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5 Ways to Battle The Winter Blues

It’s cold, dark and wet outside- there’s nothing interesting going on for months and it seems like the whole world is in a bit of a slump. It’s no wonder the ‘winter blues’ are a thing, particularly at this time of year between Christmas and spring. Thankfully there are ways that you can combat this, and set yourself up for a great year ahead. Here are some ideas.


Don't deprive yourself
For many, the start of a new year is all about deprivation. After an indulgent party season over Christmas, new years resolutions are made to eat less, spend less and generally have less fun for a while. Setting new year's resolutions that benefit your health, finances and life are of course great- but don’t take them to the extreme and make yourself miserable. You don’t have to punish yourself for letting your hair down over the festive period, just pick back up with your normal healthy lifestyle and you’ll soon be back to where you were. When it’s cold, dark, rainy and boring, depriving yourself of little luxuries like a hot chocolate or a glass of wine with a friend, or a tasty comfort meal at the weekend is always going to make what’s already a depressing month feel so much worse!

Keep busy
There’s never all that much going on at the start of the year, and it can quickly get boring and make you feel stagnant. But it’s hard to know what to do with your spare time when it’s dark by 5pm and freezing cold outside. However, finding productive things to can really benefit your mental health, it gives you focus to your life and builds skills in an enjoyable way. How about starting a course and learning something new, institutions like the University of Southern California have loads of courses to choose from. Perhaps you could start a new hobby, it could be something from home like blogging or crafting, or it could involve joining a local class or club like baking or art lessons.


Book something to look forward to
At this time of year, it can feel like the winter is going to stretch on forever. Cold days and nights give a feeling of bleakness and it’s never the most pleasant, but one way to get yourself through it is by giving yourself something to look forward to. This could be booking a holiday or mini break for a bit later in the year, it could involve booking tickets to a concert, arranging a day out to a theme park or whatever else you find exciting and like to do. Having this to look forward to and focus on can help you get through the dark and boring weeks at the start of the year. Once spring comes back around and it’s lighter and warmer, you’ll naturally start doing more again anyway.

Stay active
It’s so tempting to want to get in bed and pull the covers over your head when it’s cold outside, but if you’re already feeling down in the dumps (or are prone to getting this way) then lack of activity will certainly make things worse. Any exercise you can do, even if it’s just a home workout is a bonus, will get those endorphins flowing and generally make you feel better. Going to the gym in the evening or attending a class can actually give you something to do when there’s not much else going on, and as it’s inside it won’t be too awful (if running in the cold and rain sounds like torture!)


Spend time with loved ones
It can be hard to drag loved ones out when the weather is bad and everyone is spent out from Christmas, but do what you can to spend time with the people you care about. Cook a dinner and invite them over, host a movie night or go for a walk in the park if you get a day where the weather is more mild. When you’re spending a lot of time by yourself, it’s always going to trigger feelings of sadness and loneliness, sometimes an hour with a friend or family member is all the therapy you need.