Banish the winter blues!

I’m just back in from a lovely bracing walk. I wanted to share my morning with you to hopefully inspire you to get out walking to help banish the winter blues.

I usually find it ridiculously difficult to get out of bed – especially on these very dark mornings as we head into winter, but this morning I was wide awake from 6am so I got up. I decided to just get moving and jumped into the shower and was dressed and ready for the day before my alarm went of at 6:45. Result! I had given myself a head start – and it felt great!

I came downstairs, leaving the children to snore on for another half hour – giving me peace – and I opened up the curtains and looked outside. On first glance it just looked dark but as I busied myself in the house, clearing up a few dishes and sorting breakfast, I noticed the sky beginning to change colour.

I went outside to put some rubbish in the bin and boy was it cold! There was a definite nip in the air but it was really lovely to be outside early in the morning with the sky changing from black to indigo, with a definite light growing in the East as the sun started to rise.

I noticed a couple of really bright stars in the sky and then realised that it was actually Venus and Jupiter. In the distance there was also a faint red dot – it was Mars. I grabbed my phone to take a picture – I would have missed seeing this if I had still been in bed. You can’t really pick out the faint red dot in the photo (it was on a phone after all) but the other two brighter planets can be seen.

Morning sky - Venus, Jupiter & Mars
Venus and Jupiter with a distant Mars

I came back inside to warm up and sat for ten minutes just breathing and meditating before the children got up. It was so peaceful and lovely. I woke the children and had breakfast then noticed a beautiful robin sitting in the garden. It reminded me to be mindful and to be present – to notice things around me.

As we ate breakfast my daughter shouted, “Squirrel!” Sure enough there was a little grey squirrel on the roof of the garden shed – probably looking for nuts. I have been leaving a few nuts out for the birds lately and the squirrels most definitely love them too!

A squirrel sitting in the garden
Squirrel in the garden

Before the school run I decided to quickly get the house-work done – I was up so early it was great! Usually I can’t get much done in the mornings because I’ve slept in past my alarm and we are running late.

After the school run I decided to go for a walk. I parked up at Stricklands Glen, a lovely wooded area near my house, and I walked through the glen. I headed on out to the coastal path and then walked into Bangor and back. On the way out the sun was shining and it was beautiful. I noticed there were a lot of ships and fishing trawlers in the bay – there is storm forecast for later.

As I made my return journey the wind picked up and the sky started to darken. As I write this now the sky outside my window is black and menacing. I threw my arms out and embraced the wind. It was icy cold but fantastically refreshing. I felt it blow away all the cobwebs and I noticed I was smiling as I walked.

It was such a fantastic way to start the day. I wrote previously about making a conscious choice each day to do something that serves you. I definitely made good choices this morning. Getting up 45 minutes early and going out for that lovely walk has given me a boost of energy and mental clarity.

The winter doesn’t have to be a depressing time. If it wasn’t for the darkness this morning, I wouldn’t have seen Mars, Jupiter and Venus. The wildlife are coming out to play in my garden too – the robins and squirrels are regular visitors. It gives me pleasure to leave out nuts and seeds for them to munch on. I like to think of them going home to their little families and enjoying their treats every day.

We can choose to stay indoors and be sad that it is cold and dark outside or we can get up and get moving. To help inspire people to do this I have set up a Facebook group where we can all motivate each other. You can find it by clicking here.

Its purpose is to help people find the support they need at this time of year. I would like it to become an inspiring and supportive community where people can connect and perhaps meet up to walk together or to go for coffee. It is important that you are not isolated and that you can reach out for support if you are feeling the winter blues.

If you would like to join the group please do! How do you stay motivated in the darker days? What are your favourite things to do and what makes you happy at this time of year? Please leave a comment or share your stories – I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to find out more about Rocks n Rituals or the work that I do with my clients please visit my website.

Love and light to you all. Have a fantastic day!

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