With ‘second wave anxiety’ surging, and over three quarters (76%) worried about the effect of the pandemic on our daily lives (according to an ONS survey), many of us feeling blue as we head into winter. But there are simple things we can all do to reduce stress, boost our mood, and stay positive.
LLM – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine speaks to wellbeing expert, author, and chartered psychologist, Suzy Reading, to reveal five ways to beat the Covid blues this winter.
1. Bring nature in
As we’re spending a lot of time at home right now, it’s important to make sure your home environment makes you feel happy, calm and relaxed. This could be as simple as filling your hallway with opulent lights to brighten up your home as the darker months set in, or filling your house with an abundance of houseplants to enjoy the benefits of bringing nature inside – towering swiss cheese plants or flowering plants such as kalanchoes (or Flaming Katy) are a good choice as they’re colourful, mood-boosting, and can have an instant effect on wellbeing. Kalanchoe plants are widely available from florists and retailers such as Waitrose and more information, including care tips and inspiration, can be found on the Always Kalanchoe website.
2. Move for your mental health
It’s no secret that exercise can have a huge impact on your mental health, but this needn’t mean heading out for a 10k run or sweating over a workout. It could be as simple as dancing around the kitchen to your favourite music, trying a 10 minute home yoga video to stretch and relax, or heading out on a half hour walk. Just make sure you’re prepared – the last thing you need as you set off on a relaxing walk is to realise you can’t find your wellies.
3. Create a list of mood-boosters
Think about the things that bring you joy – this could be a piece of music, a podcast, a new hobby, or your favourite Netflix Show. Many of us are so consumed with our worries and our to do lists that we forget to appreciate the moments that make us feel positive. Try writing down a list of your ‘mood-boosters’ and putting it by your bed or on your desk as a reminder.
4. Get creative with how you stay connected
If you’re tired of video calls and can’t face another zoom quiz, try thinking of different, yet thoughtful ways to stay in touch with friends and family. This could be sharing photos when you’re out and about, sending voice messages, or even writing letters. The point is to find ways to stay connected that don’t leave you feeling depleted.
5. Get sleep on your radar
In winter we’re wired to hibernate, so it’s vital to give priority to sleep to allow your body to heal. Try looking closely at your sleep environment to help you sleep better and more restfully – luxurious fresh linen, opulent pillow sprays and black out blinds all work well. Also try adorning your dresser or bedside table with a beautiful display of houseplants – not only can plants be very calming, but nocturnal oxygenators such as kalanchoes release oxygen at night to promote a deeper, more restful sleep.