It’s February, the days are getting longer, but it’s still oh so grey. My Dad has always joked about having SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and how the lack of sunshine during the winter months really gets to him. So much so, that he now hops on a plane to Spain every few weeks, just to get that much needed vitamin D fix. Now I am beginning to wonder whether this anti-winter disposition might be genetic, but as I can’t jump on a plane with much or indeed any regularity, I need to find my own way around it.
I know there are so many of us that can relate to the darker month funk that comes with winter. Once the novelty of autumn and festivity of Christmas has passed, so many of us feel like hibernating under a rock somewhere, preferably with a family sized slab of Dairy Milk. Winter comfort eating is a real life thing. I am a prime example of someone who chooses to hibernate over winter, if I could get away without leaving the house from January through to March, I totally would, but here’s the thing.
After complaining about the winter blues on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I saw lots of people chime in in agreement, this is really is a widespread feeling, but if Chris call me a miserable cow (and rightly so) one more time, I think I might cry. It is quite obviously completely socially unacceptable to spend an entire season being utterly miserable, eating my body weight in pastries, chocolate and crisps all day, so I asked you lovely lot what I should do to combat the blues and this is what you said.
Lots of lovely people said that exercising is a great way to lift the winter blues. Anyone who knows me well will know how much I loathe exercise. I am one of those people who scarcely has the coordination required to walk without injuring oneself. On the rare occasion that I do decide to exercise, it usually involves a Davina McCall fitness DVD, limbs splaying out in all directions and the soundtrack of a herd of African elephants approaching over the horizon.
Socialise & Spend Time With Family
I know how important this is and I know how spending time with friends and family is good for the soul, but I am universally awful at making arrangements and seeing them through in winter. We do have a weekend away with friends arranged for March and I am really looking forward to it. There is nothing like a few good belly laughs with lovely people to banish those blues for good.
Despite my reluctance to leave the house during winter and my loathing of exercise, getting out for a walk is the one thing that I am actually quite good at sticking to. The kids begin to bounce off the walls if they’ve spent too long indoors, which I think perhaps helps with motivation for this one. Children are a bit like dogs, they need regular walks or else they’ll get the hump and start misbehaving.
We had promised the kids that we would take them to the skate park this weekend, so that Noah could try out his new scooter and we ventured out even though the weather was bleak, cold and wet. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the perfect outing. It was freezing cold and despite what these photos might suggest, Noah was a little toe rag and my fingers were close to frostbite. Do you know what though? By the time we were back home and in the warm again, I did feel like my mood had lifted, I felt more energetic and most importantly, the kids were no longer nagging to go to the park. In short, getting out and about does work.
I think the long and short of staying happy during winter months is probably more simple than we might like to accept sometimes. Largely the consensus is to pull yourself together, get out there, see your friends, move your body and enjoy each and every day, whether sunny or not. Though I can completely get on board with this most days, I am still going to allow myself to go up to bed before 8pm with a tin of homemade flapjacks and a marathon session of Netflix. Some days you feel like indulging in winter because hibernating has its advantages too.
•This is a collaborative post.