18 December 2014

7 Ways To Help Beat The Winter Blues | Lifestyle

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I don't know exactly what it is in particular about the Autumn and Winter months, but quite often a lot of us fall victim to "the Winter blues". With the lack of sunlight, shorter days and cold, dark nights, it's easy to get wrapped up in negative and depressive thoughts. We seem to have more time to sit down and dwell on things.

For me, this time of year can be quite depressing; when I am working (seven consecutive nights, midnight till 7:30am), I pretty much lose a whole week's worth of daylight. Give it another week or so and I'll be leaving for work in the dark, arriving home in the dark, sleeping during the daylight hours and then waking up when it's already dark again! This is why it is so important to take steps that will help minimise the risk of feeling down and depressed all Winter.

I'd like to share with you some of my own tips and tricks to help beat those dreaded Winter blues!

1. Have a bubble bath. It may sound silly, but this is such a simple yet effective way of relaxing and taking some "me" time. Choose you most luxurious, favourite bath product and get that hot water running! While you're soaking in the tub, try reading an uplifting book or listening to some relaxing music. Enhance your experience by applying a lovely, soothing face mask and make sure you've got some rich body butter to apply all over when you get out of the tub!

2. Take a walk. If you get a dry day, make the most of it by going for a refreshing walk in the countryside (or local park, if you live in the city). If possible, take a friend or loved one along with you for company. Sometimes it's nice to just take in your surroundings, appreciate the scenery and have a good chat.

3. Embrace the early evenings. Rather than feeling negative about the evenings drawing in faster, try to look for the positive points; close your blinds and curtains, grab a hot chocolate, get snuggled up on the sofa in your favourite PJs and put a feel-good DVD on! You could even treat yourself to a cheeky Chinese take-away - or make sure you're not slaving over a hot stove all evening by making the most of your slow-cooker (go buy one immediately if you don't already have one!).
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4. Light a candle. With the increase of darker hours, lighting candles can create a great ambiance and can really lift your mood. Scented candles are best as you can choose a particular scent to match or improve your mood; aromatherapy candles are brilliant, as are season-appropriate scents to bring that sense of excitement and festivity!
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5. Write down your thoughts. Positive or negative, write down any thoughts you may have; write lists of the negative and positive points of your day and I'm sure you will realise that many of the negatives are pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Little or large, embrace those positive moments as they are the ones that truly matter! Physically writing things down can help clear and relax your mind.
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6. Treat yourself. Whether it's a full-on pamper day at your local spa, or digging in to that share-size chocolate bar, treating yourself in any way is sure to boost your mood! Going out for a meal with a loved one is a great way to get out of the house and also brings the opportunity for a good chat.

7. Exercise. I know, I know - who can be bothered to exercise at this time of year?! But, adding a little light exercise into your daily routine can really boost your energy levels and make you feel refreshed and ready to face the world! Try daily walks, jogging or yoga - this is something I am determined to introduce into my daily routine as I feel I will really benefit from regular exercise.

Are you feeling a little more positive now? I hope so! Embrace this wonderful festive period and enjoy yourself!
Have you got any tips of your own? Share them in the comments!
*Please Note: these tips are from my own personal point of view. Severe depression can be very serious and may require medical attention.

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