Wellbeing in winter – 5 easy ways to boost your happy hormones this month

With the chilly days and evenings drawing in, leading up to winter, it’s more important than ever to take steps to keep a happy and healthy mind, especially with the added stresses of Christmas. Here are some of the best ways to boost your happy levels this December. Why not try a few!

1. Being at one with nature

Now temperatures are dropping, you may find yourself staying in a lot during the winter. However, wrapping up and taking a walk, either solo or with friends, can be a great way to spend your free time, instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV. A nice park, such as Pittville Park in Cheltenham, is the perfect place to take a stroll this month- with beautiful scenery and even a café to pick up a coffee.

Source – Unsplash – @alexpadurariu

2. Treat yourself!

On the topic of cafes, treating yourself at this time of year is more important than ever. With the worries of Christmas shopping, it’s easy to forget to look after and pamper yourself. I think one of the best ways to do this is by taking yourself out to a local café for a treat. Not only is this a great form of self-care, but it is also a great feeling being able to give back to the community by shopping from an independent business in the area. Some of my favourite local independent cafes include School House Café in St. Paul’s and The Curious Café in Bath Road, Cheltenham.

3. Try some new recipes and cook more sustainably

Trying a new recipe is a great way to be productive and relax, and with all the festive recipes out there, there’s never been a better time to try something new. Cooking from scratch is often a much healthier alternative, which will not only make you feel better physically, but will also have many mental benefits. Making an effort to cook more sustainably during Christmas (a time known for creating lots of food waste) could include:

  • shopping locally
  • eating less meat
  • using up leftovers to reduce food waste

Here’s a site I’d recommend which has over 20 delicious, sustainable dishes for you to try out (the sweet potato pancakes are definitely worth a try!).

Source – Unsplash – @the5th

4. Spend time with family

Leading up to Christmas, it’s so important to spend quality time with loved ones, whether it’s having a meal together or even just talking on the phone. Although alone time can be vital during this hectic time of year, it’s also so important to spend time with friends and family. It’s also an important time to check in with your friends or maybe an old relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Loneliness is, unfortunately, so common during the winter months, and you may be able to help spread a bit of happiness by connecting with your nearest and dearest.

5. Think about your local communities

I always think one of the best ways to boost happiness within yourself is to give back to others, and what better way to do this than to get involved with a charity? A great local charity to get involved with is Heads Up Cheltenham, who have launched the ‘12 days of Christmas Giving challenge’ where volunteers are packing activity bags for local children facing extra challenges this Christmas. There’s also 12 simple ideas to help each other as well as individual wellbeing.

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