How to stave off the annual bleak midwinter blues of January?
The trick is to prevent them before they have time to begin. To have a survival kit ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.
So, over the next few days, I’m putting together my suggestions. I've already blogged about how to make sure you can keep those New Year Resolutions; now comes the survival kit!
First, I’m following another rather more famous cleric – the Rev Sydney Smith, who also suffered from low spirits in the winter and who wrote to a friend in 1820 offering ideas for winter solace.
“1st,” he wrote, “live as well as you dare.” I like that.
He then advocated cool showers, the avoidance of poetry, music and serious words, and not to expect too much from human life. Those I am not so keen on.
But what about some of his other suggestions:
- amusing books
- being as busy as you can
- attending to the effects coffee and tea produce upon you
- being as much as you can in the open air
- making the room ‘where you commonly sit gay and pleasant’
- don’t be too severe upon yourself
- keep good blazing fires
- ‘be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion’
- ‘short views of human life – not further than dinner or tea’
- see as much as you can of friends who like you – and of acquaintances who amuse you
My survival kit now has a few good things in it. What might you add to the list?
But yet, it's not enough.... so come back later this week for parts two and three - why not sign up to have them delivered straight into your inbox?