With the winter months upon us, many of us can get caught up in holding onto the warm, sweet memories of summer.
Luckily for us though, Melbourne does winter very well. With the right attitude and a little research, you may even find yourself looking forward to the brisk, chilly days and cooler, fresh nights.
You may even find yourself coming out the end of it feeling better adjusted. Here are just a few that The Mind Room’s Psychologist Lucy Morrish suggested for making the most out of winter.
1. Get cosy
As it gets colder, find a place that makes you feel snug, warm and comfortable. It could be a pub with an open fireplace like the Gasometer or Marquis of Lorne, or it could be in front of your heater at home. Wherever it is, Lucy suggested “creating a nice inside space” where you can sit back with a cup of tea, glass of wine, or just a very good book.
The Danish refer to this little bit of cosiness as ‘hygge’, and it’s so essential to their culture that interior design is focused on creating an atmosphere conducive to cosiness. This is one of the reasons why despite the coldness, the Danish are often voted one of the happiest countries in the world.
2. Visit the Mind Room’s Drop in Mindfulness classes
The Mind Room offers drop in mindfulness sessions that are free for northern suburb locals.
These classes focus on teaching mindfulness through meditation and everyday activities, and help you to integrate mindfulness into your life for more clarity, focus and calm. They are the perfect place to learn how to slow down and really embrace the cooler months.
Every Tuesday 1.45 – 2pm. Free for northern suburb locals.
3. Plan a winter getaway
Getaways aren’t only for the sunnier months. Lucy explained that having something to plan for can be a great way to make the most out of the cooler weather and lets you have a mini adventure.
Whether it’s a getaway to a house with an open log fire or a trip down the coast for when the weather does improve a little, planning for the future can help those winter blues pass you by.
4. Get a winter-friendly exercise routine
Lucy suggested finding something you can do that won’t be affected by weather, which may even be an indoor activity like yoga at Good Vibes in Northcote or rock climbing at North Walls in Brunswick.
Regardless of what the activity is though, winter can provide an excellent time to work on your fitness, which in turn can have a tremendously positive influence on your mood.
5. Snatch up the sun when you can
Even in the peak of winter, Mother Nature can spoil us with a cloudless (albeit crisp) sunshiney day. Lucy encouraged us all to take advantage of these days by soaking up the sun and getting a much needed hit of Vitamin D to help improve our mood.
Failing that, Lucy explained that light therapy may be an option for some who feel they’re lacking the sun’s rays. This unique therapy is often used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that usually occurs in winter.
6. Take the time to check in with yourself
Lastly but perhaps most importantly, winter gives us a chance to check in with ourselves. Lucy suggested using this time to reflect on where we’re at and where we want to go. She explained that when life slows down, we can start to reset our goals and contemplate what’s next for us.
By incorporating this little bit of mindfulness into our everyday life while also finding our own version of hygge, we can come out of winter feeling happier, healthier, and we may even look forward to when it rolls around again next year.
Lucy is part of The Mind Room team. The Mind Room is a health, wellbeing and performance psychology community. We are home to a team of psychologists, wellbeing and performance specialists, mindfulness facilitators and other friendly, fun and wise people. 5 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood. www.themindroom.com.au