Winter is fast approaching and, as the year comes to a close, I think many of us will be contemplating what this winter will be like, and how we can get through it amidst the continued challenges of Covid. I do have some friends and family that love the winter season, they love to get warm and cozy by the fire, wearing nice, thick winter jumpers and even thicker socks. However, not all of us share this love of the cold season and the dark days that it brings with it, so I thought I could sprinkle a few suggestions out there to try and keep any winter blues away and to keep our wellbeing at the top of the priority list.
- Create your own support network – Reach out to the people that understand you, and that you know you can talk to when you’re feeling those winter blues. Don’t plan to just get through it, plan to get through it in the best way you can, and keep on top of those feelings. Reach out to your support network sooner rather than later, and let them know you might be coming to them for a bit more support before the going gets tough.
- Build in regular exercise to your routine – Ok, so this is something that everyone always mentions, but that is purely because the benefits are so great, regular exercise is linked to being happier and, of course, healthier. Find the exercise that works for you, whether it is walking, yoga, dance or weightlifting, and build that into your winter plan. I use apps like strava to track any bike rides or walks I do, so that I can look back at what I have already accomplished to help me keep motivated. You could sign up to some online fitness or mobility classes. Many of them might have free trials to help you get started. I use ROMWOD for my mobility/stretching at home, which I know offers a free trial period for new customers.
- Create your own winter joy routine – This might be enjoying a nice hot bubble bath whilst listening to your favorite audiobook, a new album, or creating your own cinema-style movie night and take it in turns each week to pick a film. Whatever it may be, set a regular time aside for your own winter joy.
- Re/Discover some new winter activities and hobbies – Planning ahead, getting ideas now, and having things booked in, will give you dates to look forward to, and will get you into a better frame of mind about the winter to come. My biggest block when it comes to planning things is simply coming up with ideas of things to do… I’m sure I am not the only one that feels like this. Bearing this in mind, I have put a few of my ideas below in an attempt to help us all out:
The beginnings of a winter idea catalogue, in no particular order:
- Virtual events – There’s so much choice now for virtual events from music concerts to comedy shows, and to really get you into the Christmas spirit there are even plenty of virtual Christmas carol concerts out there too. What’s more, is that many of the carol concerts are raising money for charity, so why not choose to have a lovely evening all whilst helping out people in need this winter. You could even see if any of your friends or family might also join in from wherever they are!
- Games night and/or day – Staying warm and cozy inside, you could pick your favorite games, or try a new one, and get some friendly competition going. According to the Guinness book of world records, the longest marathon playing a board game was 80 hours! Perhaps we aren’t out to break records, but it can certainly pass the time on a cold winter’s day.
Drawing Without Dignity, $24.99
- Rediscover your older family/friends photos and videos – Whether they are a jumbled mess in your laptop and seriously need organizing and sharing with others, or you love to have print outs of your favorites, why not tackle that photo folder head on and enjoy the memories that you rediscover along the way.
- Get a pen-pal – Remember the days where we used to write letters to send to family and friends, and the delight in receiving a handwritten letter or card in the post. Why not spread some winter joy and write a letter to someone you care about, imagine their smile when they check the postbox and see some familiar handwriting.
- Channel your creative Christmas spirit – Make Christmas gifts, I don’t always consider myself to be the most creative of people. However, that hasn’t stopped me in the past from making Christmas tree decorations for family and friends or attempting some festive baking to give to others. Not only will you put a smile on someone else’s face, but you get to revel in your own creative greatness.
Some of these ideas might not float your boat, but I’m hoping that even if that’s the case they may prompt a new, or different, idea that suits you better. If it does, please comment on this article and share it with the rest of us! Perhaps we can create a much bigger catalogue of ideas to help each other out.