Now that the clocks have turned back, our days feel even shorter, making many New Zealanders in the UK feel depressed about the onset of winter. Don’t panic, here’s some advice on surviving those long cold months.
Never underestimate the importance of a good winter coat and all the accessories. Invest in some warm gloves, scarves, hats and boots. You will need them. Carrying a brollie is not optional – always have one at the bottom of your bag. You don’t want to get drenched and be the shivering, damp-smelling person on the bus.
Have a drink…
Don’t let the dark and damp keep you indoors. Still go out with friends and stay social.
Scout out your local drinking holes. The one that was your haunt in summer is probably not going to be the best during winter months. Scrap the courtyards, and find the cosy local with an open fire if possible. On big nights out, start carrying cash for the cloakroom.
….But don’t overdo it
You may be tempted to drown your sorrows in a bottle, but as alcohol is a depressant it can do more harm than good: try making yourself a fresh smoothie with fruit juice instead.
Avoid getting sick
Keep eating fresh fruit and veggies. Avoid your time being ruined by the latest bug (those who had last year’s Norovirus will know what we mean) and keep your immune system strong. However, you probably will get sick at least once and it is a real downer. Stock up on cold and flu medicine and tissues in case and steer clear of people coughing on the tube.
Join a gym
Or get any exercise you possibly can. Walk everywhere you can, get a Wii fit, or just try marching up and down the stairs a few times. Exercise relieves stress and is great for the metabolism, so you don’t need to worry about those stodgy festive dinners.
There’s a reason the Brits eat roasts in winter. You need hearty food during the cold months. Find a local pub with a good Sunday roast, or even get your friends around for one. Make sure you get into all the trimmings, including Yorkshire pudding.
We often get so caught up travelling in the summer we forget about the amazing places to be seen in winter. Go skiing. Take advantage of off-season cheap flights and see cities in a different light. Scandinavia is especially beautiful in winter. Also, don’t forget Britain. If you’re feeling down about the weather why not spend a weekend in Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast or even Bath. For those lucky enough to be able, break up winter with a trip home.
Get involved in as many winter events as possible. Go ice skating. Enjoy the fireworks across London on New Year’s Eve. Winter is also the best time to do all those indoor things you meant to in summer such as The British Museum, a West End Show and The Tate Modern.
Buy some sun
Don’t get sad, or even SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Eat oily fish, eggs and find good vitamin D supplements if you are the type to miss the sun. Eat Carrots – the vitamin D will boost your immune system and energy levels in general. Try out a recipe for carrot and coriander soup.
Sun lamps provide a bright light similar to sunlight, but with no UV rays. They have been clinically shown to help with depression, and are certainly cheaper than a Caribbean cruise.