It is official! The sunny, bright and warm days of summer have slowly faded away. No more sunbathing, wearing light dresses, sandals, picnics on the grass! Here come the warmer clothes, the raincoats and umbrellas. And above all the gloominess! For the last two days that is all we’ve had in Vienna. Grayness greets you in the morning and lingers on all day, stubbornly! Even the public transports which are usually precise and punctual in Vienna went into a semi chaotic state as if confused by the melancholic feeling in the air and constant rain.
So after commiserating and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to react and make a list of solutions that may help us all stay healthy and positive this autumn and winter! Here are my top 10:
1.Exercise! Get outdoors! This may seem like a contradiction in this kind of climate but there is nothing like breathing the morning air and be in contact with nature. Much better than being locked in a gym with artificial lighting. If you have a park nearby, go running or even walking. Breath in the fresh air, it will make you start your day with a fresh perspective. I do Nordic Walking even when it snows and it makes me feel positive and ready to face even the gloomiest of days. Even if there is no park nearby, you can still run or go for an early morning walk in your neighborhood . Get some fresh air!
2. Eat Healthy! Lots of smoothies and fruit juices taking advantage of the seasonal products you can find at the local Farmer’s market or supermarket. These can help balance your weight and your sugar cravings even if you cook more comforting seasonal food.
3. Get out of the house! Go to a museum, bookshop, coffee shop, somewhere that makes you happy. See people. Take pictures, embrace the light, even try some in Black & White. There is a lot that may inspire you. I love to walk in Vienna with my camera and get inspired. Don’t isolate yourself, you are not hibernating!
4. Stock on books that make you feel happy, good, positive! Traveling books are a good choice, they take you on exciting journeys even if you can’t travel. I would also recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book “Big Magic”a fantastic guide to encourage you to use your creativity. Or try Bibliotherapy a very interesting project that believes it can help people solve problems through book therapy. Check it out!
5. Take a course! Any course, something you’ve been postponing for some time. It can be cooking, photography, learning a new language, you name it. Recently I discovered Coursera through the recommendation of a friend of mine. Through them you can have access to Universities worldwide and to some of their online courses. It is a free service, you can participate, do the assignments if you wish and receive a certificate or just enjoy the course without any pressure. I did a very interesting course on Photography with the University of London and it was great.
6. Travel to a warm, sunny place or to a place you always wanted to but have always been postponing until now. Now is the time. Despite being biased, Portugal, my country, is known for having more than 300 sunny days a year. So why not follow my example (I’ll be there very soon!) and explore Portugal. Besides the sunny days, we have a wonderful cuisine, beautiful, historical monuments, amazing beaches, the sea and the most welcoming people in Europe! But don’t take my word for it, have a look!
7. Listen to music, catch up on your favorite series or/and movies!
8. Keep in touch with your friends! Organize game nights. Create a book club. Organize a potluck event. Invite people over. Or just have a girls or boys night out! Be social!
9. On down moments, focus on the positive things in your life and be grateful for what you have accomplished.
10. When all else fails, feel free to indulge, eat that ice cream or dessert, buy that expensive something if you can afford it. Then start over the next day!