Are you looking for fun and easy ways to beat the winter blues?
If you’re like us, you might have thought that winter was over on Boxing Day. Then you realise that winter actually ends on the 20th of March and the comedown of January and February hits you like a train.
It’s cold and grey, there’s no light, you have no money and nothing to do other than go to work and hide under your duvet.
And if you are doing Dry January, life can feel, well, a bit boring. It can be tempting in these grey months to throw money at the problem, get on a plane to somewhere sunny or buy yourself a new perk-you-up wardrobe.
But there are loads of things you can do to give yourself a boost without setting your bank account on fire.
Here’s our list of free (or very cheap) pick me ups that will help you chase away the chill and put a spring in your step – until, well Spring!
8 Great Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
1. Go Outside
The short days and whipping wind might put you off, but reconnecting with nature in winter can really make you feel good about yourself. A study by McGill University in Montreal found that spending at least 30 minutes a day outdoors can significantly boost serotonin levels and improve your mood.
Find a nice park or open space and breathe that fresh air deep into your lungs. Go for a bracing blast by the sea, stick your wellies on and go for a hearty yomp in the countryside or go online for a short walk near your home….Cost? £0.
2. Get Physical
Exercise is proven to encourage those feel-good hormones. No, don’t go and join an expensive gym. Exercise can be free, all you need is a pair of trainers to get out for a brisk walk. Or you could run yourself happy with the NHS’s Couch to 5k challenge.
Don’t like jogging? There are plenty of free exercise videos and tutorials online which you can do in the comfort of your own living room. For extra Zen, check out Yoga with Adriene, a free 30-day Yoga programme for beginners to experts.
3. Get Social
There’s nothing like being with your mates to pick you up when you’re down. You don’t have to have an expensive night out – get everyone round with a bottle and snacks and giggle yourself happy.
4. Pamper Yourself
Chapped hands and tired winter skin? A spa day would be just the thing, but can cost over £100. Give yourself a home pamper session for a fraction of the price. Check out our Guide to Creating Your Own Home Spa Day for ideas and be radiant in winter.
5. Declutter Your Way to Happy
There’s nothing to do anyway, so get started on those cluttered cupboards and drawers chocked full of old bank statements and electricity bills. It might sound boring but, surprisingly, clearing your home of unwanted stuff can give you a supremely positive feeling of achievement (and smugness).
You might even be able to sell some of the things you don’t use, giving your purse a boost too.
6. Improve Your Sleep
Poor sleep can make the winter blues even harder to bear. On top of the cold and grey: you’re tired all the time.
Switch off Netflix, pick up a good book and a cup of camomile tea and get to bed earlier. Six to eight hours of good sleep a night can make a world of difference to your daily routine.
7. Make Plans
Use this time to make plans for the year. What fun things would you like to do this year? A holiday? A new job? Set yourself some positive goals (we’re not talking about re-grouting the shower) and write them on your calendar.
Knowing that there is fun to be had in the rest of the year will help you get through winter.
8. Make Some Money Goals
You will need to pay for that holiday so now is the time to create a budget and make financial plans for the year. If you need to clear debts or want to invest – use some of the Money Nuggets resources to get your financial year off to a good start. Have a look at our Personal Finance Planner to help you set your goals for the year. It’s printable and, most importantly, free!
We hope these ideas can help you feel better in the chilly months. Remember, soon the daffodils will be poking through and you’ll be able to enjoy that glass of Prosecco in the sunshine……
Over to you! How do you beat the winter blues without spending money? Share your tips with us here, we’d love to hear from you.