Winter has officially hit the shores of Sydney and during this period it’s so easy to feel a little bit blue. (Yes, Sydney actually has winter! Trust me, I was in shock when I discovered this also, but believe me when I say, this is true!) Life kind of slows down a little, people go into hibernation and risking the great wilderness of the outdoors seems like an adventure for only the bravest and strongest of us. Being a summer-lover, winter is definitely the season that I have to reach out and use all the resources at my finger-tips to keep a positive frame of mind, happy, smiling and upbeat. Here are eight easy and simple tips to help you beat the winter blues:
1. Have a Tea Party
Whether it’s a tea for one, or for a group of your silliest friends, holding a tea party is a sure-fire way to lift your spirits. Wrapping your frosty fingers around a nice steaming cup is relaxing and warming in both the soul and the body. Making tea in a teapot can also be a very beautiful ritual, giving you time to just enjoy a moment of simplicity. Additionally, tea contains high levels of antioxidants, some of which are called polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins, and all of which protect your body from dis-ease. And if you have the pleasure of the company from some of your nearest and dearest, your heart will swell with love and enjoyment from the closeness and stories and giggles you will share.
2. Play Your Favourite Tune
Music has always been known to be uplifting. Music heavily influences how we feel and can direct our emotions and experiences. Decide what mood you want to be in: cosy & mellow, up-beat & excited, happy & comfortable, outrageously fun, and play the perfect soundtrack that you know will take you there. Playing music can help you relax and focus, or even concentrate on your work. So go on, play that favourite track of yours! (And dance around naked with just your fluffy socks on. It’s sure to get you in a good mood.)
Even Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, adulates the positive effects of reading something ~ just for fun! But most importantly it has to be something you actually ENJOY reading. So bring out that secret comic collection under the bed, the racy romance novels, glossy magazines, blog or whatever your secret reading fetish might be and immerse yourself in some delicious word-candy. Reading can be one of the greatest pleasure of life and bring so much experience and new thoughts into your world. It’s like a magic carpet ride through another’s eyes……. one where you never have to leave your bed!
Exercising when it’s cold can be the hardest one to do but with the most benefits. Sometimes
read often in winter getting up, about and moving is the last thing we want to do because our bodies naturally want to conserve heat. But moving around and stretching increases circulation and warms your body all over as well has beneficial influences on your mood. Yoga classes are usually heated (especially if you are doing Bikram Yoga) and wrapping yourself up in a million layers and going for a walk can be romantic, even by yourself. You get to see the world around you from a different perspective and have time to be introspective while pumping much needed fresh blood and oxygen throughout your body.
5. Write / Draw / Make
This one ALWAYS works for me. Writing from the soul, just letting it flow out from my hand onto a piece of paper. Whatever works for you, do it. Creating something releases endorphins and makes you feel good. It’s a simple as that! Some people like to draw, make jewellery, sew, build, sculpt …… whatever turn you on – do it! Sometimes writing cards, postcards or real letter (yes, not emails or Facebook inbox messages!) can do it for you. What about writing somebody a love letter? All’s fair in love and
war creativity when it’s frosty outside!
6. Watch a Film
Watching a heart warming film has got to be one of the easiest ways to lift you out of the winter blues. You can be totally passive, wrap yourself up to sufficient cozy-ness and enjoy a warm beverage whilst partaking in laughter, smiles and delight brought through the wonders of movies. Gala Darling recently posted a wonderful list named 33 Movies to Watch When Your Sad, Bummed or Glum. I pretty much agree with every single one she listed, though I have to admit that her choices seem to err on the girly side and there are some pretty fun and uplifting unisex films out there that we can enjoy with the men in our lives!
7. Make Sweet Love
Do I really need to say more? Oh, you want me to elaborate!? Okay then. According to endless amounts of studies having sex has the following benefits: boosts confidence, helps weight loss and improves fitness levels, reduces depression and lifts mood, improves sense of smell, is a natural painkiller, boosts the immune system, exercises the pelvic floor muscles and improves prostate health, amongst many more. Evidence seems to suggest that those who choose to take the time to enjoy regular sex and intimacy, are happier and healthier than everyone else as a result. Best of all, it’s fun and keeps you warm!
8. Go Shopping
Retail therapy, however temporary, is such an indulgent and fun way to fade away any inkling of the fears of freezing. It can bring so much pleasure to traipse the streets with friends or alone and to find shiny, pretty things and soft, woollen warm treasures to bring home. As well as fulfilling the age-old rite of hunting and gathering, shopping is quite an ambitious feat as you generally spend hours walking through all sorts of wonders and lose yourself in the twinkling lights of boutiques and stores.
If I could choose, I would happily make like a bear and hibernate in a cave for 3 – 4 months during the coldest period. Eating till I’m full and then sleeping for weeks on end sounds like a most delightful solution to me, alas I am human and have learnt to find other benefits to my circadian rhythm sleep cycle. Winter to me is something that I used to spend plenty of time avoiding by moving around with the seasons, however in the last couple of years I see the balance of nature and life in staying with the seasons. Winter gives me an opportunity to nurture and develop new ideas and prepare them for the coming spring. It is a time to rest and take in more of the world, to study and stay in. In winter we have the opportunity to be more intimate with our friends and lovers and enjoy the quieter more gentle side of the yearly cycle. Make this winter the best one yet! Let me know of some things you love to do in the colder months to keep the happy glow inside alive.
Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.