10 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues: Tip Number Seven

GO TO BED EARLY

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Recently I was inspired to share 10 tips on how our surroundings might help improve our mood and outlook. To read more about what inspired me, see my post on LinkedIn Pulse HERE.

My FIRST TIP was about losing your mind in the present.  My SECOND was about letting someone else guide you for a day.  My THIRD one encourages you to try something new or something that you haven’t done for a long time, and the FOURTH TIP is about greeting someone you don’t know.  The FIFTH was to reconnect with a loved one and my SIXTH TIP was to find inspiration.

Today I’d like to recommend that you go to bed early.

There’s much talk about the benefits of ample sleep – anywhere between 7 to 9 hours seems to be the recommended amount.  The benefits seem to extend to weight loss, improved memory and other cognitive brain functions, immunity to depression and even boast long-term effects such as protection from heart disease and other degenerative illnesses.

The benefits I’d like to talk about is having the peace and quiet before bedtime to curl up with your favourite book, or your iPad to catch up with your favourite show on BBC iPlayer, or play WordsWithFriends online.  While some of the suggested activities might not be best in other ways, what you do gain from the extra time on your own in the comfort of your cozy bed is some ‘me’ time that relaxes the body and mind!

Having some quiet time to yourself at the end of a busy day might be difficult to achieve, so if you make it a point to head upstairs (or down the hallway) to your bedroom before your partner joins you – or before you usually head to bed – you can reclaim some precious time for yourself that calms and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

Good for the body; good for the soul!

Next tip: Find some ‘me’ time.

10 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues: Tip Number Six

FIND INSPIRATION

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Recently I was inspired to share 10 tips on how our surroundings might help improve our mood and outlook. To read more about what inspired me, see my post on LinkedIn Pulse HERE.

My FIRST TIP was about losing your mind in the present.  My SECOND was about letting someone else guide you for a day.  My THIRD ONE encourages you to try something new or something that you haven’t done for a long time, and the FOURTH TIP is about greeting someone you don’t know.  Tip FIVE was to reconnect with a loved one.

Today’s tip is to find inspiration.

Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

The feeling of being inspired is fulfilling and - dare I say it – addictive.  It makes one feel energetic, young, insightful, part of something secret, something that most others can’t see or feel.  Being inspired is a magical feeling.

But how does one find inspiration?  Everyone is inspired in different ways.  I, for instance, get energy and ideas from beautiful surroundings – natural sunlight, undulating hills, sparkling seas, wild flowers, green landscapes, fluffy clouds, to name but a few of my favourite sights.  I also find people’s ideas inspirational – brave accomplishments, innovative thoughts, quirky phrases, grandiose dreams.

Sometimes, inspiration strikes in unexpected ways – it can be an observation made about a situation, or someone uttering a few words that lead to a creative thought, or sometimes just walking on your own leads to great creativity.  In fact, making time for oneself to just think is one of the best ways to find inspiration.

And to get the most out of it, once you find that inspiration, act on it!

Next tip: go to bed early!

10 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues: Tip Number Five

RECONNECT WITH A LOVED ONE

Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

Recently I was inspired to share 10 tips on how our surroundings might help improve our mood and outlook.  To read more about what inspired me, see my post on LinkedIn Pulse HERE.

My FIRST TIP was about losing your mind in the present.  My SECOND was about letting someone else guide you for a day.  My THIRD ONE encourages you to try something new or something that you haven’t done for a long time, and the FOURTH TIP is about greeting someone you don’t know.

Today’s tip is reconnecting with a loved one.

If you’re anything like me, your life is so busy with work and family that it’s easy to forget you have a partner or children that need more than logistical commands and instructions once in a while.   It’s easy to take certain people for granted and sometimes they may not get the attention and treatment that they deserve.

If you can relate, I recommend making it part of your plan over the holidays to set aside some time for your loved ones.  This could be in the form of a dinner date with your partner, or a night away together.  It could be going to the cinema with one of your children and chat afterwards about the film.  You could take the kids swimming or bowling or simply to their favourite haunt or restaurant, taking the time to engage them in conversation.

Find out from your loved one what has been on their mind recently – school, work, their parents or siblings. How are their dance classes coming along, or who is the most popular kid in class.  What’s the work situation with your partner – who has been supportive and who hasn’t.  Of course you have these conversations daily or, at least, regularly.  But do you actually listen to their replies and engage with them?  If you’re like me, you’ll be guilty of at least once in a while not being as attentive to them as we should be.

So if you can, take the time for that someone who loves you and remind yourself of how and why you loved them in the first place.

Next tip: Find Inspiration.

10 Tips To Beat The Winter Blues: Tip Number One

 

Lose Your Mind

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Last week I arrived in Florida and was inspired by its surrounding beauty.  I wanted to share how we might be able to bottle some of the natural boosts that our surroundings might provide to improve our mood and outlook.  To read more about what inspired me, see my post on LinkedIn Pulse HERE.

Today’s Tip is about letting go and being entirely consumed by the ‘here and now’.  Some people call it meditation, others mindfulness, but to me, it is simply a way to take in the present to the exclusion of everything else that concerns us.

Let me show you what I mean.  When I went for that inspirational first run on my arrival in Florida, I made a point of noticing what surrounded me.  I noticed what was growing underneath my feet, I noticed the different shapes of leaves on the innumerable types of vegetation around, I noticed the different colours of the blossoms on them.  I took in the different types of ducks and birds and their love affair with the sun – they all seemed serene and content with their lives – and the scent that lingered in the air that reminded me of a soft Spring meadow.  I let all these senses take over my mind and gave in to their pull, letting go of anything else that may have been lingering in the back.

Now, I’m one of those people who finds it difficult to relax – running your own business is probably part of the issue, but I just seem to thrive on chaos!  Sometimes, however, the buzz of a busy life is so overwhelming that the mind needs a rest and time to recharge its batteries.  Losing your mind, therefore, in something simple like your surroundings is as easy as it is therapeutic.  And only takes a few minutes.

The best part is, you don’t need to travel to warmer climes to get the benefits of this exercise!  You can lose your mind wherever you are by simply noticing the little things around you.  So next time you walk along to the store, look around and see what you notice:  how old is that building you just passed?  Is there anything interesting about its architecture?  Does it tell a story of any kind?  And what about the faces of those who pass you on your way?  What are all these people thinking or feeling?  Can you guess from just looking at them?

How about an outing to an art gallery or a concert?  And when you’re there, can you lose yourself in a painting?  Really see what the story the artist is telling us?  Why did he/she paint the picture in that particular way?  And what about that music piece?  What story does it hold?  Where does your mind take you when you close your eyes and listen to it?

These are only a few ways of losing your mind for only a short while.  But the benefits are regenerative! Try it and let me know what you think.

My next tip in a few days will be “Play ‘Simon Says’!”