Getting through a European winter, with plans for Spring

If you live in the parts of the USA or the Southern hemisphere – with year-round sunshine – the following may not apply to you!  However, for some people, winter can be a brutal and limiting time of the year.

European winters seem to get longer. If you’re not coping with snow and ice restricting movement, then you’re facing weeks of endless rain and grey skies.

The debilitating condition “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD), also known as winter depression, is on the rise.  It’s believed to affect 1 in 15 British people for example.   It’s so severe for approximately 6% of the UK population and around 2-8% of people in other higher latitude countries (including Canada, Denmark and Sweden), sufferers can’t even fulfil basic work or family commitments during winter.

Even the chirpiest of us can be affected by the winter blues too!

However, one of the scientifically proven ways to cope, is to make plans. And, take positive actions to get your self-ready for days with more sunlight and less moisture!

Here are some tips on surviving a European winter:

Get out and about

The temptation is to stay indoors and hibernate, preferably wrapped in a duvet near a source of heat!

That could be the worst thing to do, for long periods of time. Even in a European winter, available daylight is beneficial to your health. Breathing fresh air is a great stress reliever.  So, dress in layers and go for walks.

You could always book a short break to London and explore the city streets and winter activities to get O2 and Vitamin D. See what London has to offer in the Winter months.

At the very least, you could go into your garage, conservatory or greenhouse to plant bulbs in pots and planters, ready to put in the ground in Spring. Or, hang out bird feeders to keep your feathered friends well fed when food is scarce.

Get moving and eat well

The exercise to be gained from a brisk walk is also a great antidote to a low mood.  If you prefer your activities indoors, winter is a great time to join a gym.

Exercise releases key hormones that regulate our emotional responses to daily life.

It can also be the source of exciting plans to beat the winter blues, such getting ready for a January ski-trip or getting super fit and toned for a sunshine holiday.

Or, you could train to run a Spring Marathon! If you are wondering “when is the 2019 London Marathon, the answer is 28th April.

Pushing yourself with a winter exercise programme stops you piling on weight from winter comfort eating too.

We naturally crave starchy food in colder months.  This could partly be due to the fact complex carbohydrates help maintain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood.

The emphasis is on complex carbs though, not fatty or sugary stodge.  Avoid the temptation hit the snacks and “munchies” on dark winter evenings.  Facing Spring with a body shape you are not happy with could mean that the winter blues carry right on to summer!

Instead, experiment with seasonal fruit and veg, and new recipes for comforting soups and other savouries.

Travel and Spring planning

This is not just about hopping on a plane and jetting off to the sun. A way to keep your spirits high during the winter is to research and book your next year’s vacation but also a series of short breaks too.

There is nothing quite like sitting by the fire when the days get darker, making exciting plans for the months ahead.

If you plan to visit London, make sure to include contacting Merino Hospitality to book your serviced accommodation in central London. Beautiful and homely temporary London accommodation that offers the warmest of welcomes! The price is “hot” too, if you book well ahead.

A little bit of what you fancy….

One of the most important ways to survive a European winter, is to be kind to yourself.

When the days are shorter and the temperatures are low, it’s an especially good time to add treats and fun activities to your busy week.

For example, you could shop for a new spring wardrobe to lift your spirits. What’s new for Spring 2019? Follow this link to see what fashion trendsetter Harpers Bazaar has to say on that topic.

Schedule a spa day or massage, to rehydrate your skin in winter, steam away the chills and ease up aches and pains. There are many European venues that now offer spa treatments for men as well as women, or joint sessions to relax as a twosome.

Or, you could book a last-minute break in London, in a discrete and lovely Merino apartment for a romantic few days with your loved one.

Having something to look forward to is vital to lifting your mood – at any time of the year. So, get in touch with the friendly team at Merino Hospitality. We can find the perfect spot for you to enjoy some rest and relaxation in London, to well and truly banish those winter blues!

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