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Monday, 21 January 2019

Affordable ways to beat the winter blues

Affordable cosy set up to beat winter blues

The products in this post were a gift from Intu Metrocentre, but all advice and opinions are my own.

As we approach Blue Monday, known as the Monday-est Monday of the year, it's normal for a lot of us to be feeling a little down. There's something about January with its cold weather (we had snow in Newcastle this week!) and a lack of funds between paydays that can make it seem like the longest month ever.

There are so many things you can do to beat the winter blues that can be carried out even on a tight budget without too much effort. The lovely folks over at Intu Metrocentre recently sent me a 'pamper hamper' filled with a range of products to help me stay happy and positive at this time of year. This inspired me to write a guide with some of my favourite affordable tips to look after yourself, even when funds are low and you aren't heading out as much.

Affordable ways to beat those blues this winter

Keep a note of positive thoughts

Keeping a journal has been popular for a while as a great way to stay positive, but it's not something I've ever really got on board with. I think as I was always so busy I just couldn't see when I'd have the time for it! I recently started keeping a journal for my academic project and I wish I'd started sooner. This one from Wilko has a space for each day of the week where you can reflect on each day and record something positive.

I love these pencils, also from Wilko, with more positive quotes on. Just spotting one of these on my desk when feeling a little bit down is guaranteed to cheer me up!

Making a note of the good things that happen in life is a really affordable way to beat the winter blues. You could even just keep some notes in your phone of the nice things that occur each day. I look back through my journal when times are hard to remind me of all the good things that happen. This is so simple but can really get you through those winter blues and lift even the darkest day.

Journalling can beat winter blues

Stay hydrated and eat good food

It is amazing how water affects the mind. If I feel down it is often lack of water and I need a good 2 litres or more per day to feel good. As soon as I drink less than this and have alcohol my skin is affected so much! For the first two weeks of January I stopped drinking alcohol and upped my water intake which meant my skin was perfectly clear. As soon as I had a few drinks one night my skin went crazy. Having a water bottle like this one from WHSmith which shows exactly how much you need to drink each hour is so useful.

Make sure you have lots of healthy snacks in the cupboards and don't be tempted to eat all your Christmas chocolate in January. I normally just don't buy unhealthy snacks to have in. It stops me having them as I am far too lazy to go to the shop just for chocolate. I try to carry healthy snacks like this fruit bar from Holland and Barrett in my bag to stop temptation when I am out and about.

Hydration and nutrition are affordable ways to beat winter blues

De-clutter your home

I have given lots of bags to the charity shop over the last few weeks. This has helped me to beat the winter blues by doing something good for others whilst making my surroundings less cluttered. This applies to your wardrobe as well. If you read my post on my style code makeover you will see how much of a difference it made to my confidence and I really think it's gone a long way towards beating the winter blues for me.

I don't know about you, but taking my Christmas decorations down leaves a big void in my living room that makes me feel a bit blue in January. If you can afford to, adding some flowers to your room can be so helpful to fill any spaces. I sometimes get flowers reduced in supermarkets which can still have a decent life span if you pick carefully.

Having a tidy home can really help you feel less blue and cleaning is free if you already have the products, so why not have a big weekend tidy-up?

Flowers to beat the winter blues

Have technology-free time on an evening

Too often we spend our downtime glued to our phones. Go on Instagram and select the option which warns you when you have spent a certain time on the app that day - this will help you to cut down. It is amazing how social media can negatively affect your mood without you even realising it.

At a time when you might be staying in more and you see people who are travelling full time or seem to be having 'more fun' than you, that will only add to your winter blues. Instead of aimlessly scrolling when you feel bored, do something affordable and simple that gets you away from your phone.

Affordable ways to take time out and relax

When I have loads on my plate I have realised that something small and simple can lift my mood. I never used to like baths but I swear by them now, especially when I have got a good book to read.

Buying a small new bath product can feel like such a treat when it only really costs a tiny amount. This rocket bath bomb from Lush could be used for 2-3 baths to make it last longer. The Miss Patisserie bath bar from Boots is great as you just break off a couple of squares at a time to make a nice bath. It is almost too pretty to use!

I love diffusers so much and this one from HomeSense has such a nice message on I can't help but smile whenever I see it. Having positive quotes scattered around the home can really help to lift my mood when I catch a glimpse of them before I head out for the day.


A bath is an affordable way to beat the winter blues

Get warm and cosy on an evening

Most of us love to get new cosy treats like pyjamas and slippers to beat the winter blues, but they aren't always affordable when you are on a tight January budget. However, with affordable shops in the Metro Centre like Primark, you can pick up some cute, fluffy socks like these for as little as £2!

If you know a friend has felt a bit rubbish recently and want to cheer them up on a budget, I can't think of a nicer gesture to buy someone. They are so soft it's unbelievable and I don't think they will be leaving my feet any time soon.

Affordable ways to get cosy and beat winter blues

Try to wind down after 9pm and get ready for bed

Snuggling up in a fleecy throw like this lovely olive-coloured one from Primark is a great way to feel cosy and relaxed, and one of the huge positives of winter which we should really appreciate. When I lived in Singapore I really missed the cold weather as it was impossible to feel snuggly with air-con. I truly appreciate gorgeous soft blankets like this one even more now.

I have tried to set myself a rule that I won't use my phone after 9pm and instead I will relax with a book and a cup of herbal tea. This sleep tea is only £1 from Poundland, I will definitely be having one of these each evening in a lovely calming blue mug like this one from Wilko.

Instead of binging Netflix late at night, read books you've had for ages and haven't got round to reading (we all have them). Ask family and friends if they want to do a book swap, or pass on a read they have enjoyed but are finished with. It's likely that everyone is feeling in the same boat at the moment so would probably love to swap a book and get something new to read for free.

Affordable ways to relax and beat winter blues

I hope you enjoyed reading my list of affordable ways to beat the winter blues this month. Hopefully it has inspired you to plan a nice pamper night for yourself, we all need them!

7 comments :

  1. Writing down positive thoughts is always a really good idea! love this post!

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    1. Thank you! Yes it totally changes my frame of mind when I do it :)

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  2. How do we do that on Instagram- the setting you mentioned?

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  3. P.s I love your hints and tips ;)

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  4. I love these! It's difficult to simplyfy these things when you're having a down day but once you get into the mindset, they really help! 💜

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    1. Thanks Jess. I totally agree, it's all about not letting a bad day consume us (which I am definitely guilty of doing myself)!

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