Brrrrrrrrrr. Winter is almost here, just in case you haven’t noticed! It’s easy to feel a little low during this time – particularly as we’ve all been couped up in ISO. It’s quite natural during the cooler months to be less happy than usual – this is because reduced sunlight can affect your biological clock and circadian rhythms, as well as melatonin production (if that sounds too technical, we’re talking about how our body feels overall, how well you sleep and general energy as a result). So yes – we admit it, there’s plenty of ‘downers’ to Winter, and sure – no one can jump on a big jet plane and sun-chase quite yet, however winter does have its upside. How? Well we’ve put this handy guide together to hopefully inspire you.
Start a laugh-a-thon
Find the antidote to smiling more. Comedy is a brilliant outlet, and laughter relaxes and relieves stress. There are countless films, stand-up comedy shows to stream online, sitcoms and sketch series out there to dive into. So, queue up a marathon stream of your own ‘laugh out loud’ content and get ready to have a chuckle.
Host your own ‘Party of Five’
Rules are relaxing, and while social distancing still needs to be sensibly observed, gatherings at home with people who are close to you (not random strangers) are back baby! So get thinking, get cooking and get the conversation and drinks flowing – it’s time to live a little and reconnect with those that matter most.
Book a staycation
What’s that I hear you say? A staycation is a set period of time where you take in leisure activities that are driving distance from your home. Think about what you love doing. Research what’s permitted and what’s open – then go for it. Regardless of whether it’s golf or photography, you’ll be able to get outside and enjoy a change of scenery – and be all the better for it.
Brighten things up
Environment can influence mood. Even more so, lighting and natural light. Light therapy, where artificial light via a lightbox or device is placed in-front of an individual, has been shown to be effective in some cases at combating depression, especially during seasonal changes. Speak to your GP about it, or simply consider your own living environment and spend some time sitting in a sunny corner to improve how you feel.
Back to nature
Cooler weather makes exercise easier, and let’s face it – the air just seems to feel a whole lot fresher. Where permitted, take in some of the natural wonders close to you. Hike that hill, stroll that lake, view that rock formation or jog that trail. Don’t forget that in many states, landmarks like waterfalls are best seen at this time of the year when rivers are full, so pop one on your itinerary if they’re close by.
Support a local community
Yes, we’ve talked on this one a bit before in articles such as this one here, however we’re going to say it again! If you can use the winter period to purchase from farmer’s markets, travel to local areas, fill an esky with regional produce and visit attractions where they are open and it’s safe to do so, then you should. Regions that were affected by bushfires, providing they are welcoming visitors, should be high on your list, and this is the toughest trading period of the year for many.
Dream a little dream
Rainy days can be planning days. Look at the goals you want in life, and use the time you have sheltering from the elements to think about future travels, ideas, decisions and objectives that are meaningful to you. Even if you can’t visit Tuscany or build that side-hustle business right away, planning the steps to get there will be a winter’s day well spent.
Food, glorious comfort food
Nothing heats up a home better than a warm oven, and nothing’s better on a cold day than a piping hot meal. So, if winter weather dashes your day-plan, dust off those old recipe books or Google up a mouth-watering treat. Even for those that struggle to boil an egg, becoming an expert in brewing up a hot cup of cocoa can still be an option. Plus you’ll have new skills and something warm to share when your next guests visit!
While we’ve kept this guide ‘wintery warm’ it’s still important to recognise that ‘colder months’ challenge everyone in different ways. Don’t forget to check on older friends and relatives, and if you or someone you know is not feeling 100%, reach out and support them or get professional assistance via your local GP, Kids Helpline or Beyond Blue. Wishing you a happy and healthy winter.