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10 Ways to Beat Winter Blues

It’s cold, there isn’t much sunshine and I’m already getting sick of arriving places looking like I was dragged through a wet hedge backwards – repeatedly. So, I decided to pop together this blog post of 10 ways to beat winter blues – tried and true methods that help me to survive those Northern Hemisphere winters that never seem to end. {Disclaimer: post contains one clearly marked affiliate link.} 

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I love a good list. Especially one filled with ways to cheer myself up when I’ve got a case of the blues.

And, crossing things off a list is my favourite thing to do in the world.

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1. Surround yourself with people that inspire you.

This is so important all of the time, but even more so when you’re starting to feel unaccountably blue. Get a coffee in the diary with someone that will be honest and supportive – you don’t need friends who just fawn over you. 

2. Book a break somewhere delicious

Just getting away for a day or night can make the world of difference to your outlook. Get on those flight sales, open your bucket list for inspiration, trawl the local train maps, book a nice hotel, finally go to a town that you’ve been meaning to visit forever or just spend an afternoon in a part of your city that you don’t often get to. Having something to look forward to can make all of the difference. (Need some inspiration? These are a few of my favourite travels and breaks over the years around the UK & Europe…)

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3. Put together a playlist of songs that energise you. Play it from start to finish. Crank that volume dial. Dance like no-one is watching, because they, um, literally aren’t.

4. Go, have an early night. 

Turn the TV off. Draw yourself a bath, slap on a face mask, find a good book, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax. Then, shimmy yourself under the duvet covers for a good early night. Everything will look better in the morning. Just don’t end up reading said book until 3am, because of that kind of defeats the purpose… #guilty

5. Get into your kitchen and whip up something extraordinary

Pull out your dusty cookbooks, and pick a recipe that you wouldn’t normally consider in an ordinary day, pop on some of your favourite music or a great podcast, and lose yourself in the magic of cooking. Oh, and nominate someone else to do the dishes.

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6. Buy a bunch of flowers

Spend £5. Spend £55. Get a frippery bunch of blossoms and park the vase right in your line of sight. 

7. Do something nice for someone else.

Buy them some brownies via the post, send a cutesy little card, help someone struggling, smile, do a good turn, 

8. Turn your phone off, forget the world for a few hours and watch a movie or read a good book.

We have a stack of DVDs that we have meant to watch for an age, and an Amazon book wishlist that has had lingered a little too long – so we’ve made a pact to stop flicking through the channels hunting for something vaguely bearable, and actually watch some of the things that have been waiting for too long. If you love inspirational or intriguing biographies, I’ve made a wee list of my favourites over the years. {Affiliate link – If you buy an item after clicking on one, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend books that I have read and loved myself.}

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9. That chore or project you’ve been putting off for an age? Do it. 

Clean out your wardrobe Marie Kondo style and donate the clothes you’ve never worn to a local charity shop, finish your wedding album, put those framed images on the wall, peg up those inspirational quotes on your empty pinboard or clean out your junk drawer. The feel-good endorphins will pump away AND you’ve done something practical.

10. Pat a cat or a puppy

Did you know that stroking a cat can stimulate the release of chemicals called cytokines, which in turn signal the brain to release natural painkilling chemicals called endorphins? Numerous studies have documented astonishingly wide-ranging effects – apparently cat owners enjoy a 30 percent reduction in heart attack risk. Watching swimming fish lowers blood pressure. Stroking a dog boosts the immune system. Now researchers can explain the source of our companion animals’ healing powers: Our pets profoundly change the biochemistry of our brains.

How do you cheer yourself up in winter?

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10 ways to beat winter blues Adventures of a London Kiwi

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