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
- Watch a movie
- Spend time with family
- Eat more comfort food
- Christmas films
- Roast dinners
- Cook a proper homecooked meal
- Hot chocolate
- Fluffy socks / slippers
- Spend time outdoors
- Wearing pyjamas / loungewear
- Spend time with friends
- Take a vitamin D supplement
- Watch a comedy
- Light candles
- Eat cake
- The Football World Cup
- Laughter (make sure I get a good laugh everyday)
- Eat more chocolate
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Watch a box set
- Online shopping
- A hot bath with smellies
- Bake cakes
- Have more lie-ins
- Going to the pub
- Planning or booking a holiday for the following spring/ summer
- Have more duvet days
- Spend money on cosy clothes
- A log fire
- Electric blankets
- Phone a friend for a gossip
- Sea air
- Black Friday sales
- Do a jigsaw
- Listen to podcasts
- Go on a winter sun holiday
- Practice mindfulness
- Have a pampering session
- Watch true crime shows
- Do a colouring book
- Add grounding rituals to my days
- Outdoor/cold water swimming
- Fake tan
- Reading books