It seems that it’s often the times when we feel the least energetic and motivated that we most need to give ourselves a bit of a push. My mental health always takes a hit at this time of the year, but I refuse to just roll over.
Unless the sadness is the medically diagnosed sort (in which case pop to the docs: absolutely no shame in that… I’ve certainly been there over the years), there are some small steps we can take to fight back.
Here’s some of my tips for dragging the sun back out…
1. Get outside every single day, whatever the weather. Walk somewhere for about an hour. Then come home, change your damp clothes and make coffee.
2. Keeping your home vaguely tidy will help you to feel less overwhelmed. Forget immaculate show homes: just pick up the wet towels.
3. Tell God about it. Seriously, it works! Brew up, then curl up somewhere quiet for two minutes. You don’t need to say a word, just open your heart to the heavens and let it all go. Now the trick is to leave it there…
4. Make decent food choices. Don’t starve yourself – we need to eat loads at this time of year! But make it nutritious, tasty stuff, not just sugary treats which play havoc with your internal levels.
5. Make something. A little card to send to a friend, a patchwork cushion. Or just stick some buttons to a frame. Put on a favourite podcast and revel in some ‘you time’.
6. Curl up with a good book. Turn off those voices that tell you you should be doing something more productive: your brain and body need this precious re-charging time.
7. Start saying no if you have too much on your plate. You’re only one person and you need to be kind to you and parent yourself well! Getting to bed at a decent time will help loads too.
8. But try not to hide. We need friends; we need interaction. And we need real ‘in the flesh’ people to smile at us and give us a hug, so it might be worth keeping an eye on your time spent online.
9. Remember that this too will pass. It’s a season and the sun will come back out. Brighter times are always ahead.
10. Take yourself out for coffee and to the shops. I know it doesn’t sound very ‘simple’ to be advocating retail therapy, but a £2 latte and a thrift store skirt can sometimes be just the pick-me-up we lasses need to turn a frown into a smile.