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Beating the November blues

Scandinavian winter can be a real soul eater, with a clock moved backwards and the days getting dark earlier and earlier. Your motivation for the day seems to have vanished in the grey, cloudy weather and nothing seems to make you feel energised. You are not alone! Many people experience the November blues and the accompanying lethargy. So in this piece, I’ll give you 4 tips to combat it!

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Alexandra Beck

Be active through the dark days

The wind is picking up, and there is always a threat of rain. It never seems to be the ideal weather to leave your home. Would you rather curl up on the sofa, binge-watch a Netflix series or read a book? NEJ! Stop! Even in the face of possible gloomy weather, get in those daily steps!

Movement will increase your serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (stress) in your body. Staying active doesn’t need to be complicated or leave you dripping in sweat. Something as simple as a daily walk in the cool fresh air will improve your mood. So here’s your friendly sign to get your boots on and outside today! After all, the weather here is what they call unpredictable, which in my mind, means there is a 50/50 chance that it will not rain.

Get excited about the small stuff

Motivate yourself with small things for the week. Prepare healthy, beautiful food that you like to eat, and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly or that Ben & Jerry’s you’ve been saving in the freezer. Book yourself a massage at the local spa. Meet up with friends and plan small highlights you can look forward to with a smile. Try something you have meant to try for ages, like indoor trampolining, laser tag or yoga! Things that make you smile and feel all fuzzy inside are the best to keep the winter blues away and are healthy for the soul.

Can you feel the light (love) tonight?

An essential factor in the November blues is the lack of light during the day. We get up, work in the dark, and come back home in the dark. Our time is spent mainly indoors, and natural light is therefore hardly available. We tend to forget the importance of Vitamin D that our bodies require to not feel lazy and tired. So, get out in the fresh air as much as possible: wrap yourself up in weather-appropriate clothing and use any workday breaks to get out, stretch your legs, and breathe in some fresh air… all this will help your body and mind to become active again, even in overcast skies.

Planning an extended walk is a great way to use some of your free time during the weekend. Don’t like going outdoors alone? Get some friends to come along with you, or find an outdoor workout crew that will keep you accountable to get outside and exercise for your entire body’s benefit.

Escape the November blues

How about a short trip with those few vacation days you have left for the year? There are many reasonable offers online - if you book in good time, it won’t have to cost an arm and a leg. A short getaway to some other city, country or just across the bridge will change the scenery and refresh your mind and body, so you can come back energised and more motivated. Whether swooshing down the slopes, walking on a beach, discovering a new city or simply taking a restorative self-care weekend to a SPA retreat, getting away from the daily routine will significantly affect your mindset. So get booking - even if the trip doesn’t happen soon, it will give you something to look forward to and feel great about.

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