January and February are often some of the hardest months of the year. The weather is grey and miserable, the days are shorter and the New Year’s resolutions start to slip (dry January? I didn’t last more than a day). I think it’s important to be kind to yourself in these months. We all feel a bit fragile, impatient for Spring to begin, the sun to shine and our energy to increase. I’ve been looking after myself lately by making sure that I treat myself, find simple ways to lift my mood, and seek out beauty in the dull Winter surroundings.
Here are the four ways to instantly feel happier in Winter.
Invest in new skincare
I don’t talk about beauty products that often anymore on this blog, but they are still high up on my list of life’s little pleasures. Nowadays I am all about the cruelty-free brands. I started a new skincare routine after bookmarking Caroline Hirons’ site and realising my routine had turned in to a few swipes of micellar water and a random moisturiser I was using up. This was a far cry from the days where I spent a lot of time looking after my skin. I carefully picked out products I thought I would like or had heard lots about (although I was lucky enough to be given the Votary Facial Oil by a kind friend of Sean’s). I love these new products, especially the Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m still waiting for that glow to come back, but with a skincare routine you have to be consistent to see results. If you need an instant mood boost and you’re not having wine or chocolate at the moment, try treating yourself to some new skincare.
Get some light therapy
The light in the first photo above is the Rondo LED from Innolux*. Wow, this light is bright! You’ve likely heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), even if you don’t suffer from it yourself. Lack of quality light can affect us in so many ways, including making us sleepier, less motivated and depressed. It can also cause sleep problems, resulting in us eating more carbs to stay awake (sound familiar?). Many people don’t even know it’s the lack of light that’s making them feel so low in Winter. The Rondo LED uses Bright Light Therapy, which delivers a specific wavelength of light to our retinas. This regulates our body rhythms, keeping serotonin (the happy hormone) production going despite reduced daylight hours. Bright sunshine has a lux value of 100,000, whereas November generally has a lux value of 500 outside. The Rondo lamp has a lux value of at least 10,000. Sean and I have been loving this lightweight and portable lamp. I use it in my office during the evenings, and he puts it in his studio in the daytime. It really does make me feel happier and more productive. It’s uplifting and energising to have the light turned on. Innolux is a Finnish brand, and can be considered specialists in this area (you can buy their products here). If you think you suffer from SAD, do yourself a favour and buy a SAD lamp. You won’t regret it.
Get back into books
We have hundreds of books in our house, most of them still packed up in boxes from our move. Despite having so many, it’s been ages since I picked up a book and got stuck in. It’s not like me at all, but I travel a lot at the moment to and from work (up to four and a half hours a day). I’m way too tired to read in the evenings right now, but I’ve found myself listening to audiobooks in the car. There’s nothing like a good book if you ask me, and I’ve been able to get the same joy I get reading books from listening to them. I’ve been listening to a lot of free audiobooks via an app on my phone. Some are twenty hours long so theoretically I can listen to one a week. Last week I finished Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and this week I’m on Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone (which is very, very good). If you don’t have the time or the energy to read, try an audiobook while travelling. They’re actually making me look forward to my long journeys.
Buy something pretty
Even if, like me, you still can’t fit in to the jeans you were wearing before Christmas so are on a ‘new clothing ban’ until you’ve lost some weight, you can still cheer yourself up with some retail therapy. My go to pick-me-up when I’m not shopping for clothes is jewellery. I love jewellery for its ability to last much longer than clothes do, be much more versatile, and fit us no matter what. I’ve been wearing my Rachel Jackson London Sterling Silver Initial Pendant Necklace from John Lewis a lot lately*. It’s lightweight, very pretty with its engraved stripes, and easily adjustable. Rachel Jackson London is a brand that is new to John Lewis, and Rachel herself has a fascinating career history. She started selling her handmade jewellery on a market stall in Spitalfields, London, and made her jewellery on her kitchen table. Nowadays her brand has expanded greatly and Rachel has won many awards for her work. Expect to see this necklace popping up in my Instagram feed a lot. I love the simplicity of it and its affordability for such a quality piece.
Do you love jewellery as much as I do? Let me know if you have any other tips for cheering up an otherwise gloomy Winter. I would love to know them!
*PR sample. All words and views expressed are my own.
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