Learn how to embrace those dark winter days

Learn how to embrace those dark winter days

The clocks go back this month, meaning shorter, darker days. But here’s how to stay positive and fit more into those daylight hours…

The clocks go back this month, meaning shorter, darker days. But here’s how to stay positive and fit more into those daylight hours…

When another winter looms, it can be hard to get excited about the prospect of cold, rainy weather, shorter days and long, dark nights.

But if you stick to a pro-active routine, you can still do everything you need to in the daylight hours so you can make the most of those cosy evenings in.

Here’s a loose schedule to keep you going on those quiet weekend days when it’s tempting to just hibernate the hours away.

8am: Start the day right

While it’s tempting to stay in bed on those cold, dark mornings, get up at the usual time – or even earlier if you can, to literally give yourself more time before the sun goes down.

Make yourself a hot bowl of oatmeal – as well as being a comforting, filling breakfast, it’s packed with fibre-rich wholegrains that increase levels of the feel-good chemical, serotonin. Take a seat, open the curtains and watch the world wake up.

10am: Get outdoors early

With winter sunsets creeping right up to 3.30pm, it can feel like the day is over before it’s even begun. To avoid this feeling, make sure you get outside at least once a day for some fresh air, and aim to do it before lunchtime so that sunset doesn’t sneak up on you.

Walk the dog, stroll to the local shop for milk, or meet a friend for coffee – but ideally use the chance to get some exercise. If you get out, you will feel better and like you’ve had a more productive day.

And don’t let the cold or rain put you off either. As the Norwegians say: "There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."

2pm: Have an errand hour

You should feel more awake after some fresh air, so grab some wholesome, warming food for lunch – try this broad bean soup recipe with a hunk of crusty wholemeal bread – and then dedicate an hour in the afternoon to running errands.

Make sure you tick at least one thing off your to do list – whether it’s booking a doctor’s appointment, doing the food shop or mending a dress.

Afterwards, treat yourself to a cup of tea and a long phone call with a good friend, a read of your book, or some time on the internet planning your next sunny holiday to remind you that you will feel the sun on your face again!

4pm: Do your chores in record time

As the sun starts to set, do a quick clean-up. First, gather up your dirty clothes and stick a wash on. Use Ariel 3in1 Pods to make short work of this chore. Simply throw it in the drum, choose your cycle and leave it to clean, lift stains and brighten.

Next, clear any clutter, wipe down your surfaces, plump up your cushions, and light come scented candles. Then, put your feet up.

For more tips, see our article on The speedy house clean.

5pm: Enjoy the cosy evenings

See the winter months as something to enjoy, not be endured. The dark, cold nights can be spent guilt-free on the sofa under a snuggly blanket watching your favourite show.

You can be social, too, without going out. Simply invite friends over for dinner and a games night, or a good girl friend for a gossip and a rom com.
The more you do with your evenings, the longer and more fulfilled your days will be.

What are your winter survival tips? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Indulge Yourself

Helen 01/10/2017

Winter's a great time for hunkering down with friends and family. Have a dinner party, invite people round for mulled wine and good food. Light candles, make sure the house is warm, play some board games!

Interesting

John 26/12/2016

Having retired I now have more time to follow up on interests such as walking, local affairs and local politics. This would be ideal for me.

Dark

Jamila 17/11/2016

Gets you scared

snuggly

Aim246 09/11/2016

1) Nice warm pajamas 2) Hot water bottle 3) Fluffy socks 4) Cuddles with my Whippet 5) Hot chocolate

Winter days

03/11/2016

The winter months are a perfect time to do some extra chores at home, the small jobs that tend to get left when the weather is good and you're out and about. This is the time that I will have a good clear out of my cupboards and drawers. Clothing and other items that I no longer want or like are all packed into a large donation bag and given to one of our charity shops. I also catch up with all my correspondence and start planning holidays and short breaks for next year.

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