So the day has come: 1st of November. The day after Halloween. The end of a golden October and the beginning of winter is right in front of your doors. The days get shorter and the nights ever so longer. Besides the early darkness of those beginning winter days with November arrives a certain kind of gloom… gray, heavy and utterly depressing.
While I’m sitting here in my living room alight with candles and soft music in the background, I wonder how I will manage this long and hard month. You see, I love winter… better said I love Christmas time. The streets are decorated with light, Christmas markets everywhere, the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies, the parties, seeing all your friends, listening to Christmas music. How I long for this time!
What I don’t like are those gray and dark days before the first of Advent. The transition period from golden fall light to glowing stars in every window is just 4 weeks too long for me. Over the years though I have come up with some simple tricks to boost my mood and enjoy the month of November.
1. Get outside!
This is an easy one you might think. We all know that sunlight which produces Vitamin D is an essential for us during winter time. No wonder Scandinavians have invented daylight cafés where you can sit and get a dose of mood-boosting light. But for me, it takes an effort to go outside. Not that I don’t like it but I tend to forget. During the day I’m in the office and on the weekends when it is already gray and gloomy outside all I want to do is sit on my couch, watch Netflix and eat some cake. But in the end, I feel more depressed than ever.
So I make a conscious effort to get outside. I schedule *grab a coffee* afternoon walks with my colleagues. I invite people I want to talk to in my Outlook calendar and just get outside. 15 minutes later I return to the office feeling energized and happy! The same goes for weekends. I plan an activity where I have to get outside every Saturday and Sunday. So I have no reason to stay in and lie in bed all day.
2. Plan your next vacation
Just the thought of getting away gets my mood up and going. I scout the internet for some new travel ideas, destinations, tips and tricks. Sometimes I plan a dream vacation; you know, the one I can’t afford like 2 week trip to a 5star resort in Thailand. First class flights included!
Even better if you can take some time off in November and travel to some warm and sunny place. My dream is always to go to Dubai or Thailand to recharge my batteries. And if all else fails there is always Singapore which is warm and sunny all year round! And don’t forget to take a friend.
3. Treat yourself
Now this is also an easy one. After summer months have passed it’s time to take care of yourself and your body again. Try a new gym routine that tones those muscles you always neglected (for me it’s my stomach). Or go and take a spa day. Especially in the colder months our bodies need a little more attention, moisture and warmth. And if a spa is too much just take a hot bath, put on some music and a face mask. All in the comfort of your own home.
Honestly, I think November is one of the best months to take care of your home. We are inside most of the time anyway but it is still not as cold as in January. And by starting in November you’ll have a nice new look for the cold months to come. You might want to change your bedroom a little by hanging new curtains, adding warmth with a new bedspread or new sheets.
I like to work with textiles during this time and changing cushions, plaids and upholstered chairs in my living and dining room. A few seasonal colors added and my home feels new again. A place to relax and have a good time. The added bonus for me is that all this takes time and effort and keeps me busy. No time to slouch and sit on the couch doing nothing!
One of the easiest traps during November is to retreat into your own little world. We all think that when December comes we will be so busy with holiday parties that we need some time off before. I strongly disagree on that!
What better time is there to invite friends over? Get your board games out and host a Saturday night gaming round. Try some new cake recipes and set up a Sunday afternoon tea time party. Have a TGIF wine and cheese night. Whatever you do, surround yourself with positive people and the gray will disappear!
I hope these tips help you through the gloomy November days!