Winter Blues? Why change is good.

New Lippy finished picture

2016 A New Start

2016.  A new start.  We are six weeks into it now, how is it going for you?  Are you still full of the joys of the new year’s blank canvas, or are you fed up of the dark days, struggling to get through each one, overwhelmingly busy but never feeling the satisfaction of a job well done or enjoyment of the day?

For many of us, the latter seems to apply.  Certainly for me I have found that each year the earlier months seem to get harder and harder to get through.  This may be for a number of reasons including:

  1. The dark winter days of Northern Europe impede my routine.  It’s hard to fit in a run before work because it’s dark, it’s cold which makes me want to wrap up warm and keep still and eat sugar.
  2. It’s a physically exhausting time of year with no let up, work still goes on, the school run still needs doing.
  3. Christmas isn’t a time of recuperation and restoration, especially for women, it’s a time to double our efforts to get everything done, and then we’re spat out into January with no rest.
  4. Getting dressed is a matter of practicality, is it warm, is it waterproof?  There is little variety.  I’ve got my practical brown coat, and brown leather gloves.  (admittedly I’ve got a purple fur hat to liven things up), and I’m beginning to feel like I live in that coat.  Because I do.
  5. Eating healthily doesn’t seem so inviting.  Lots of coffee seems like a really good idea.

The good news is that with one small tweak we can be on our way out of early months doom and gloom and back into feeling positive about life in general.

One of the great things about clothes, even the uniforms that we wear for work, is that we can change them!  We can reinvent ourselves in a subtle (or not so subtle) way whenever we like.  Sometimes the time allocated to this change gets put on the back burner so this post is your (and my) call to action about that change and the potential for 2016.

Unconscious Impressions

How do you want to look?  What are you going to do to bring it each day?  When you walk into a room what is coming in with you, how does your presence manifest itself?  Because we all make an impression each and every day.  Each time we open a door and step through we are creating an impression.  Those moments may feel inconsequential: the supermarket; finance meeting; petshop; bank; newsagents; coffee kiosk, but they are not.  They are cumulative moments of time when you emerge from your home and interact with the world.

Change and The Uncertain

Change is uncertain and sometimes we fear it, then the fear of the fear cripples us and stops us in our tracks.  Then we get used to the status quo and stop moving forward.  This applies to many of our dreams and ambitions as well as to our self esteem and self presentation.  But all it takes is one choice, however small, to move the needle away from empty and frozen, to trigger movement and getting back into the flow.

Here are five ways to blast winter blues and feel more in control of life and happier with yourself.  They may seem small and inconsequential, but actually they can make a real difference to our feeling of well being.  Sometimes the way to tackle change, especially if we feel overwhelmed, is one small step at a time.  So here is my list of five small steps that are easy to carry out and should help you enjoy every day life:

Five Ways to Blast Winter Blues

  1. Your hair.  Does it need a cut?  Book an appointment now.  Does the colour need sorting.  Get that sorted, even if it’s a temporary hair colour to give you a lift.  Make a deal with yourself that every day for 30 days you are going to style your hair so it looks great.  Allocate 15 minutes extra to do this in the morning.
  2. Your clothes.  What’s getting you down?  Tights and stockings seen better days? Bin and get new in.  Bored of what you’re wearing?  Tidy your wardrobe, then take the two items out that you have worn day in day out for the last two months.  Fold them away, and look in your wardrobe for something else to be your default go to dress for the next few weeks.
  3. Personal grooming.  Eyebrows, nails, facepack.  These can be done at home one evening this week, or down at your local salon.  Book it into your diary.  Get home from work, get everyone organised at home, then into the bathroom you go.  Decide in advance that you are going to do this and you’ll be more likely to achieve it.
  4. Start to plan ahead: March/April/May are the spring months.  What can you start to wear in March that you haven’t been wearing up until now? Some days will be warm, others will be cold.  Do you have a dress/suit/coat for those warmer days?
  5. Refresh.   If your coat is washable, give it a wash.  Wash scarves and gloves (for you/your partner/children/parents/all the family).  If there is something that you are not happy with, or haven’t worn much, give it away.  While we’re on the subject, anything in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn this year and realise you didn’t wear last year can probably be cleaned and given away or sent to the charity shop.  This applies to footwear too.
  6. Ok this is a bonus one.  A new lipstick always does wonders for me.  Better still, have a purge, anything dried up and barely usable has to go.

Bringing your best self into this year doesn’t need to be overwhelming, and it is possible to do even on a really busy schedule.  So, all that you are, and all that you have become, that you are happy with, bring it into 2016.

What works for you?  What small steps do you take to overcome winter apathy and feel good?  Do any of the comments above help? Let me know in the comments section below.  I’d love to hear from you.

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