5 Mood-Boosting Tips To Extend That Summer Feeling

5 Mood-Boosting Tips To Extend That Summer Feeling

While some folk breeze through the winter happily in snug layers and get hygge without so much as a hint of grey gloom, others plan getaways for sunshine top-ups. But what about those of us who are sticking it out and perhaps struggling some with the cold, wet and dark spell? 

Here’s 5 handy hints to help get through the winter, keep the summer spirit strong and shrug off any seasonal drudge stuff that might dull your sparkles.

 

By Alexandra Gossink & Gail Bennie

 

Add unnecessary time outdoors to your daily to-do list

 

I’m in a park with a friend, not far from where I live. We’re walking along the dirt tracks where tree branches meet overhead, rather than on the open paths. The dogs are playing hide and seek in the undergrowth. I notice my friend’s yawning a lot, like, every other 10 steps or so. I ask if she’s tired or bored, there’s not a lot going on, after all, on our walk. I know she has a lot on her plate, work-wise, she must feel she’s wasting her time. “No.” she says, “It’s this walk, being out here, I’m finally starting to relax!”

I know, it’s a no-brainer, but sometimes you need to remind yourself, your family members, friends, spouse, or work partners to go out more, even without a reason. Extending your time outside by just 10 to 15 minutes, or introducing a day-to-day outdoor routine – especially when daylight hours are scarce – is the simplest way to up your daily dose of happiness.

So next time you plan a meet up in a café or office, where you spend time inside again and the after-lunch dip will hit hard, rather pack a thermos and sandwich box and choose a spot in a park, on the beach, or lakeside bench, and feel bright and energized after. Just have to dress a bit warmer, and convince your dates too of all the benefits… 

 

Have your (i)phone playing Memories randomly

 

Instead of swiping endlessly through other people’s perfect endless summer lives on Insta, TikTok and Facebook, have your own mini-film played out of real-life events – YOUR real-life events. Like most peeps, you usually take photos of da good, fun or memorable thangs in life, right?

On an iPhone, tap the screen and either swipe left or go to the Photo app, tap For You and then tap Memories. It’ll automatically start playing a tune while displaying photos, curated on a theme, like ‘Portraits’ or ‘Rainbows’ or ‘At the Beach’. 

On an Android, open the Photo app, tap Photos at the bottom, then tap a Memory at the top. 

Now, unless you haven’t erased all photos of your ex, you’ve a quick-fix at your fingertips for fighting the winter blues. Don’t go over the top with your on-screen time, though – remember, everything’s better for you in small doses…

 

Get lost, discover new things, and instantly up your feel-good factor

 

Years ago, I worked as a tour guide. Not in my own surroundings – I was sent to places I either knew a little, or a lot. Often the travel agency I worked for was understaffed and they urgently needed someone to cover for their regular guide at a certain place. I found myself touring in a van through the Czech Republic, driving from campsite to campsite, following the same route as the group of cyclists whose tents and packs I carried in my van. Or dropping off and picking up hikers from one end to the other of the island of Madeira. Or trying out all sorts of public transport in Bangkok, including hopping on river taxis and on to the back of a motorcycle taxi, so I could guide a group of backpackers smoothly through the city’s congested roads. 

I got lost. A lot. Taking wrong turns, walking into alleys I’d swear I’d been before, wondering why all the buildings changed overnight and how my hotel mysteriously disappeared. All the while, I remember vividly, I never FELT lost. I felt wide awake and unceasingly in a state of wonder. I discovered details in the landscape, a castle, funny looking animals. Naturally shy, I was forced to ask for directions and met new people who didn’t just help me out, but invited me for tea, an event, a wedding even!

But here’s the thing. You don’t need to travel to the other end of the world to get lost and feel chipper. You can awaken your sense of adventure right around the corner from your home. Have you ever considered going left when you’d normally turn right, taking a few back roads, wandering about in a neighbourhood or nature site you seldom go to? 

Getting lost – as long as it’s not in a life-threatening situation and bears and lions aren’t likely to disappear you for their dinner – and all the while discovering new things, keeps your brain lively, occupied and focused. It takes your mind off other stuff, daily worries, and instead may change your perspective, and it will, most definitely, boost your mood!

 

Eating summer in winter

 

The shortest and sweetest way to a sunny mood, even on a rainy day, is from your mouth to your stomach. That’s right. Eating the foods you’d normally eat in summer. Avocado dips, tomato salads, hummus spreads, crackers, cucumber sandwiches, sparkling wines, fruit juices. Why not prepare an indoor picnic on a cloudy weekend afternoon, invite your friends over, or do a solo replay of summer while reading your fav travel guide.

 

The healing power of visualisation

 

Using your imagination to such a great length that your body reacts to what you make up in your mind’s eye is one of the easiest tools. Whether to enhance performance or feel better, the benefits have been proven and are used by the pros in sports and biz, and also in coaching. You can use this technique daily to simply get into a more summery mood. Making your brain believe it’s real will signal the same through your body. In short; visualising the good stuff makes your body feel the good stuff. So, do what cats do: find a comfy spot or lie in front of a window that has sun streaming through it, and hit up Alexa/Siri for some feelgood summer tunes. Start a simple breathing exercise (like using 5 counts in, 5 counts out) to slip into a meditative state and start mind-surfing. Ooh, pretend you’re on a beach in the Maldives, the South of Portugal, or wherever the sun’s shining, waxing your board while watching an empty line-up and waves till the horizon… maybe we’ll see ya there!

 

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