For many people, winter is a challenging season. There are lots of reasons for this – family holidays are often a source of stress, work can be very intense, and there are lots of memories bound up in the rituals of the season that can be a source of pain. The seasonal conditions can be a direct cause of malaise as well. Many people feel less motivated and more fatigued in the winter, but for some this can tip over into what’s known as Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD. This is a recognised form of depression, but the causes behind it aren’t fully understood – the leading theory is that it’s connected to the shortening hours of daylight as we go into the middle of winter.
If you’re concerned about the emotional challenges of winter, it might be worth bearing in mind how people in Scandinavian countries approach their even longer, even darker winters. Look for the opportunities winter extends to you, rather than the opportunities it curtails. This can help you feel less trapped by the season. Today we’re taking a look at some winter hobbies that can keep you busy and engaged until better weather and longer days come around again.
Crafting is a traditional pastime for the winter, and when you get out your weaving loom kit or knitting needles it’s not hard to see why. Long, dark winter evenings are a great time to rekindle your interest in crafting. Developing your skills gives you something to focus on over the winter, and you might even be able to make some unique Christmas gifts for friends.
If you’re interested in crafting, then you can turn cold, wet days and dark nights when you don’t want to venture outside into opportunities to be excited about, not resented!
If one of the things that contributes to seasonal malaise is the lack of sunlight, it makes sense to get the most out of the daylight hours we do have! The onset of winter doesn’t have to mean a complete retreat from the outside world. With proper preparations you can experience the unique pleasures of a walk in the winter.
If you invest in water proof boots and a coat with a hood, the worst weather can’t keep you indoors, and you might well find with more time spent outside, your mood will bounce back!
During the coldest months of the year our bodies crave more comfort food. Whether you want to indulge that craving or control it, developing your cooking skills can help. As well as giving you new projects to research and work on, cooking more meals and trying new recipes can make you more aware of the food you’re eating – where it’s from, what’s in it and whether it’s really what you want to eat.
Looking for seasonal recipes can help your mood as well! If you cook with the ingredients that are available, you’ll see how the flavours of your food change as time passes, and your recipes will reflect the year moving toward spring.