Way back in April I shared a post full of little ideas for improving your day and, with winter firmly here, I wanted to revisit this topic for the darker, colder months. Maybe like me you’ve started finding that you arrive at work in the morning in the dark and are conscious that later on you will be going home in the dark. Then there’s the weather to contend with; there’s something I adore about crisp cold clear winter days but they are few and far between at the moment and instead Leeds has been battered and bruised by unbelievable winds for a good few weeks now.
So this is a list of simple little ways to improve your day, every winter day and not to let these things get you down – I’d love to hear what you would add to this list or what your favourite winter pick-me-ups are!
1. Grab a mug of hot chocolate – when in doubt, start small with a dose of serotonin-boosting cocoa. I have time for any kind of hot chocolate (instant is the best when you don’t have any form of milk in the house!), but for a delicious not-too-unhealthy vegan version heat up a mug’s worth of almond milk, break a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate into a mug, pour in the milk and stir. Mmm-mmm.
2. Cosy up with slippers and a blanket – whether you’re reading a book, watching a film or sitting down with your laptop, there’s no better way to do it in winter than wrapped up in a cosy blanket with your feet toasty in a pair of slippers – if you can get away with it, add pyjamas too!
It’s a known fact in our household that I always have cold feet so slippers deserve a special mention. My chilly feet situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that my cat, Tarmy, mistook the cute little fox slippers I bought last winter for, presumably, actual little foxes – I’m sure you can guess how that ended for me each and every time I wore them. Fortunately, Wynsors recently sent me these gorgeous vegan-friendly faux suede, faux fur-trimmed slipper boots, so my feet have been able to stay warm yet safe from cat pounces!
3. Find some seasonal scents – smells can have such strong emotional associations, that the right aroma can have a profound mood enhancing effect. There are plenty of ways to do this from lighting a candle, burning incense or bringing sprigs of winter greenery inside.
4. Get some fresh air – the second there’s a break in the rain, or, if you’re really lucky some winter sun, get out in it. There’s something about being outside and walking that means even a short walk around the block or walk to the shop on your lunch break can be a major pick-me-up. If, as I mentioned earlier, you’re someone like me who doesn’t get to see daylight much during winter weekdays then a lunchtime walk might be the only chance your body gets to take in some much-needed vitamin D.
5. Take a bath – my catch-all cure for everything, a hot bath comes into its own in winter and is the perfect way to defrost and relax.
6. Plan your next trip – I’m not someone who goes on holiday for the weather (why is that everyone’s first question too – ‘how was the weather?’) so I don’t mean plan a trip to somewhere hot immediately. This could be planning a trip that’s all about sunshine but it doesn’t have to be; simply having an upcoming adventure to look forward to can work wonders, even if it’s a local microadventure.
7. Cook up some serious comfort food – warming, hearty food was made for winter. Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy so go for something your body will thank you for like a vegan pumpkin mac ‘n’ cheese or a lentil shepherd’s pie topped with sweet potato.
What are your favourites ways to improve a winter’s day?
I was kindly sent this box of cosy winter goodies, but all thoughts, opinions, photos, etc. are my own!