On Friday I found myself waking up to bright sunshine streaming through the window. I bounced out of bed, full of joy and excitement for the day. Maybe it was because of the Gong Bath I attended the night before which led to the best night sleep I’d had in a long time. Maybe it was the fact my parents were coming to stay for the weekend… whatever the reason, my mood was the brightest it had been for a long time and I think it was no coincidence that this coincided with the beautiful, sunny, warm weather waiting for me outside.
For me, like a lot of people, cold, grey, miserable weather can really affect my mood and this can be a bit of a problem when living in the UK… But, do not fret, the weather does not have to hold the power over our good days or bad days. Here are 5 tips to brighten your mood, even when it’s raining:
Tip #1: Exercise regularly
Get at least 30–60 minutes exercise per day, whether it is walking, jogging, going to the gym or doing some yoga. Exercise boosts serotonin, endorphins and other feel good chemicals in the brain that help to fight against depression and irritable moods brought on by cold winter weather. Exercise will also help tire you out which will help you have better sleep.
Tip #2: Meditation
Put aside 10–15 minutes every day for meditation. You don’t need any special apps, recordings or music, just get yourself comfortable in your favourite chair and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing and clear your mind of the daily stresses. By just allowing yourself to switch off for 10 minutes you are giving your brain the time it needs to reboot and bring back the energy wasted on the stresses of the day.
Tip #3: Have fun
During the Summer months our social lives tend to thrive. Hot, light evenings open up so many options for socialising in beer gardens, lazy picnics in the parks, late night walks and al fresco dining. The longer days mean more opportunities to enjoy our evenings out rather than hiding indoors from the Winter darkness. Unfortunately this means we have to force ourselves more to ‘de-hermit’ in order to have fun. Figure out what you enjoy, whether it’s going for dinner or to the cinema or having more nights in with friends hosting dinner parties. Force yourself to fight against the urge to stay in and it’ll boost your mood.
Tip #4: Eat the right food
As soon as the Winter nights roll in it’s so easy to be tempted to bulk buy chocolate and pasta. There is a reason we call it ‘comfort food’ and when the weather sucks we need some comfort. Try to replace white pasta with wholemeal and load up on vegetables, oily fish, pulses and lentils. Start your day with a health loaded smoothie (try spinach, flaxseeds, apple, green tea, goji berries & blueberries) to give your mood a positive kickstart in the morning.
Tip #5: Get outside
The pull of the central heating and a Netflix binge might seem the obvious choice for cheering yourself up during Winter but going outside and getting some sunlight is essential for warning off the winter blues. This also combines with Tip #1, if you can do some exercise outside you’re onto a winner. Try to walk to your destination or get off your commute one stop early to get some extra steps in. Just make sure you’re wrapped up warm. If you find walking boring, do not worry! Podcasts or Audiobooks are a fantastic way to get into walking longer distances, if you’re hooked on a good book you’ll forget to even remember to be bored and time will pass in no time.
Give the above a go and see how you feel, the good news is Spring is just around the corner and dark, cold weather will soon be a distant memory! Good luck!