Top 50 things Brits do to get through Gloomy Winter

Brits will turn to movies, family time and comfort food to get them through a gloomy winter, according to research.

A study of 2,000 adults found 57 per cent actively look for pick-me-ups when the days get darker and the weather gets colder to boost their mood and keep them buoyant.

Those polled will also seek comfort and reassurance by popping on cosy fluffy socks and slippers (19 per cent) and enjoying the restorative powers of hot chocolate (20 per cent).

They’ll also indulge in relaxing bubble baths (15 per cent) and freshly baked cakes (17 per cent) to see them through winter.

While box sets (15 per cent), comfy PJ’s (19 per cent) and log fires (11 per cent) will also bring comfort during chillier times.

Says Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll, who is working with Healthspan Vitamin D which commissioned the research:

“Often small pleasures remind us of pleasant memories, and so act as a mental comfort blanket.

“Cosy socks and jumpers can be particularly soothing and joyous because as young infants we relied on physical touch to bond with our primary caregivers.”

“Finding relief from the constant ‘permacrisis’ of the last few months and winter can be a particularly challenging time.

“Positive distractions such as watching a favourite movie and spending time with loved ones are both excellent ways of giving yourself a break from chronic, heightened stress.”

More than a third of adults (37 per cent) admit they spend more time in a bad mood when winter has the nation fully in its grip.

Finding the family to work balance

Four in 10 (40 per cent) feel more lethargic in winter, and 31 per cent do less exercise when it’s dark, wet and windy out.

But on the positive side, 27 per cent believe they get better sleep during the colder months than they do in summer.

The anticipation of Christmas (24 per cent) and Christmas Day itself (29 per cent) are what many love about the winter months – in addition to the changing colours of the seasons (27 per cent)

Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) love the cosy indulgence of winter and 21 per cent said they revel in comfort eating.

A huge 86 per cent of respondents believe it’s important to look after their mental health during the gloomy winter months.

As a result, 41 per cent feel they need to make more effort to do the things that make them happy, compared to the rest of the year.

This year in particular is going to put that theory to the test, as 58 per cent think things like the rising cost of living will dent their mental fortitude.

But more than half (51 per cent) admit to feeling ‘guilty’ at least occasionally for taking time to look after their mental health or happiness, according to the OnePoll figures.

Adds Dr Meg Arroll: 

“Finding the balance between making sure you’re taking time for yourself and meeting all your other commitments – from family to work – can be challenging.

“But as this survey shows, there is awareness that it’s even more important to look after yourself in the wintertime and during times of uncertainty.

“As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup – so even small amounts of winter respite will be beneficial for not only your own wellbeing, but for that of your loved ones also.”

Top 50 things Brits do to help them through winter

  1. Watch a movie
  2. Spend time with family
  3. Eat more comfort food
  4. Christmas films
  5. Roast dinners
  6. Exercise
  7. Cook a proper homecooked meal
  8. Hot chocolate
  9. Fluffy socks / slippers
  10. Spend time outdoors
  11. Wearing pyjamas / loungewear
  12. Spend time with friends
  13. Take a vitamin D supplement
  14. Watch a comedy
  15. Light candles
  16. Sunlight
  17. Eat cake
  18. The Football World Cup
  19. Laughter (make sure I get a good laugh everyday)
  20. Eat more chocolate
  21. Eat more fruit and vegetables
  22. Cuddles
  23. Watch a box set
  24. Online shopping
  25. A hot bath with smellies
  26. Bake cakes
  27. Have more lie-ins
  28. Sex
  29. Going to the pub
  30. Planning or booking a holiday for the following spring/ summer
  31. Have more duvet days
  32. Spend money on cosy clothes
  33. A log fire
  34. Electric blankets
  35. Phone a friend for a gossip
  36. Sea air
  37. Black Friday sales
  38. Do a jigsaw
  39. Listen to podcasts
  40. Go on a winter sun holiday
  41. Practice mindfulness
  42. Have a pampering session
  43. Watch true crime shows
  44. Dance
  45. Daydream
  46. Do a colouring book
  47. Add grounding rituals to my days
  48. Outdoor/cold water swimming
  49. Fake tan
  50. Reading books
Chris Price