When winter drags on its easy to feel a bit low and despondent. But there are things we can do to feel better at this time of year. Try one of these activities to boost your mood at the end of winter
I’ve done all the things I look forward to about winter. Sitting by a roaring fire, enjoying roast dinners, casseroles and hot chocolate with whipped cream. I’ve lit candles, turned on the fairy lights and snuggled under a throw with a good book. I’ve had my long winter rest and I’m ready for something fresh and new but its still so cold and grey outside. Here a few things I’ve done recently to make me feel better.
1. Go to gardens or garden centres with glasshouses.
I recently went to Kew Gardens. The Palm House was deliciously warm and steamy and filled with greenery. It was like a blast of summer in the cold bleak landscape. My local garden centre is good too. The greenhouses are full of the plants that are being grown on for spring planting. The air is a bit balmier than outside and the colour is uplifting. Spending time at Kew definitely made me feel better.
2. Wear brighter clothes
Shorts and T-shirt season might not be here yet, but I’ve rooted around in my wardrobe for some brighter clothes. I bought a sunny yellow blouse recently which adds a splash of colour to my winter uniform of dark jeans and cardigans. Scarves are great for adding a splash of vibrancy, too. I even wore a light dress over leggings and topped with a long cardigan to make me feel a bit more springlike.
3. Eat seasonal foods
After the heavy comforting foods of winter, I’m ready for some freshness. Leeks are in season so I’ve made potato and leek soup and fried leeks in garlic and butter. Savoy cabbage is great at this time of year, too. It lovely gently steamed or raw in slaws and salads. I’ve been enjoying spring onions in my salads and having lovely new potatoes steamed and buttered or mixed with chives and garlic mayo for a lovely potato salad. Purple sprouting broccoli adds a nice touch of colour to my plate, and the tender stems of the first rhubarb are sweetest at this time of year.
4. Clean the windows
I’m not a fan of spring cleaning – I, like Mole in The Wind in the Willows, would rather get out and enjoy the sunshine when it comes. But cleaning windows, blinds and curtains allows the light of longer days to enter more easily and they will be sparkling when the sun finally does hit them. Though the cleaning itself might be a bit of a drag, it definitely made me feel better once it was done.
5. Buy spring bulbs for the home
There is nothing quite like spring flowers to give your environment a lift and make you feel better. While at the garden centre I bought a few pots of spring bulbs for my home. The crocuses and snowdrops are peeping through in my garden, and while it’s still too early for the daffodils and hyacinths to flower outside, on a sunny windowsill they get ahead of the game and give me a hint of the scent and colour to come. I’ve bought a big pot of daffodils for my porch too – to welcome me home each day.
What makes you feel more cheerful in the last weeks of winter?