10 small ways to stay positive and get through the gloominess of winter
February – finally.
After the longest January in the history of mankind, we have finally entered February – only to actually realise the weather is just as grim, we are just as locked down – and spring still feels a long way off.
But the thing is – I am a firm believer in that by adding small positive actions or habits into my days, it really can change my entire mood or day around. And just like that, by putting one foot in front of the other, finding little things to be joyful for or that brings you joy, winter will pass into spring.
In the meantime, let's make this month worthwhile. Yes, we are all sick of the current state of things. But by filling our days with small, happy, positive habits, we are doing our best. And better days will come – you know they will.
And until then:
1. Prioritise sleep
Sleep matters a huge amount to our overall health and wellbeing, and even our mood. So this month, make it a priority to get enough of it.
Create a soothing evening routine, and stick to it. Soak in the bath, turn off your phone, read a book, practise some selfcare – and go to bed early. You will feel a hundred times better for it.
2. Cry when you need to
Seriously – sometimes a good cry really does make everything better.
3. Find a way to give back
Go through your wardrobe and donate clothes you no longer want or need. Host a virtual fundraiser for a charity close to your heart. Donate to a local food run. Volunteering or giving of your time might be or look different right now, but there are so many ways to give back to your community, just find one that works for you.
4. Organize your paperwork
File away important things, toss old receipts, but stuff you need to keep into folders. You will love the feeling of not having random pieces of paper floating around the house.
5. Buy yourself flowers
Once a week, maybe on a Monday and or Friday, pick yourself up a bunch of flowers. Having fresh flowers at home us such a happiness booster.
6. Edit your wardrobe
Take everything out, donate what you haven't worn in the last year, throw out what's broken and hand everything you want to keep nicely back in, putting items that are the same together, so you can easily put together an outfit in the morning.
7. Sign up for this 30-day yoga program
Sometimes the hardest thing about deciding to start anything is figuring out where to start – and this is especially true with anything that has to do with exercise. Which is why I love this 30-day yoga program. It breaks the whole journey up into manageable chunks, and somehow, to me anyway, it makes sticking to a regime that much easier.
8. Paint a wall in your house
Some added colour will make a space feel fresh – and will no doubt end up perking you up too.
Remember to ask your landlord if you are renting!
9. Set up a virtual bookclub
Get in touch with some friends and make it happen –it really is that simple. Agree on which book to start off with, set a date for when you have to have the book finished – and make sure you are stocked up on vino and some snacks before you all Zoom in (oh – and don't forget to talk about the book too!)
10 Get some fresh air (and sunshine if you can) every morning
On a biological level, we are not all that different from plants – we all need sunlight and air to live. And the best thing you can do for your mood and for your health, is to start your day off by getting it. Trust me – even just 10 minutes every morning will make a huge difference to our day.
Open your window first thing when you wake up and take a deep inhale of fresh air. Alternatively, go all the way outside and go for a walk or run, if that is what you are used to or craving. The important thing is that you are providing your body with a lot of fresh oxygen.