Beat the winter blues

Well, it’s January – Blue Monday has just been and gone.  Yes, apparently, it’s the most depressing time of the year – or maybe just a clever ploy from a travel company to get you to book a holiday so that you have something to look forward to?

You can make that choice yourself, but it is a fact that here in the UK with the weather being cold, grey and pretty miserable, the lack of vitamin D can make us feel low and lethargic and crave winter stodgy foods – just when we’re supposed to be losing those extra pounds gained at Christmas. It makes for a sorry story doesn’t it?

So, what are you doing to perk yourself up today or for the rest of the winter?

Wallowing is all very well and good but sadly it’s a vicious cycle and will only lead to more wallowing if you don’t take action.  If you run your own business, you need to be on form for your clients and to generate new leads. Wallowing in the winter blues may mean you take your foot off the marketing pedal and it’s crucial that you absolutely don’t do that.

So here are 7 tips for you to beat these winter blues and stay on track through the gloomy weather.

1.    Get some fresh air

Just a short walk or bike ride every day will get air in your lungs and this alone will help improve your digestive system; your blood pressure; your heart rate; will make you feel happier; will strengthen your immune system and sharpen your mind.  What’s not to love about fresh air? And if the sun’s out, it will help you to produce more vitamin D.

2.    Eat well

It’s so easy to give in to winter stodgy food. But it’s also important to ensure your diet is well balanced. You can have the stodge – no point denying yourself but make some healthy choices too. We all know the benefits of a healthy diet, so I really needn’t say anymore here.

3.    Sleep well

Easier said than done if you suffer with insomnia – I know, having suffered myself.  If you can sleep, then ensure you get a decent amount of sleep and try to keep a sleep routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. If you don’t sleep, then you have my sincere sympathy. Always remember though that any rest is good for you and again, the routine of spending time in bed between certain hours might help you.

4.    Talk about your worries 

Because a problem shared really is a problem halved. If you can’t talk about them to anyone, then write them down and try to identify small things that you can do each day to take action against them.

5.    Treat yourself

Give yourself something lovely to look forward to. I’ve just had a weekend away with 3 of my oldest friends. We hired a cottage with a hot tub – so you can imagine – lots of prosecco, nattering and chocolate (yes, I need to make some healthy choices this week!). It might be that you treat yourself to a new book or read one that’s been on your shelf for a while; buy something nice in the sales; have a day out with friends or family; or just do something for you that you enjoy.

6.    Get to know yourself

We all have triggers and if you really suffer with the winter blues, give yourself time to understand your feelings and deal with them. Take actions that you know will help you get through the days.  Write lists of things you need to do and once you’ve done them, reward yourself. Put yourself in the best possible state to survive your feelings.  It may be something as simple as making sure you’re warm while you’re working. You need to make sure you’re meeting your most basic needs.

7.    Understand that your feelings are normal and that you’re not alone

Christmas came and went and it’s a long time until Pancake Day but most people are feeling the same.  So smile, have a positive state of mind and be grateful for the little things. Before you know it, spring will be in the air and your garden will need weeding!