Is anyone else really struggling this Winter…. or should I say this Australian Winter? Unless you are one of the many followers on my Instagram feed making me cry with jealously each day as you soak up the sun in Europe (Although in saying that I will be that person next month). Meanwhile I am sitting in my apartment at night with multiple IKEA blankets covering me from what feels like the North Pole.
Maybe it’s the Scottish blood in me, but growing up I used to absolutely love winter. I would usually dread summer every year and could never understand how anyone could actually enjoy the blistering heat and sleepless nights. All that seems to have changed over the past 5 or so years, and I now find myself a fully-fledged Summer lover and would gladly spend the whole 3 months tanning (sun burning…) on the beach.A common occurrence in Winter is to hibernate and eat a lot of comfort food (which doesn’t align with the Summer bodies are made in Winter quote), feel lazy, tired and just have no general motivation to do anything on your time off. I have always been fascinated as to how a simple drop in temperature can affect us so much, but Seasonal Affective Disorder (or Seasonal Depression) is a real thing.While I don’t want to go into depth about what the ins and outs of this disorder are (Google will be much more help to you than I would) I did want to look at ways to prevent us from getting into a Winter funk.
At this time of the year its easy to say, but realistically harder to do when it is dark for what feels like most of the day. One of the effects for feeling down in Winter is lack of daylight and sunshine, so anytime you are in doors make sure all the blinds are open and you are getting as much natural light as you can.
Talking yourself into taking a walk when the temperatures plummet isn’t easy, but fresh air is very important. Spending time outside (even when it’s chilly!) can improve focus, reduce symptoms of SAD, and lower stress levels.
While it is easy to sit indoors for 3 months and eat everything, winter is a good time to focus on a consistent exercise regime. According to Google (god love it) exercise under bright lights improved general mental health, social functioning, depressive symptoms, and vitality, while exercise in ordinary light improved vitality.
Embrace Winter Activities
When the weather gets colder, there is so many amazing things on offer to keep us active and out of the house. For me, learning how to snowboard was one of the best things I did last year and cannot wait to do it again. Night markets, museums, winter pop-up events in the city, there are so many things that, just like Summer when we are swimming in the beach, is only around for a limited time to enjoy.
I go to Europe every August almost like clock work and have done for the past 6 years. Doing this means I know I will get a little break from the cold, and helps make winter a little shorter. It gives you that extra motivation to keep going and have something to look forward to. And it’s a great way to make everyone jealous on your Instagram feed.