The long, winter evenings and dark, misty mornings are enough to make any of us feel a little gloomy. The ‘winter blues’ is a recognised condition – there’s even a page dedicated to ‘beating the winter blues’ on the NHS website.
Otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it affects around 2 million people in the UK. It is partly caused by a lack of daylight, which is why light therapy is used to treat the condition.
For summer lovers, certainly, the dark days of November, December and January can feel interminably long. There’s usually a buzz in the air in the run up to Christmas in December, leading through to the end of the year, but January is a bleak month for many. Not only is the weather usually bad, but Christmas is over for another year.
If you suspect either you or someone close to you is suffering from a case of winter blues, we’ve identified 5 ways to beat the winter blues…in Wimbledon.
1) Keep active
You could head to your local gym, but if you’re struggling with the dark days then you need daylight. We recommend a long walk during daylight hours. But where is best to walk in Wimbledon? For a long walk, Wimbledon Common is a good area to head to, as is Cannizaro Park (which also boasts landscaped gardens). If you want a very long walk, you can reach Richmond Park from Wimbledon Common by crossing over the A3 road.
2) Stay warm
Winter is the season of cold weather, but it’s also the season of hot drinks, from mulled wine and mulled cider to hot chocolate. Stay warm by wearing layers and by staying active – being chilly and shivery will only make your winter blues mood worse. If you still can’t warm up, take a walk down to the Hand & Racquet pub (one of the friendliest pubs in Wimbledon). The walk will warm you up, and it’s a cosy place in which to sit.
3) Eat well and reduce your caffeine intake
For those who can’t function without the customary cup of coffee in the mornings, continue drinking your coffee, but if you do drink a lot of tea and coffee, think about replacing it with something else. Caffeine is deyhdrating, and this won’t help your mood. Try herbal teas or hot milk if you want warm drinks, or else try hot water with lemon. Head to the Windmill Tearooms or Brew Café for other options besides coffee.
4) Take up a hobby/try something new
January is the month of new year resolutions. Your new year resolution might involve taking up a new hobby. This might be learning a new language, learning a musical instrument, taking up pottery or carpentry, or even turning a hobby into a career by enrolling on a course. Whatever you might be interested in, join a class or a course – or, if it’s painting, just do it. We should always find time to indulge our interests. For ideas, there is a ‘Hobbies and Pastimes Directory’ for people local to Wimbledon as recommended by other Wimbledon locals. You can view it here.
5) Get social
The Christmas season is over, but that doesn’t mean January and February can’t be filled with social gatherings too. Invite your friends over, or if you don’t feel like hosting, head out to one of Wimbledon’s many restaurants or bars for tasty food and good conversation. For the right ambiance, head to The Old Frizzle. The evenings may be long and dark, but being in the company of people you like is all that’s required to cheer the spirit.