As the sun begins to shy away and the nights drag on, we often feel our mood slipping. Many of those struggling with depression find that the winter months can be some of the hardest. But, even when the clouds roll in it’s possible to keep our own little lights shining and, through self care and compassion, forge our own path through the storm.
So today we want to share with you some helpful advice from our Closed Facebook Peer Support Group on getting through the winter months.
Krissi Asher: Balance your time between your family and yourself especially during the festive season. I tend to keep some hearty meals to hand and pack them with vegetables so I’m eating well. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get out as much, my colouring and knitting time tends to increase as a way of relaxing during the colder months. Lots of hot drinks too! Decaf or fruit teas can come in very useful here for night time.
Gilly Bolton: My biggest challenge is accepting that I am going to feel worse and not wasting energy trying to beat the odds. Being kind to myself is tough enough anyway. I try to wear brighter colours and get some fresh air even if it is the last thing I feel like doing.
Zoe Smith: Hot chocolate, hot chocolate, hot chocolate!! It just helps with everything – low mood, feeling cold.
Sue Stradling: As the days get shorter, make the most of any opportunities to catch some sunshine. Wrap up warm and enjoy some mindful walking in the winter weather.
Bryony Nelson: Relaxing distractions are my go to! Colouring, funny T.V shows or films with a nice hot drink, reading, knitting, going for a lovely hot bath or a little pampering session. All help me feel better when I can’t get out of the house. Make sure you’re still eating and drinking well and wrapping up warm if you do manage to get out.
Naomi Barrow: Blankets blankets blankets (for snuggling or making).
Kate Street: If you feel like hibernating do it! Curl up in a cosy chair by a lovely fire with a cup of tea and a good book.
Josie Pointer: Cosy nights in front of the fire, curled up in a blanket with a cheesy film and a hot drink are my winter comforts
Barbara Pugh: Try and get some sunlight! And make the most of winter smells, a little cloth bag with cotton wool, a little bit of orange oil, frankincense and cloves in it is comforting to sniff. Try not to give into the carb monster in the worst ways, lots of nourishing winter soups… And, last but not least ‘IT’S OK TO HATE XMAS !!! ‘ don’t give into the hype to spend too much, hand made gifts are always appreciated by anyone with any sense.
Sarah Fox: As the seasons start to turn I like to play a little game with my partner: we see who can catch the most falling autumn leaves – it’s a great distraction and gets us out of the house! He is also an amateur astronomer and there is no doubt that, if you can handle the nippy weather, winter is the best time to get outside and gaze skywards. You can find some great info here and a lot of things can be seen with a simple pair of binoculars. I also love winter clothes, a nice pair of novelty slippers (the sillier the better) and a big warm jumper can make me smile.
What are your go-to winter warmers? We’d love to hear any advice you can add, so please drop us a line in the comments below.