old comedy that I’ve probably seen before (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen each and every episode of The League of Gentlemen (hardly cosy), dinnerladies, Black Books, I’m Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Car Share, The Royle Family… Nothing particularly cool, but the list is endless.)
I find it more calming in the evenings than watching something high octane and dramatic. It’s predictable, and therefore comforting. Call me odd, if you like, but it works for me and it might work for you too!
If I’m going to watch anything dramatic or tense, I’ll make sure I watch it earlier on in the evening. (Let’s face it, none of us wants to be binging on The Ted Bundy Tapes directly before bed, do we? Not unless we fancy sleeping with the lights on…)
Getting more Zzzzs.
I definitely notice the impact that not getting enough sleep has on my mood. It can go one of two ways: either I end up hyper-anxious and worry about every small and insignificant thing that my mind can possibly contemplate or I feel deflated, down, and hopeless about everything. When I’m well-rested, I feel positively human again.
I don’t know why, perhaps it’s the cold and extra darkness, but I always find I’m a lot more tired in the winter too. Going to bed earlier is something I’ve endeavoured to do each night recently.
Working on my sleep routine, and letting it take more of precedence than it has in recent years, is one of my casual ‘New Year’s Resolutions‘ for 2019. I’m attempting to put the days of procrastinating by blogging or scrolling on my phone of an evening to bed. (No pun intended…)
So, lately, I’ve been putting more of an emphasis on relaxation and pampering. Steaming my face, having warm bubble baths, and lighting some candles are always bound to make me feel better.
Having a tech break in the evenings is really helping me to relax more too. Even if it’s just popping my phone into airplane mode and putting it on charge in another room, I find that I’m far less tempted to pick it up and start scrolling again.
I read somewhere a while ago that you should try and go to sleep an hour earlier every night in January, and it’ll make you feel better all year round. I’ve no idea if it works, and I know we’re into February now, but these dark winter nights are the perfect time to give it a try and see if it works, aren’t they?
If anyone wants me, I’ll be hibernating…
What would you add to the list?
Enjoyed this post? You might also like: 10 Things To Remember When Things Get Overwhelming, 10 Kind Things That You Can Do Right Now, or maybe even Diary: It’s Just Another Manic Monday.