It’s ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ but, with the dark nights encroaching and couch potato syndrome kicking in, winter is bound to make everyone feel a little blue at times. For me it’s the plethora of tinsel, overbearing shopping crowds and demonic Father Christmas’ (we know you’re not the real one!) that get me down. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a handy guide on how to beat the winter blues once and for all…
1. Get Out Of The House
The heating is on (or fire lit if you’re lucky), the Quality Streets are twinkling in the bowl and you’ve just got some new toasty bed socks. Cosy, right? But before you snuggle down to yet another episode of Corrie/X Factor/Strictly, it’s time to get those limbs moving and brave the outdoors. With such changing scenery at this time of year, a scenic walk with a loved one is a perfect way to get some exercise and lift the spirits.
2. Make a Tasty Meal
Winter is definitely the best excuse to eat plenty of hot, delicious meals. From stews to soups, pies to paellas, grab your apron and learn new skills in the kitchen. You never know, you might even tempt a few friends round to try your culinary creations!
3. Enjoy a Night at the Theatre/ see a Concert
With so many great acts touring throughout winter, treat yourself to a night out and go and see your favourite comedian or musician. We have a great range of events on at The O2 Arena, or alternatively, the West End is home to some of the greatest stage shows of all time. If London isn’t your thing, there are loads of shows that regularly tour the UK to look out for!
4. Try a New Hobby
Think of something you’ve always wanted to do and then just go for it! Whether a regular night class or an intensive course, trying out a new hobby is a great way to make new friends and get yourself out of the house.
5. Buy a Lightbox
The mornings are cold and dark, your alarm is blaring away from your phone and you really, really don’t want to get out of bed. In fact, you wish you were a hedgehog! No fear, Lightboxes have been scientifically proven to help reduce the symptoms of SAD, anxiety and low mood. This nifty little device will chill you out before you go to sleep AND wake you up naturally with a beaming glow.
6. Get Away for the Weekend
Sometimes all you need is a nifty getaway. Whether it’s a weekend in the city with your best friend or a country retreat with your other half, getting away for a couple of days can do the world of good to your mood. It also gives you the chance to explore somewhere new! Take a look at The North Lakes Hotel. With its cosy lounge and open fire, it’s one of our favourite break destinations in the winter time.
7. Get Plenty of Exercise
As well as long scenic walks with a loved one, enjoying a bit of regular exercise is guaranteed to boost your happiness and concentration. No matter what your reason (toning, weight loss, general fitness), finding a type of exercise you really enjoy makes all the difference. My latest thing is hula-hooping – a great way to keep fit AND feel like you’re six again!
8. Put Some Money Aside
Christmas and birthdays and festivities – oh my! Winter is so very expensive. But with some careful planning in advance, those stocking fillers and tubs of truffles will be easy to buy. By putting some money aside in the run-up to such a busy season, you’ll be able to sit back and actually enjoy winter shopping, seeing friends and travelling around. You might even have money spare for a few ‘Perk-Me-Up’ treats come January!
9. Plan a Short Break for 2017
Everyone has places they have always really wanted to visit but have never had a chance to go to. Well, 2017 is the time to tick a few key destinations off the list! With great offers on travel, and many short breaks offering perks such as free breakfast or add-on tours, a new year’s break is something to really look forward to. Top of my list next year is Budapest!
10. Make Time For Yourself
Whether it’s a long soak in the bath, a trip to the pub (mmm, mulled wine!) or an early night cosying up in bed with a good book, remember to make time for yourself! Forget about the stresses of the day, unwind and be content with who you are. This will make for a very happy winter.
Have you got any top tips on how to tackle the winter blues? Let us know in the comments section below!