Spring is SO nearly here. Although I definitely feel as if it’s one step forwards, two steps back…one bright, sunny day and then two grey rainy ones. As a definite S.A.D sufferer, I am so ready for Spring – everything feels a little bit easier and happier when the weather is better and the days are longer. I do love the Winter, but after what feels like months and months of it, I’m finding the dark evenings and grey skies a bit oppressive and I’m ready for a bit of a season change for sure!
So, with (hopefully) only a few more weeks to push through until the weather improves and the clocks go forward, here are some of the ways I’ve been beating away the S.A.D symptoms and keeping up-beat. All are incredibly simple!
Light (and candles)
It might be stating the obvious, but as lack of light is a major trigger of S.A.D, it follows that the brighter you can make your surroundings – the better. If you’re struggling with early, dark mornings or grey skies…well, I recommend you pump as much light into your realm as you can. I use a Lumie alarm to wake up with and have bought some lovely lamps and lights to use to brighten up a room when needed. This is also why I love burning candles and I do this even in the day time, there’s something about the flickering light (and scents of course, I love a scented candle) that bring plenty of positive energy into the room.
Flowers & plants
Having flowers or plants or greenery around you is such a huge mood booster, plus certain plants can also help to boost the air quality in a room (you might want to do a bit of research into house plants to suit you – I am no expert!). What I HAVE learned however is that orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads (when photosynthesis stops at night) actually flip reverse the usual, and they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Meaning, these plants in bedrooms help to keep the oxygen flowing at night…which can actually trigger a happier wake-up and better nights sleep. Not only are plants lovely to look at, there are even studies to prove that being around plants when you’re working can boost concentration and mood. But ultimately, I’ve found a succulent on my desk makes me happy when I look at it. I’m also currently trying my best to look after four rather temperamental orchids and a cactus…
Life lately for me has been all about the little pleasures and the small things. I think there is so much obsessing going on out there over the ‘big’ goals – but often these things take years or months to accomplish, or you may not even be guaranteed to get them, so they are in fact ‘illusions’ and therefore can’t necessarily keep your mood up all the time. I’ve found it’s the little things that give me the most happiness at the moment! A coffee from my new hand-made ceramic cup, flowers on the desk, catching up with a friend on the phone, a walk outside, doing some drawing. Honestly, this is the truth! You might only go on an exotic holiday/buy a car/buy a house a handful of times in your life – but you can have an amazing cup of coffee (or three) every single day! 🙂 There are all sorts of little things you can appreciate over the course of your day, if you so choose, and they can lift your mood come rain or shine.
Wear something bright
As a serial wearer of black, adding colour into my wardrobe was a bit daunting at first, but now, I find it’s a sure way to cheer me up. I love these rainbow jumpers that are everywhere at the moment (probably not their technical term) and there are so many vibrant colours and patterns out there that wearing some can be enough to make you smile. I was at a conference last week and spoke to a lady who works in colour psychology, and it’s so interesting to take a look at what colours suit you best and how, by incorporating colour appropriately, you can attract different vibes and present different things to the world through your clothing. But in it’s most simple form, putting on a bright jumper, or a pretty hair band or some fun earrings can be a huge mood booster…just to add a bit of colour into your day!
Check-in with yourself every day & take time out
I think checking in with yourself is probably not something we do enough but is something that is so important to keeping your mood even. Rushing through the days and shouting about how busy we are, ticking off endless to-do lists and juggling endless plates has become a bit of a thing. I’ve noticed how sometimes people absolutely can’t not have ‘plans’, they can’t abide the idea of a free weekend or spend even a few hours alone. But what I think is that if you find yourself with some down time, don’t necessarily rush into filling it for fear of loneliness or boredom – we’ve all got to learn to be comfortable with ourselves and be alone. Instead why not use your down time to check in with yourself. Ask yourself – how am I feeling? What can I do for myself today? However much time you can grab for yourself, use it, perhaps to meditate or to read, take a bath, or even just ask yourself how you are…your mood will thank you for it!