As I am currently living in Australia you would think this blog post would be kind of tricky to write and you're correct. As my days are getting longer and the sun is becoming a more frequent visitor, it is kind of hard to imagine my usual cold Yorkshire winter. This will be my second Christmas away from my family in the UK and although I love being in the sun (as let's be honest the sun just makes people happy, especially me!), it's just not the same as being at home.
So yes, although I am in Australia, I am still experiencing some winter blues! P.S it also rains way more than you would imagine.
When I decided to write this blog post for Ina, I actually thought it would be impossible. Then I decided that rather than writing it whilst imaging myself in the UK, I would be honest with you guys. I made a decision to write this post from the perspective of being away, but in a way that can be relatable to people all over the world. Whether you're at home this Christmas or not!
From Australia to the World here are my Top Tips to beat the Winter Blues:
Surround Yourself with Love
Christmas is the one time of the year that no matter what, everybody wants to spread love & joy, even the Grinch! We put our issues behind us, to spend one day a year with those annoying parents-in-law or long lost relatives that you have nothing in common with. After all, what is Christmas if you're not around your family & friends.
Now whilst I know that is the ideal, not everybody has the option to be with friends or family. This is where the special seasonal love comes in. There's something inside all of us that makes us not want to be left out. There are people out there that WILL be alone this Christmas, maybe it's you, maybe it's somebody who lives on the streets, maybe it's an elderly person who has no family.
Check out some of my latest blog posts to see what you can do to make a difference this Xmas:
Food, Glorious Food
Now if you're anything like me, it won't matter the time of the year, food always makes me happy. There is something special about food around Christmas time though. Maybe its because I'm a Christmas baby or maybe it's because I feel I can eat more of it (after all, it is the festive season), or maybe it's the joy of sharing it with loved ones. Whatever it is, I LOVE Christmas food.
This, however, will be my first Christmas being vegan, & do you know what? I can't wait! I've spent the past month or so since moving to Byron Bay, experimenting in the Kitchen. I literally have so many plant-based Christmas goodies coming your way - Eat My Instagram. Until then, set your self a challenge!
Try to cook one new dish, or have a play around in the kitchen at least once a week up until Christmas. Put some tunes on and get experimenting. It's crazy how much playing around with food & dancing around the kitchen can keep the blues away.
If I'm ever feeling down, this is definitely my go to hobby. Invite friends over, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy the company and experimenting. It's such a great way to socialize in the warmth of your own home over the cold, wet, winter months. Plus it's way cheaper than going out, and you can eat as much of your yummy homemade food as you like.
Move Your Body | Exercise = Positivity
The winter months can be some of the worst when it comes to keeping your mood upbeat and positive. Many people suffer from S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder). This is something that I really struggle with, especially after being in the sun for long periods of time. It is something that can affect me for up to a couple of months after being away, or over the dark winter months. S.A.D causes people who are naturally upbeat and motivated to become depressed, uninspired and experience the feeling of low energy.
Maybe this is something you feel you can relate to?! Relatable or not, it's so important to keep your body moving. Wheather it's by going to an aqua class with your Gran or Body Pump with your bestie, it is so important to exercise during the winter months.
Yes, it may feel like the last thing you want to do. Trust me on this one, it is so worth it. The endorphins that are produced from exercise, can be really important & valuable for the body & mind, at any time of the year, but especially in the darker months.
I don't know about you, but when I think of Christmas I normally think about sharing the love with others. Well now, I'm telling you to share the love with yourself.
Have you ever had your nails done at a salon and you suddenly feel like your life is on track and everything is amazing? Yep, I'm literally the worst for this. I very rarely have my hair or nails or anything done, and if I do it is normally in the summer months. Why!?! Who knows, but it literally makes me feel like a woman on a mission.
So this winter I'm making a plan to spoil myself rotten. Rather than just getting everybody else around me presents, I'm going to give myself a present of love. I'm going to take those things I do on "special occasions" in the summer months and enjoy them in the winter months too. Who knows, maybe I'll even get a spray tan, I also feel so much happier about life when I have a tan. It's funny what makes up feel happy, and sometimes it can be silly too. But if it cheers you up and helps you get over those winter blues then it's definitely worth it!
Make the Most of the Festive Season
More than anything in the world Christmas festivities cheer me up. I think thats why it's made into such a big deal over in the UK. I'm currently living in Byron Bay and I literally have never been anywhere so un-christmassy EVER! It's horrible. Which is probably why I'm feeling more homesick. I say that, although last Christmas I was on a tiny literally island in the Philippines and it was actually the more Christmassy place I'd ever been. The whole island has pretty much turned into a giant festive light, we even went to a Christingle service on Christmas Eve. Anyway I've gone off topic. What I'm trying to say is make the most of the festivities around you.
Go to the Christmas markets, drink mulled wine, eat mince-pies, sing carols, dancing around the Christmas Tree. Have friends over, have family over, be social. I think the last point can be really important when it comes keeping your spirits up and high. There are so many events on all over the UK: light festivals, food markets, festive art exhibitions, carol services, theatre productions. There's something for everybody. So put your self and there, trust me it will make the world of difference.
Last but not least, TALK
If you really are feeling down, talk to somebody. Maybe a randomer, a family member, or a friend. People will always make time, yes they may seem busy around Christmas, but there is always somebody willing to listen and help. There is always somebody there you can talk to.
A lot of the time, by talking to people you can easily sort out problems, or realise that they may not be a big as they seem in your head. With anxiety, depression and S.A.D, often we can build situations up in our head that seem like they are impossible to sort. More often than not, by talking to somebody and discussing your problems out load you realise that nothing is bad enough that it can not be fixed.
Keeping your emotions and problems hidden won't help. Make the most of the amazing support system you have around you. You never know, many of your friendships will most likely come out stronger because of it.
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Everybody struggles at some point in life, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Please remember that there really are people who care. Get in touch if you ever need to talk. We are always here for any of you! ♡
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