Smile (Image Credit: Melissa O'Donohue)

Getting Through the Winter With a Smile on Your Face

Smile (Image Credit: Melissa O'Donohue)

Smile (Image Credit: Melissa O’Donohue)

Supposedly, we’re coming up on the most depressing day of the year – Blue Monday. The third Monday of January is claimed to be the day on which people are the most depressed in the year… For obvious reasons I’m not going to give that much attention, surely we all feel most depressed on different days of the year due to our own individual problems in life. However, saying that January is a depressing month makes sense. Firstly it comes the festive season, particularly the end of Christmas for everyone who celebrates it, and secondly, for the northern hemisphere, the month is not famed for its fantastic weather. Most of us have to go back to school/college/work and despite our best intentions with resolutions for the new year we find ourselves just wanting to go to bed and hibernate.

It doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom though, getting through the winter months is all about having the right mindset to get through them. Instead of letting the grey and the cold get you down and the return to the hard slog making you long for the holidays again already, focus on the good stuff.

Plan some fun for the months ahead.

Nothing helps to lift the spirits like the promise of something better ahead. If you can afford it, plan a weekend getaway. If not plan a meal out, a spa date, a day trip with friends, a concert, or anything else that takes your fancy.

Make a ‘happy list’.

Sounds corny? It is. But for those of us for whom writing lists brings great joy writing a list of all the things that make you happy is a great way for making yourself feel a little more positive. Writing the list is fun and then you can reread it anytime that you’re feeling a bit low.

Be active.

This doesn’t mean that you should be working yourself to exhaustion at the gym for two hours a day, it’s not about losing weight or getting super fit. By just being more active on a day to day basis you will find yourself more energised and ready to take on those difficult mornings.

Eat well.

This is the obvious one. This isn’t about completely cutting out all of your favourite treats, as with the above it’s not about losing weight etc, eating well will just make you feel better both physically and mentally. Eating lots of lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruit and vegetables will definitely help your energy levels and make you feel a bit better about yourself as well.

Involve others.

We always have more fun if we spend time with the people we love doing the things we enjoy. By sharing in positivity and happy moments both you and the other person will walk away feeling much better.

Treat yourself!

It might seem indulgent but it really does help to make you feel more positive about things. It could be that you treat yourself to a good book in a bubble bath, a night out on the town, a new gadget you’d been after, another nail varnish for your collection, a new CD by a band you love… Whatever you choose to do, savour the treat and enjoy!

Image courtesy of Melissa O’Donahue

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