It’s January. Christmas & new-year festivities are over, resolutions have been made (and probably forgotten), and it still seems to be permanently dark and cold outside. Being a person who feels quite dependent on sunlight, January and February in the UK have always been my least favourite months of the year (saved only by the promise of tasty treats on pancake day). I think a lot of people are affected by the lack of daylight in the winter months, even if they’re unaware of it – so if you’re feeling down too, here are some things you can try that might help:
- Rearrange your bedroom/living space. I’m lucky to have a very big window in my room to let in a lot of daylight, but in the winter, the arc of the sun in the sky means it only shines in one corner of my room if it comes out. You can make the most of this by positioning a mirror in the sunniest place, to reflect the light into other parts of the room too (maybe onto your bed so you can take naps in the sun and pretend to be a cat).
- Make your space as cosy as possible. If it’s going to be dark for half of your waking hours then there’s nothing you can do about it but embrace fairylights. Using side lamps and fairylights distracts me from the darkness and is much more flattering/visually pleasing than ceiling lighting.
- Sit in front of a very bright light (you can get special daylight lamps designed to ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder), and pretend it is the sun. I have a studio light for filming which can shine very brightly – and if you put a daylight filter over it, you can almost trick yourself into believing you’re on the beach in Ibiza. Wearing a woolly hat and jumper, but on the beach nonetheless.
- On the rare occasions that the winter sun is shining and it’s warm enough outside if you wrap up like a doughnut, go outside. Even a twenty minute walk around the block will allow you to “soak up” the light and will make you feel better – the exercise helps too. Remember to tilt your head upwards and put your face in the sun (but try not to trip over any teeny tiny dogs out for their winter walkies wearing teeny tiny puffa jackets).
- Try to keep busy and not panic that it’s probably going to be dark again in five minutes. Spring is really not too far away. Take advantage of the lovely low light to take some nice photographs, to do something creative, or maybe start planning all the things you want to do next summer.
- If all else fails, get yourself an aerolatte milk frother, some kilner jars with handles, and distract your sad little pupils with frothy coffees & milkshakes that make you feel like you’re in a café (seriously, frothy milk has changed my life).
I’m not sure if we’ve had more sunny days than usual or not, but I’ve been doing these things this season and I feel a lot better than I have done in previous years!
Another thing I like to use to cheer up is my fragrance lamp (pictured above). This is a small “A Drop of Ocean” mosaic glass fragrance lamp from Ashleigh & Burwood, in which I burn the Moroccan Spice oil. According to the description, it releases “exciting aromas of a hot Moroccan souk.. sticky honey, nutmeg and bergamot scents” with “woody base notes”. It has a very distinctive scent which is quite hard to describe – to me it smells more like a milky honey & nutmeg blend, quite sweet without being sickeningly sugary. I absolutely love this smell, and these lamps have a pretty amazing scent payoff (if that’s a thing). I’d recommend testing out a selection of small fragrance bottles, because they smell very different as concentrated liquid than when they are floating in the air. Once you’ve found one you love, you can make it your signature room scent – a guaranteed conversation-starter if you’ve just moved somewhere new and are busy nesting in your new place.
I’d love to know your favourite scents if you use fragrance lamps too.. I’m almost at the end of my bottle and think I might try a new scent for February!
Love Marie x