First of June marks the official start of winter,Down Under. The days get shorter and nights longer, temperature drops and as the chill creeps into our homes,an unexplained gloom starts to fill our hearts as well. Yes, winter blues are real! The good news is that we can chase these blues away,with small pick-me-ups and sail through the cold weather cheerfully.
The first year,that we moved out of India,we lived in Canada.Our arrival in Toronto was ill-timed as it co-incided with the start of winter.Every evening,as I looked out the window and watched the sky darken at 4 pm,my heart sinked.10 years,and 3 countries later,I have started to pick up on the warning signs and have mastered the tricks to cheer myself up.Here are a few of my favorite pick-me-ups:
1) Comfort food: When you are down in the dumps,nothing works,except comfort food.One-pot winter warmers are a win-win.There is something about wolfing down steaming hot food,that warms up your spirits.Hearty soups,Pulavs,Khichdi,Mac anc cheese,casseroles are great options for winter dinners.Baking is a good idea too, as the lovely aroma and heat from the oven,warms up your home too.
2) Vitamin D& C : Yes you read it right. Vitamin D is a natural anti-depressant.So,every opportunity you get rug up , go outside and soak in the sunshine.Additionally,take a Vitamin D supplement and keep up your Vit.D levels. And while you are at it,don’t forget to dose up on some Vit.C as well.Just a glass of Orange juice every day,will boost your immunity and keep the sickness at bay.
3) Rug up: When you are feeling cold,its easy to feel sorry for yourself.Dress up warm,when you are feeling warm and toasty,the world looks a whole lot better.
4) Candles and lights: Light up candles,safely,of course and use dim-lights around the house,so as to not run up the electricity bills but at the same time,the glow of candles and lights makes you feel hopeful.
5) Meet some friends: One of the biggest challenges,I faced in winters was home-sickness and that made me miserable.Make conscious plans to meet friends for a coffee or invite someone over.That way you dress up yourself and the house and instantly your mood uplifts too. In the current COVID climate, when physical meetings are difficult, virtual meetings are the ‘New Normal’
6) Laugh a little: Stock up on comedies and popcorn or hot chocolate.Snuggle up with your kids and/or partner and start a laugh riot.
7) Pick up a hobby: If you have something to do after dark,you won’t resent it so much.My winter hobby is knitting and I look forward to the time,when dinner is finished,kids are in bed so I can get to my knitting.My husband likes playing games on his PS3.Just pick whatever makes you happy.
8) Excercise: Excercise is a great mood enhancer.Even if you can’t get to the gym,an exercise video or treadmill in front of the TV-just anything to get the adrenalin flowing.
9) And lastly,relax,accept the weather and enjoy it-Our lives are so busy,with work-meeting deadlines,running after the kids,keeping up with all the commitments. Why not just take the colder months,to relax..and rejuvenate yourself,mentally and physically.
Give yourself or your partner that foot rub that’s long overdue, read that book that you’ve been wanting to read forever, create some winter rituals-when I was growing up,one of our favorite activity was shelling the peas, sitting around the dining table,as a family,with everyone talking about their day. My kids look forward to their cup of hot cocoa after school,when we sit around the table, drink our cocoa and share the tales from the day.
And when all else fails,try to remember that day in the summer,when it was scorching hot and all you wished for was for it to be winter soon.. Good luck on beating those blues.