For many the arrival of winter conjures romantic visions of crisp, clear mornings, puffa wrapped weekend walks along frosted country lanes, the fragile beauty of skeletal trees against salmon skies and wood-burner warmed evenings with a good book and a glass of velvety red.
Whilst these notions are, for the most part, a triumph of hope over experience, for the majority of Brits the winter months offer sufficient distraction to lend the season the illusion of swift passage, with Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and Valentine’s all crammed into a few short months.
For some, however, the reality of the British winter, complete with soggy starts stretching into dull days and long dark evenings, is the perfect recipe for a bout of the blues. Over 20% of Brits suffer symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the bleaker months and, for some, the effects can be debilitating. The good news, of course, is that symptoms usually vanish with the advent of spring but, to get through the most difficult months, there are several self-help techniques you can employ to make the grey days less gruesome.
#5 – Unslump Yourself
‘Unslumping yourself it not easily done.’ (Dr. Suess)
When it’s cold and miserable outside it’s only natural for one’s disposition to reflect the weather and all sense of humour and optimism to vacate the mind, body and soul. All you want to do is curl up under the duvet at the weekend, stick your favourite rainy-day movie on, (again), eat hot buttered toast and hibernate until April, at the earliest. What’s more, with the bank balance teetering precariously close to zero, following the expense of December, it’s tempting to put your social life on hold until your finances, not to mention your mood, improves.
When your text alert pings though, no matter how much you want to say, ‘no thanks, let’s catch up in June,’ try to force yourself to accept the invitations that come your way. Meet a friend for coffee, catch a movie with your sister, invite your neighbours round for drinks. Leaving the warmth of your home may not seem a pleasant prospect but it’s guaranteed to perk you up and, if everyone you know is also in a slump, you’ll be doing them a favour too.