The nights are getting gloomier, the Autumn seems wished away in the run-up to the holidays, and the dreaded SAD is already rearing it's ugly head. Make the most of the shorter days and beat the Winter Blues...
(image from Tumblr; source unknown)
Get the lights on in the AM.
If it's as dark inside as it is outside, you're not going to want to wake up. Not wanting to wake up first thing will start your day off with a negative vibe. Shed a little light on the situation!
Get the coffee on.
As well as lights, the smell of coffee can stimulate you in the morning to make sure your get-up-and-go doesn't get up and go.
Stroke a cat.
Or hamster. Or dog. It's good for you.
Get outdoors and enjoy some natural light.
It might be cold, but getting some sunlight on your skin makes Vitamin D in the best way possible.
Get something green growing.
Introduce a little greenery into your life. It's not in their natural blooming period, but indoor roses are beautiful in Winter and with a little TLC they can be kept in bloom if bought when they're budding.
Write your goals for the Winter on a page and stick it somewhere visible.
If you write something down, you're more likely to remember it and if you see your goals in front of you every day, you're more likely to strive for them.
Get yourself something frivolous.
"To Me, Love Me"
Watch "Love Actually"
Appreciate the love in your life, and then go appreciate the fact you have better things to do in your life than chase tail.
Buy next years planner.
Put in birthdays, plan breaks and highlight special occasions. Mark in direct debit dates, rent payments, the days your wages go into your account. Make 2012 the most organised year yet!
Start a project.
The more all-consuming the better. Be passionate about something different for a while for distraction and a change of viewpoint.
Write down everything you need to do today.
Screw up the paper and throw it out of the window. Enjoy your stolen day.
Start a journal.
Or write in yours more regularly. Make lists, write down your loves. Draw charts, track your constellations. Doodle to your hearts content.
Look at your diet and cut out the rubbish.
Feeling gloomy often comes from within so cut out excessive sugars, carbs and fats and replace them with healthier alternatives.
Make recipes you can't get away with in the Summer.
Pumpkin pies, heavy fruit cakes, casserole dinners and stew and dumplings are all fantastic Wintery foods perfect for hibernating through the coldest months.
Eat some bananas.
They contain serotonin (upping your serotonin levels is also something that Prozac does!) and dopamine (which tickles pleasure sensors in your brain) so they really are the happy food!
Drink enough water.
You're probably sick of hearing it but you need around 8 glasses of H2O a DAY. In the Winter, it's not so warm and you might not feel as thirsty so make sure to glug some down!
Warm, delicious and nutritious. It's perfect for the colder weather so eat up. (I like Souper Douper, even though it's miles away.)
Sort out a box from your childhood.
Unless you've gotten rid of it all, of course. Spend a few hours sorting through your old Barbies and My Little Ponies, cleaning them up and brushing their hair and re-boxing and hiding back in the loft.
Do something on the way home.
Break the monotonous cycle of home-work-home and go DO something straight after work. Meet friends, treat yourself at the shops.
Buy yourself some flowers.
Houseplants may be falling back and it's all dead outside so a bunch of flowers could brighten your room(s).
Get dressed up.
It's so easy to lapse back to "It's warm and it's comfortable" for your style choices but this can often make you feel frumpy. Get dolled up and dress to impress yourself.
Plan a Winter break to somewhere sunny.
Even if you can't afford to go, plan a trip away. Somewhere hot, ideally. Think about the places you'd visit and the sights you'd see and note it all down for the future.
Get taken along for the ride.
Take up a friend on their offer to introduce you to a hobby they love. Roleplaying, go-karting, gallery-visiting... try something new that someone you love loves.
Go visit your Mum.
Or Dad. Or best friend. Call them and arrive on their doorstep. Chat, laugh, cry. Benefit from their wisdom.
Or flashdrives if you want to be one of the cool kids. Find someone with music taste you appreciate and trade themed mixes.
Hit 'submit order' on your online cart.
We've all got one somewhere. A website you love with a car stuffed of cute stuff we don't REALLY need but we do REALLY want. Be sensible about it, but hit that order button (as long as you can afford it!)
At least that's what someone in my family calls it. Sort through your stuff and rearrange some furniture. Just because it's not Spring doesn't mean you can't sort and clean for a fresher life.
Decorate your walls.
Tear down your old posters and replace them with your favourite art, words you love and photos from your most treasured memories.
Book a hotel for you and your best friend or boyfriend. Stay up all night and get breakfast in bed.
Note down your dreams as you wake up.
Research their meanings, spot patterns. The nights are longer so find out what your mind is going through while it gets through them.
Enjoy something delicious.
Two words; Hotel Chocolat.
Finish a project.
It might be putting the finishing touches on , it might be finishing a drawing or it might just be actually filing papers in the filing system you started a year ago. But choose a project you keep putting off, and finish it!
Have a pampering evening.
Whether you invite your best friends to join you or not, a night spent pampering could never be a night wasted.
Stay away from The Pessimist.
Everyone has one. The friend that runs you down but you've known forever, or just can't get away from. But try your hardest too, please. Save the pessimism for when you can take it on the chin.
Take Winter for all it's worth.
Otherwise known as 'Drink Gingerbread Lattes until you feel sick'. Leap in head first and enjoy start your Winter the way you mean to go on - wear the cutest scarves, make the Christmas decorations, cut out the snowflakes and kick the snow about while you can.
Get your make-up done at a department store.
Go in fresh-faced and come out feeling like a diva. Extra kudos for glitter before lunchtime.
Embrace an alter-ego
Buy yourself a wig and be someone else for the day; someone that LOVES Winter and smiles at strangers and eats vegetarian and wears heeled boots to kick leaves.
Today is worth the sprinkles.
Admit defeat and overcome it.
It's easy to let yourself drop into murky waters but it's as easy as you let yourself make it to ask for help.
Know that Spring is always just around the corner.