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Ten Ways to beat the winter blues

Winter is an odd time for us here at Dolbryn. Without the hustle, bustle and happiness that come along with our guests, it's easy for the days to become one long to-do list of jobs that need completing before we open again on the 1st March (although I'll admit that it is very nice to be able to leave the bathroom curtains open and enjoy the view of Dolbryn without our campers being traumatised by the view of the bathroom!)

And now that we're just a few weeks away from opening, it's at this time of year we all start to really look forward to the dawn of Spring, welcoming our guests back and saying goodbye to the long, cold days of winter.

So, if, like us, you could do with a little encouragement to get through the last few weeks of winter, here's my ideas to help beat the winter blues and wake up with a smile even on the dreariest of February days......

  • Get some excercise - exercise is proven to release endorphins - the body's feel-good chemical and natural anti-depressant. So much the better if you can head outdoors for a walk or jog on a sunny winter's day as the added Vitamin D from the sunlight will really help lift the blackest of moods. Exercise will also help you sleep better and give you energy. Go get your trainers now!

  • Have a clear out - if Christmas has left you with a lot of unwanted clutter then have a good old clear out to calm the mind. You can donate anything unwanted to local charity shops so that they don't go to waste. Tidy house, tidy mind as the saying goes.....

  • Set some goals - if you're feeling fed up then goal setting can really help lift us out of a rut. Have a good think about areas of your life you want to improve, then write down simple and achievable ways to help you reach that goal. Want to get fit? Then write down an action plan broken down into weeks and months to help you build more exercise into your day. Setting goals has been proven to give direction, meaning and increase efficiency and achievements.

  • Be sociable - even if you don't really feel like it, meeting up with good friends can lift spirits. So much the better if you choose your funniest friends - a good old belly laugh has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and increases muscle flexion. It increases the circulation of antibodies in the blood stream and makes us more resistant to infection.

  • Learn something new - developing new skills is a great way to keep your mind active.

  • Book a holiday - enough said! Having something to look forward to will always cheer you up - especially if it's a break at Dolbryn :)

  • Be kind - giving something back to the community and doing a good deed has proven to release mood-boosting serotonin, so why not volunteer at a charity, raise money for charity or even bake a cake for the neighbours.

  • Pop Art - getting creative is a great mood-boosting tool because it instills calm and discipline. Be it painting, drawing, writing, crafts or even just reading a book. Find a hobby that will inspire you.

  • Get out of it - a serious mood booster is getting out into nature. If it’s a dry day why not have your morning coffee outside, go for a walk or even just spend five minutes breathing in the fresh air. Being outside, even in an urban environment, can really boost our mood and lift our vitamin D levels, which is essential for wellbeing.

  • All about me - beat the blues by taking a day to spoil yourself. Book a spa day, go for a walk, visit a friend, go shopping or even have a duvet day. Whatever balances the mind to help you stay calm.

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