Tuesday, 24 December 2019

HOW TO BATTLE THE WINTER BLUES


I definitely identify as more of a winter person than a summer person, I would pick the cold over the hot any day of the week, but the one thing I cannot stand about winter is the severe and chronic lack of daylight in my life during these cold months. I love scarves, a brisk breeze, I live for jumpers but waking up to a dark day and coming home to a darker night is awful. I notice a genuine dip in my mood and energy to the point where I just want to curl up and hibernate in my bed only venturing out for food and hot baths. Of course, this is not possible. Like with most things you have to just get on with it, so here are some of the things that help me when I am feeling particularly blue during this time of year. I hope you find something that helps you, let me know in the comments below if you struggle with the shorter days as well and share your tips and tricks. 

Annual Leave If you work and find this time of year to be a hardship, be smart about how you use your annual leave. I like to save at least a week so I can use it in November or January where I am starting to feel really sluggish. A week away from work allows me time to recharge. I love to go to different places, so I could use it for an impromptu trip or just for some rest and relaxation. 

Maximise your daylight I try to go out during my lunch breaks for a walk, this gives me an extra half hour of daylight and like I said I actually quite enjoy cold weather if it is manageable. I also try to keep my curtains or blinds open during the day as much as possible. 



Spoil yourself As mentioned, there are plenty of things I love about winter, including but not limited to winter clothing staples. I like to buy a new coat and scarf as well as new boots every winter. I adore candles, hot baths and being swamped in soft fluffy blankets while I read or write. To keep the blues away do more of what you enjoy within reason. I love to do face masks and I especially love the instant warming clay masks, they feel so good this time of year. 

Let there be light This isn't something I have done, but most people's favourite thing about winter is Christmas. In my house, we only have Christmas decorations in the living room and I think next year I will try and decorate my own room so I can feel more of the festive cheer. Pick up a small Christmas tree, I am sure TK Maxx have loads - which will be reduced come Boxing Day rejoice! - and some LED lights. You can wind the lights on your shelves, curtain rails, desks or your mirror. If LED lights aren't your thing, candles are always a magical way to brighten up your room and you get to choose the smell. I picked up some festive candles from Primark recently and I will be burning vanilla and apple spice tonight to get myself in the Christmas Eve mood. 


Alarm clock There are some really great alarm clocks out there that wake you up by simulating sunlight. I think this is a really cool concept especially if you struggle to wake up in the mornings like myself. I am one of those people that have ten alarms on every morning. I haven't tried one myself, but I know Lumie is a well-known brand that does such alarm clocks which you can find on Amazon. 

Be productive Inevitably, in the winter time when you're not out and about at holiday parties you spend a lot more time in doors. It is a good idea to be a bit more productive and set aside time to get round to emails, completing job applications, writing letters or organising the home. All the things you wanted to do in 2019 but hadn't got around to, well now is the time. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and a boost to your self-esteem to have achieved something. Winter is a great time to set your affairs in order so you enter the new year with a clear mind, home and inbox. 


Charity This time of year is a great time for giving - is there ever a bad time? - especially around Christmas there are usually so many charity drives that you can get involved with. I know filling shoe boxes with gifts is a regular Christmas charity occurrence, this year my work donated a bunch of items for new parents and other charity organisations give warm clothing and blankets out to the homeless. Similar to the last recommendation, giving to those less fortunate or in need of certain things can keep you busy and occupied and also provides you with a sense of achievement and accomplishment and keeps your mind occupied. Christmas can be a difficult time for many, so keeping your mind occupied can be a serious struggle during the holidays.  

Read Not everyone enjoys reading, but I really do, there are so many classics on my list still for me to read. I just finished reading Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav and I am currently reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway which I have been wanting to read for ages. I actually received a hardback copy of the book a few years ago. For those of us that do not like reading there are always audiobooks or podcasts. There are many podcasts I enjoy and listen to regularly, Case File is my absolute favourite but All in the Mind is a great thought provoking podcast about lived experience of mental illness. 

Photo via @heyclaire on Instagram, I read the book on my iPhone. Highly recommend.
Learn For me personally, I love to learn and I have an innate fear of forgetting everything I have learned so I have made a conscious effort to dig out my old textbooks and read a chapter when I am feeling bored. This helps me learn and gives me ideas of different topics to research but also sparks memories of when I learned the same topics in a lecture or seminar. I really like the site Future Learn as well, it is a great free site where you can sign up to courses you like the look of and even interact and discuss with other users. They cover so many topics. 

I hope you found this post helpful, I definitely need to take my own advice and I have been trying to do more of the things I enjoy and love over the past few weeks. It can be difficult at times, Christmas can be such a crazy time of year that it feels like you never get a moment to breathe so I try to carve out as much time as possible for myself just to relax and do things I like. Hope you all have a great Christmas, leave a comment sharing what you do to beat the winter blues or if indeed you don't feel blue at all let me know down below. Thank you for reading. Take care. 

Do you get down in the Winter time? 

Love 
Kiran

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*This post is not sponsored. Images are credited to their rightful owner, images not credited are either stock images or taken by myself. 

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Sunday, 8 December 2019

LUSH DREAMTIME BATH OIL REVIEW


As someone who is virtually dependent on baths it is disappointing how little I have actually tried from Lush, the go-to utopia for bath lovers around the globe. Personally, I have been less than impressed by some of thier bath bombsthat I have tried, but I hadn't even heard of their bath melts/oils as they are commonly known. 

I tried the Dreamtime Bath Oil (£3.95) today for my ritualistic Sunday bath and it was delightful. It contains a total of 24 ingredients and as far as I know Lush has quite a good reputation for using fairtrade and natural ingredients. Dreamtime consists of a variety of my favourite oils which explains why I love the scent of this bath oil so much. Oils in Dreamtime are lavender oil, ginger oil, sandalwood oil and chamomile blue oil, it also contains fairtrade cocoa butter which provides the moisturising properties this bath oil is known for. My favourite scents are lavender and ginger so this oil is actually perfectly suited to my tastes

I had no idea what ingredients or properties Dreamtime boasts at the time of actually having my bath, but I left my bath feeling calm and relaxed and I noticed immediately that my skin felt so buttery smooth and well-moisturised, it still does hours after. I love how cute and small the bath oil is, plus it's purple: my favourite colour. The bath oil breaks apart in the water and turns the bath the same shade of deep purple which is tremendously satisfying. 

The only con is that the bath oil is quite small, almost £4 for one bath is not really good value so I wonder if I can halve it or even cut it into quarters to get 2 or 4 baths out of it. If you have tried that or have alternatives that achieve the same results as this bath oil i.e. great smell and moisturising, please share some of your favourite bath products in the comments below. I would love to try the Laura Mercier bath products because they are considered to be the epitome of luxury and everyone who has tried them loves them, but I cannot justify spending that much on bath products. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you are all in the festive spirit. I feel like it has taken me much longer than usual to get into the Christmas mood this year but I am trying my hardest to embrace it, mulled wine and Ariana Grande's Christmas album helps. Hope you had a great weekend. Take care. 

What are your favourite bath products? 

Love 
Kiran

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