How to beat the winter blues
We all feel down or fed up sometimes, but at this time of year, the prospect of a long wait till Spring can make it easy to get into the doldrums. New Year's Resolutions are one answer to this but they often involve focussing on the big life changes which you want to make and as those can seem overwhelming, all too often you end up not changing anything.
So here is my approach to change - an alternative to those resolutions that is fun and effective at lifting your spirits.
What I’m suggesting that you do is make some little changes. They can be absolutely tiny but it will make a difference.
- Change your routine. Clean your teeth before you shower instead of afterwards go a different way to work, do your shopping in a different supermarket. Any routine which can change, change it. Give it a go.
- Buy new clothes, preferably a colour or style you wouldn’t usually wear. Even if it’s just a scarf or pair of socks.
- Read something new. If you don’t normally read much, make the effort. If you do, choose something which you would normally NEVER DREAM of picking up.
- Get out and about. Visit a local beauty spot, or tourist attraction where you live, preferably one you haven’t been to before.
- Get active in your community - volunteer for a good cause, or do some fundraising for a local charity. Altruism feels good because focusing outside yourself lifts your mood. With the added bonus that you will be helping others.
- If you watch TV, and most of us do, get the schedules at the beginning of the week and choose a couple of programmes which you wouldn’t normally watch. If you like them, tell all your friends. If you don’t normally watch anything, make a point of seeing a programme you know your friends or colleagues watch so you can discuss it with them.
- Learn a new skill. It doesn’t matter what, but pick something you have always wanted to do if you can. Taking a class at your local college, go to an open day at a living museum and learn a traditional craft, take an online course (lots of free ones available, so no excuse there) or ask someone to teach you a skill like knitting.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.
Researcher & drafter on these blogs: Rachel Waller.