….well actually, to be low and moody.
It’s cold, the days have suddenly become ridiculously short already and it’s not even midwinter yet, it’s raining, windy, foggy and grey. Who can blame any of us for feeling a bit less cheerful than we did when the sun was shining! As for those of us with mental health problems especially those linked to vitamin deficiencies, well the cooler months can be downright infused with darkness and depression.
That said, I love autumn with the fruits to scavenge from hedgerows and trees, the conkers, beech nuts, hazelnuts and sycamore spinners to find and the gorgeous colours of the leaves as they leave the trees. Winter can be beautiful in it’s own way but as a friend of mine put forward….how can you find beauty or things to enjoy on those days when it’s just….meh outside.
Part of me craves giving a history lesson into how we as a race tried to make things more bearable in what would have been the most dangerous and thoroughly unenjoyable months. Yes they’ve become commercialised and segregated into the very specific “Christmas” decorations…but they began as something to remind us all that it wouldn’t last forever! Bringing in greenery to decorate the home, making sure you had enough food stock piled, a big old log for the fire that would last for weeks, plenty of candles to light the home and warm cosy clothing.
If such simple things could help our ancestors, there must be things out there now that can give us all even the smallest boost. You may not like them, may not think they’re a good idea or have ones you know are better for you…but I thought I’d have a go at a few of the things I like about Winter.
Now you probably don’t have a massive fireplace to put a yule log in, but those fake electric/gas fireplaces will still give you a warm room and a pretty glow that can be beautiful as well as functional. I know I love sitting in front of a fire with the curtains drawn and the world outside far away from my mind and so does Toby.
One that came up as I was chatting with Jay just now is candles. Again they add that lovely warm glow that you just don’t get from an electric lightbulb. If you need a bit of extra stimulus to get those senses moving then a lovely warm spicy scent to the candle will spread the warmth. I know I love a cinnamon scent over winter.
Getting wrapped up in a big snuggly jumper or blanket, without overheating! I find wrapping myself relatively tightly with something like this is very soothing and even helps with my Restless Legs Syndrome and muscle spasms sometimes.
There’s been a lots of research into deep pressure wrapping to help with anxiety (especially for people with autism), anyone with a baby will know they respond well to being swaddled and even dogs benefit from pressure vests when anxiety is high. So this one isn’t just me and it’s even got decent research being done into it…I feel thoroughly validated in feeling this is a good way to cope with feeling rubbish, though I won’t go into the science of it here.
Not the best coping mechanism for someone with weight issues but….comfort food. We all know there are certain foods that just taste much better in winter than in summer and vice versa. Stew, tatties and veg, your favourite soup, hot chocolate, spiced baked apples….this list could become very long and truly unhealthy but it doesn’t necessarily need to be fatty to be comfort food.
Looking forward to the part of winter that we all look forward to…the end and the point where we can start looking for conformation it will get warmer again. It needs a bit of forward thinking sometimes so lets talk about snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses….those gorgeous little plants who hide in their bulbs all winter and come poking back through to say “spring’s coming!”.
The reason they need a bit of planning? well because you may not have any bulbs in your garden.
How to solve it? plant some! Snowdrops are the most awkward and can only really be transplanted/planted in spring as they’re prone to drying out…think on it for next year. Daffodils are an autumn planting and easily found in shops, plant them deep so you get nice big flowers and the bulbs do well. Crocuses….well look on the packet as some are spring flowering others aren’t, explore the garden centre and find some bulbs that look promising.
So something to do at the moment, something to look forward to…great idea (I need to get some bulbs)
For me this time of year is the time to get crafting in the evenings….well any time is really but in winter it’s great. You don’t need to be outside, the things you make can be colourful and cheerful, sparkling and beautiful! With the added bonus if you plan things out, the things you make can be given as gifts at Christmas.
I almost wish I was knitting a big blanket again this year as it does keep me warm to have the blanket on my knee as I’m knitting :p
May sound ridiculously simple, but going out to walk my dog fully geared up for anything that comes our way! Layers of clothing to keep me warm but not so hot I overheat, waterproof coat, walking boots, thermal gloves, hiking poles if I need them instead of my walking stick, trousers that can have the bottom unzip to come off in the hall when they’re filthy without having to strip the whole trouser off.
Yes I’ll still come back grumbling if I come back drenched by freezing rain…but then when I get home, there’s that lovely feeling of a warm shower or just changing into dry clothes and curling up with a warm drink! That post-outdoor winter weather self care is the most important part of how to enjoy walking in winter 🙂
When inside I just love to listen to the sound of rain on the window or especially on the roof of the conservatory! That and the noise of the wind blowing through trees (which gets a bit quieter as the season goes on and the leaves have fallen). It’s like white noise and very soothing, it makes me pretty sleepy if I’m honest.
I did mention to a friend, who struggles with this season more than I do, that i think it’s a beautiful season and we chatted about a photo challenge. Now I don’t know how to word it in a short and snappy way but I’ll be challenging myself to find photos of the things that make me enjoy winter. Those little gleams of feeling good that make the season bearable and when I do, I’ll post them on here. Since I don’t really do daily posts any more it might not be regular but I’ll try my hardest to spot them and get them on here!