How to feel good during a depressing period

How to feel good during a depressing period

Winter can be a depressing time of year. The days are too short and the nights are too long, there is very little light and we all go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Add in the cold weather and the storms, and that fact that there are no leaves on the trees so the landscape looks bleak, and there’s really not very much to feel good about. Right?

Wrong!

If you feel down about the onset of the cold season, now is the time to realign your thoughts. The more you dread winter, and all it brings, the more opportunities you’re missing out on. Think positively about winter, and you’ll see that there are endless reasons to feel good about life. Let’s take a look at a few.

The changing landscape

Winter may make the world seem like a bleak place but think about what we can learn from nature. The trees shed their leaves, while plants and bushes die back, but only so they can start afresh when the warmer weather comes. Our beautiful flowers and leafy trees retreat, and in their place we can see the evergreens and the berries, mistletoe and holly, and hardy perennials such as lavender. Every plant has its day in the sun.

Take the time to observe the changing environment. You can see through the trees at what is beyond, so the landscape becomes an ever-changing place and source of wonderful inspiration. In addition, once the autumn storms have passed, you’ll have blue skies and sharp cold days, perfect for walking the countryside.

When the weather allows, make sure you get outside when the rare sunlight appears, especially if you’re trapped inside at work. A brisk walk around the block at lunchtime will do wonders for raising your mood, because nothing works as well as natural light, and a little exercise outside is better than nothing at all.

Embrace winter food

You may be missing salads and leafy vegetables, but late Autumn and the winter offer ample opportunities to indulge in some home cooked favourites. Who doesn’t love a slow-cooked stew? Meat and vegetables in a tasty stock. Freshly made soups. Everything tastes better when it’s been cooked slowly but for longer. Indulge in your favourite pies, with a side helping of cabbage and parsnips. Create your own vegetable curries. Bake some festive goodies and take them around to your neighbours or share them at work. Spread the joy of great food.

Make yourself cosy

As long as you’re eating well and getting enough exercise, there is nothing wrong at all with lowering the lights, lighting a fire if you have one, and a few candles, and then chilling out in front of the TV, or curling up with a good book. These are the cosy, homely evenings we all love. Whatever you do though, don’t hibernate. Keep active, keep accessing the light. Everything in moderation.

Resist the urge to over-sleep

Regardless of the temptation to lie in bed for longer, you need to resist the urge. If you sleep too much, you’ll end up feeling lethargic and lacking in energy. It is far better to maintain a similar sleep schedule all year around, regardless of the balance of light and dark in the world. Too much sleep one night may lead to insomnia the next night, and with insomnia comes anxiety and low mood. This is not a pattern you want to pick up.

Light therapy

If you’re suffering with the winter blues, or more seriously with seasonal affective disorder, it is important to access the light as often as possible. One solution can be a light box, which simulates sunlight. Every light box will come with its own set of instructions, but generally you’re instructed to use it for 15–20 minutes in the morning, a foot or two away from you, and pointed toward your face.

Tis the season to be jolly?

You may well be looking forward to numerous parties this festive season, but whatever you do, don’t overdo the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol can drag you down, even if you don’t drink enough to give you a hangover. It may mean you go to sleep better, but you will not be well-rested. You know your limits – stick to them. If you think you’ll be weak, offer to be the designated driver at the party and nurse soft drinks all night. You’ll be glad of it in the morning.

Manage your expectations

For some people, the festive season is a particularly busy time of year. If the thought of all that running around leaves you feeling frazzled before you even start – opt not to do it. Find ways to give yourself a simpler life. If you have family, explain the problem and ask them for solutions. Don’t force yourself to take on too much, if you run the risk of feeling miserable and tired constantly. Delegate where necessary, cut back if you need to.

No hibernating

It’s all too easy to do away with your social life when the weather is cold and the nights are so dark, but remember we all need some social stimulation. Too much time alone can seriously lower your mood and exacerbate existing mental health conditions. Rather than cancel your social get-togethers, make the effort to have a few more.

Take on a winter project

Why not start a project that you aim to complete by the time spring comes around? You could do something crafty, such as felting or quilting, or you could write a novel, or take on a photography project. Choose something that will need to be completed over the course of a few months.

If all else fails

It may be that you need professional help if you cannot lift your mood. Never be afraid to reach out to a professional, and have a chat to put your mind at rest, and remember, spring is only a few months away.

Share

Other articles


goede-voornemens

A new year, a new me

It’s such a positive thing to do and hope springs eternal, so why not commit yourself to a change this year? Here’s our tips on how to stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Read the complete article

verleden-loslaten

Letting go of the past: 5 tips

Lynn Anderson told it very nicely in her song “I beg your pardon; I never promised you a rose garden”. Life isn’t all roses and everybody experiences something they would rather not once in their life.

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

have you considered yoga

Have you considered yoga? The advantages of practicing yoga

Have you considered yoga? There are many advantages to practicing yoga. It is a holistic practice benefitting you physically, emotionally & mentally.

Read the complete article

Choose for your happiness

Choose for your happiness!

Being happy is something everybody strives for, but unfortunately there are a lot of people who go through life unhappily. A lot of people take life how it is.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

Read the complete article

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school?

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school? Here are our hints and tips to help if your child is expressing a refusal to go to school.

Read the complete article

"Bach Flower Advice" becomes "Mariepure"

"Bach Flower Advice" becomes "Mariepure"

After 25 years in the Bach flower world, we asked ourselves, is now the right time for our own new name? Not only have we grown, but so have you, along with the confidence you have in us. That's why we want to connect ourselves to our own name. That name is Mariepure.

Read the complete article

fear of fireworks dogs

7 tips to help your dog with a fear of fireworks

As nice as it is for a person to celebrate New Year, it's not so nice for a dog, especially when the loud fireworks go off the whole night. This is really frightening for many dogs. Read our 7 tips on how you can help your dog with his fear of fireworks.

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research