Sincerely, Loree is a lifestyle blog that focuses on travel, books, culture, fashion and slow living on the small Mediterranean island of Malta.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

How to beat the winter blues

It’s more than 1 week into February already and, for someone like me who loves winter, the season is going by way too quickly. No one can really complain about winter in this country – the sun shines nearly every other day and we only have 2 to 3 weeks of weather that we can really call cold. So miserable winters are not really something we have to deal with, but people complain anyway. But for those that do have to contend with dreary grey skies, rain or snow and mind-numbing temperatures, the lack of light, warmth and colour can easily bring on a case of the winter blues. So while I am loving every minute of it and wishing it will last at least till June, I know that many people struggle with their moods at this time of year so I thought of sharing a few things you could do to help you cheer up.



  • Book a trip to a sunny location for a few days. Places like Egypt, Morocco, Florida, Hawaii and the Caribbean spring to mind. I would recommend the Mediterranean too but we do get some temperamental days and if they happen to coincide with the days of your trip and you’ve come here for the sun, it might be a bit upsetting.
  • Bake a cake or some cookies: I don’t know about you but the smell of baking instantly cheers me up and baking anything with lemons in it is sure to make me smile. There’s something really cheerful about their bright yellow colour and incorporating them in food (cakes and cookies are food right?) creates an instant pick-me-up.
  • Watch a ‘feel good’ TV series, preferably filmed in a sunny location, like ‘The Durrells’. Based on the series of books ‘The Corfu Trilogy’ by Gerald Durrell, it recounts the amusing stories of a family of English ex-pats who move to Corfu in the 1930s. The series introduces us to a host of lovable, if eccentric, characters, blue water that stretches for miles, days of endless sunshine, cuddly animals and a world that had still not lost its innocence. ‘The Durrells’ will truly do wonders to lift your spirits.
Keeley Hawes, Josh O'Connor, Milo Parker, Daisy Waterstone, and Callum Woodhouse in The Durrells (2016)
  • Cook a cheerful meal: comfort food is great for cold winter days but sometimes it helps to have some sunshine on your plate. This recipe for pasta with tuna and lemon from Nick Stellino’s book ‘Glorious Italian Cooking’ is not only easy to make but the flavours are absolutely delicious. It is one of my staple recipes that tastes great no matter the season.

  • Write a letter to someone you have not been in contact with for a while. I got so excited last week because I found the last known home address of a friend I had made through blogging. She went on to do bigger and better things, like publishing a book, and her blogs (she had several over the years) were all taken down. I’ve been searching for her all over the internet in the hope of connecting again. Then, last week, as I cleaned out one of my Mailboxes I found an email with her home address buried under 4000 or so  useless notifications from Facebook and other such sites. So I wrote a letter and I’ll wait and see whether she ever receives it. Little things like this can easily put a spark into your day. On that note, if someone would like a postcard from a sunny place,drop me a line at: stories.scribbles@gmail.com and I will be happy to oblige.
  • Shop for a few essentials for SS2019 (retail therapy always works right?). The more vibrant colours that are prevalent during spring and summer will act as instant mood enhancers. There is a dearth of decent shops in my part of the world. Retailers seem to have forgotten that not everyone is a teenager or twenty years old. Whenever I want something that is well made, colourful and unusual I head to Monsoon. Most other high street stores seem to be going through an 80s revival and I am really not amused.
  • If none of the above helps, get a sun lamp. Light therapy has been scientifically proven to treat and alleviate seasonal affective disorder which can occur due to lack of natural light during the autumn and winter months.
With winter almost more than half gone, at least in these southerly realms, these few recommendations are a little bit late but I hope that you will find some of them useful whenever your mood may be a bit off-kilter. Although grey skies and short days don’t affect me, it doesn’t mean I am always in a cheerful mood, yet the simple act of compiling this list made me feel happy, because I was thinking about positive things. So maybe that’s one more way to beat the winter blues.
Photographed in Fawwara, January 2016.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Loree - oh yes, love, love, love The Durrells in Corfu and am eagerly awaiting the next season over here!

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    1. Yes, me too. I think Season 4 should be the last one though, which is a bit sad.

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  2. Great suggestions, Loree
    Winter here has been a fairly good balance of sun and white skies so far. Live cams on seashores also chheers me up in winter, knowing the sun is out there somewhere. :)

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    1. I suppose the sun is always shining somewhere. Rest assured that it will make its way to your part of the world soon enough.

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  3. ALL GOOD RECOMMENDATIONS!
    However, is it me NONE OF YOUR PHOTOS ARE SHOWING UP!!!!!!
    That book on a home in SICILY sounds right up my alley!
    THANK YOU!
    XX

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    1. I was having a problem publishing photos but I think I;ve fixed it now. Fingers crossed ... Yes, you would love the book. The author was very feisty - like you.

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  4. Super tips Loree for beating the winter blues. I especially love the lemon idea. How can one slice one of those in half and not be transported to a sunny place. Thanks for such an uplifting post. With your help I just may make it through February and winter's gray skies. Hugs!

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    1. Aren't lemons just the best thing ever? They really do uplift my mood.

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  5. I hate winter the days are so short, you get up in the dark and at 4 pm it's dark again. I try to do my best to support these months. Now it's better, it's even unusually warm we have 15° and the days are longer too until 6.30 ! Probably the frost will come back, but the worst is over !

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