Time to head for the great indoors

Getting ready for Christmas early can beat the blues
Getting ready for Christmas early can beat the blues
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With the nights turning cold and dark, many people go into ‘hibernation mode’, a new survey has revealed.

Stocking up on new winter socks (26 percent), slippers (17 percent) and woolly jumpers (22 percent) – is all part of the human hibernation process, according to the study.

A further 38 percent said they start preparing for winter by doing a “winter food shop”, with 11 percent saying they now stock up on wine and beer to get them through the winter months.

But homewares retailer Dunelm, which commissioned the survey, is offering top tips to beat the winter blues.

They asked behavioural psychotherapist Dr Becky Spelman to come up with some hints and tips as part of its ‘Re-discover the Great Indoors’ campaign.

1) Stay chirpy at this time of the year by feeling productive. Make plans that you can look forward to, have a wardrobe clean out, arrange to see friends and family or plan a movie night - whatever it is that makes you feel fulfilled, now is the time to be doing it. One in five people in Dunelm’s survey said they enjoyed the autumn because it signified Christmas was not far away – so look forward to it!

2) The study shows that the average adult only ventures out socially once a week in the winter months, but socialising is a really important way to stay happy at this time. The darker, colder days often lead us to shy away from going out because we naturally gravitate indoors during this time, so why not host social events in your home? Dinner parties and games nights are great ways to keep your spirits up.

3) A great way to beat the winter blues is to get some exercise in, but people are far less inclined to go for a run or head to the gym in the colder months. Instead, why not exercise from the comfort of your home, using a DVD or YouTube channel for instance. Just push the sofa back and get to it!

4) It sounds simple, but something many people forget to do in autumn/winter is simply enjoy themselves! Often we’re too busy on focusing on the physiological need to stay warm and survive, and emotional needs are at the bottom of the list. My advice would be do whatever you can to make yourself happy: read a good book, cook a delicious meal, or simply treat yourself - it could be you buy yourself a cosy onesie to see you through the colder months.

5) This is a hard time of the year, so make life as easy as possible for yourself. Boost your mood by preparing your lunch the night before, begin Christmas shopping early, and stock up on throws, pillows and candles to make your home a snuggly haven where you can batten down the hatches.