Although many of us refer to October, November and December as the “best three months of the year” (including myself), it’s no real surprise that many of us can ALSO feel a bit low or depressed during this time of year. Christmas may be approaching but there are a lot of factors which might make our moods drop during this time of year which leave us looking for some mood boosting Winter activities.
Why might we need to embrace some mood-boosting Winter activities?
- SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder): Can often be referred to ‘Winter depression’ as symptoms are more obvious in Winter months, due to lack of sunlight, lower serotonin levels and a change in circadian rhythms
- Stress from money worries around Christmas: Nobody is immune to the impact Christmas has on our finances. Even if you’re saving money for Christmas, it can still be an almighty stressful aspect of this time of year.
- Grief around Christmastime: Grief is apparent throughout the whole year but can be particular poignant during the Christmas season. Grief at Christmas can make it especially hard
- There’s a lot going on, which can cause burn-out: From Christmas parties to Christmas shopping, cooking, Christmas fairs and more, there is typically a LOT going on during this time of year, which can, if you’re not careful, lead to burn out
- Pressure to make it perfect: With no thanks to Pinterest, there’s more pressure than ever to have a “perfect” Christmas. It’s not going to happen. But the pressure we put on ourselves can definitely impact our mood
And of course, there’s plenty more reasons why you might be feeling low during the Winter months. That’s not even getting me started on how miserable January can so often be!
So, although these mood boosting Winter activities suggestions certainly won’t cure a bad mood, they might lift it slightly. They may take the edge off and give you some relief and respite and hopefully make you feel warm, cozy and content. Even just for a few hours.
And of course, if your bad moods are prolonged and impacting your day-to-day life, please speak to someone and get the help you need.
But for now, let’s look at some mood boosting Winter activities:
Cooking and baking
Getting in the kitchen and throwing ingredients together always boosts my mood, whatever time of year it is. But in Winter, there’s a lot of fun and exciting things you can make in the kitchen.
If you’re feeling low, go back to basics. Make yourself a meal from scratch or bake a cake for your family for dessert. Food is a gateway to the soul; it really can soothe you.
Come on, you knew that Yoga was going to be on this list somewhere, didn’t you? For me, Yoga is one of the biggest mood boosters. And it can be one of the best mood boosting Winter activities because it allows you to go inward.
There are plenty of beautiful restorative Yoga practices that you can do from home, with blankets and candles which can help boost your mood.
Book shopping (and reading!)
Winter is the best time to sit down and get cozy with a good book and a mug of something hot. Whilst reading is obviously a great mood boosting activity, book shopping can be as well!
Even if you don’t have the funds to buy a lot of books, just being around books and browsing the shelves can be a great activity to do. And don’t forget to make use of your local library!
Going for a walk to see the Christmas lights
I love seeing the Christmas lights during the Winter. I feel like the sparkle the lights bring in the lead up to Christmas really makes everything brighter and happier.
To get in some exercise, you could go for a walk to see the Christmas lights in your local area to embrace the magic of Christmas.
Attending a Christmas market
And continuing with the Christmas theme, head to a Christmas market. Even if you’re feeling low during the Winter time, if you love Christmas, then surround yourself by it.
There are plenty of Christmas markets around in most towns, so whether it’s a big market or a small local one, get yourself down to get swept up in the Christmas spirit.
Sport and exercise (preferably outdoors)
Exercise is always good for your mental health. I know it’s a cliché thing to say but it really is. In Winter, it can be even more difficult exercising, especially when it’s really cold.
But being outside in Winter, embracing the cold and feeling it, it can be extremely invigorating. Don’t be scared to continue to exercise outdoors in Winter. Go for walks, play football or even go skiing if you’re able to!
From switching up your wall art for the seasons to decorating for Christmas, there’s a lot of interior based activities you can do during the Winter months to make your home and space cozier which will hopefully improve your mood.
You might want to consider making something, like knitting a blanket or perhaps just heading to your local DIY store to see what you can find to spruce up a room in your house.
Booking and making plans
Although it’s usually a busy time of year, the prospect of starting a BRAND NEW YEAR can certainly be a daunting one. Especially if the previous year isn’t what you hoped it would be.
A year is what you make it, so if you’re feeling a bit low during Winter, now could be a great time to set some goals and make some plans. You might want to book a couple of things in for the beginning of the new year, so you have something to look forward to.
Unless like me, you’re really into Horror movies and Horror is what makes you feel warm and cozy, then there are plenty of *actually* cozy and feel-good movies to watch during a movie night.
When you’re feeling a bit low during the Winter months, you might want to take inspiration from our friends in Denmark, with their practice of Hygge. Which is all about feeling warm, snug and cozy.
A spa day
I went for a solo spa break last December and it was WONDERFUL. Not only did it prompt me to do more things alone because I enjoyed it so much but going in December was also a perfect time to do this because it allows me to really switch off from the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
Can’t go to a spa? Create your own at-home self care retreat with all your favourite products. Carve out dedicated time for yourself, light some candles, pour yourself a glass of your favourite wine and relax for a few hours.
Remember, if you’re feeling low in the Winter months, then you’re definitely not alone. It can be a difficult time of year for many reasons, so take care of yourself and focus on your self-care and well-being.
When you’re feeling low in Winter, what mood boosting Winter activities do you take part in?
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