10 ways to stay bright as the nights draw in
The winter coats are out and the dark nights are here. All too often I hear people bemoan the winter nights but they can be a fantastic time to take stock, prepare and make plans for your future. Here are 10 ways to use those cosy evenings to your advantage.
1. Cook up a storm
Everybody loves a hearty winter meal, so it's a great time to get creative in the kitchen. With all of the free resources on the Internet there is no need to spend money on expensive cookbooks. Simply type in what takes your fancy, whether that be a spicy winter curry or a bold and comforting stew. You could order your ingredients online too and you won’t even need to venture out. The added bonus is whoever you invite to dinner will almost certainly return the favour, so you’ll be opening up a wealth of welcoming invites too!
2. Use the time to reflect
Often at this time of year it's easier to leave work on time as, unlike in the summer, it seems later than it is. Use this extra half hour at home to have an indulgent candle lit bath or use the space to meditate, taking stock of where you are right now and enjoying the moment. It will de-clutter your mind and lift your spirits.
3. Collate your achievements this year
Before it gets too busy with Christmas time and the hasty good intention of New year resolutions - grab a notepad, sit back and recall all of the positive things you have achieved throughout the year. All too often we forget what good has come of the things we have done and they get lost in the business of our minds and lives. Having a look at the impact we have - big and small - can be a fantastic way to motivate ourselves going forward.
4. Pre- festive detox
November is a really good time to detox ahead of what can be a busy December. You could do a dietary detox if you are feeling sluggish or maybe a technological detox, ditching all the old emails in a bulging inbox, switching off your mobile on nights in and erasing any clutter on your desktop. Whatever kind of detox you go in for, by the start of December you will feel lighter and brighter and you will be able to really shine.
5. Jump into the Gym
What better way to warm up than a endorphin releasing workout? Join a new class or just feel good about actually using that gym membership you’ve been paying for. As an added bonus you will look great in that new Christmas outfit or otherwise not feel so guilty about the bar of chocolate that made into your shopping basket. You’ll also feel warm and toasty all the way home!
6. Get away for a short break
After half term is an excellent time to bag a travel bargain. With fewer people heading away you’ll have your pick of lovely hotels and convenient flights at much better prices than in the summer. Southern Europe can be lovely and mild at this time of year, or simply hole up by the fire in a lovely British pub. You’ll come back with a spring in your step and get to use any leftover holiday allowance before you lose it.
7. Update your address book
Most people have reached that point where, with a pile of Christmas cards the size of Everest, you realise that quite a few entries in your address book are out of date. This can happen even more so when it might be the only time of year we still send friends and relatives snail mail. It can be cathartic getting things up to date. Heck, if you are feeling particularly inspired you could actually write some cards, saving you a job later and saving up some well deserved smug-ness for later on!
8. Invest in some winter wardrobe essentials
If you have the funds, there are a whole load of mini-sales going on at the moment. So treat yourself to that snuggly new jumper or a pair or cold busting gloves. You’ll look good and you’ll feel good as you walk through those crisp winter nights - and unlike in the summer, you won’t need to worry too much about hiding those love handles!
9. Get Crafty before Christmas
Christmas can be expensive and even those with the best intentions of making a homemade gift can run out of time and end up loading the credit card, making for a tricky January. November therefore is the perfect time to get stuck in. There are lots of great ideas on the Internet, from making jam, biscuits and truffles for culinary types to photo albums, music compilations and mini-movies for the art housers, or even bath fizzers and body scrubs for those spa gurus amongst you. You may even discover a great little business idea whilst you're at it!
10. Book your life coach and make next year the best yet
What could be a better way to prepare for the stresses of Christmas and start with fresh eyes in the new year? Your own personal coach can help you work through any old patterns you may be stuck in, blast out those self limiting beliefs and get a plan together for that new goal you’d like to achieve in 2014. Career hopes, finding a partner and refreshing your self-image can be so much easier with someone to help guide you. You know you deserve better and so what better time than now to give yourself a little TLC? Today is just the beginning!
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