Wednesday 23 January 2019

How the North East is helping me to Beat SAD and the Winter Blues

This post includes collaborations with Katherine's Florists and Helenlee Loves

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I have been suffering very badly from SAD this Winter. It makes an appearance ever year however this time it came pre Christmas and took me completely by surprise - it left me feeling very low, tired and emotional and getting up each day to carry on as usual actually became a bit of a struggle. In an attempt to put myself back on track for 2019 I've been investing a lot of time in coming up with ways to beat SAD and the Winter Blues and the North East has really been helpful

Whilst I most certainly have my newly purchased Lumi light and sunrise clock to thank for helping me during the week - I have, for some reason, found weekends particularly hard and that's where I've been using my love for the North East to help pull me through the darker times.

How the North East is helping me to Beat SAD and the Winter Blues
If any of you are suffering from SAD this Winter, I thought you might appreciate reading how the North East is helping me to beat the Winter Blues.

Health Kicks in the North East

Starting with an obvious one, eating well and regularly exercising truly does help to keep things in life looking a little brighter. As much as eating cake and slobbing about watching Netflix sometimes seems very tempting I know that if I eat good quality fresh food and then push myself to do some exercise it will inevitably help me to get out of my funk. It's not always the easiest thing to do but the results are almost instant, something I have to constantly remind myself!

Check out my guide to Healthy Eating and and Fitness in the North Here.

Signs of Spring in Newcastle

I try to remind myself that Spring is just round the corner and so I wont feel this awful forever, and when that just isn't enough I enjoy heading somewhere where Spring has arrived early. Katherine's Florists have stores in Newcastle and Gosforth and they are an ideal place to go for bright blooms to brighten up your home. Their Spring collection has just arrived, the store is filled with the most vibrant colours and beautiful smells. Buying yourself a bunch of flowers will instantly give you a lift. At the moment I have the most beautiful simple bouquet from Katherine's on my coffee table - pink tulips, white roses and purple hyacinth - a daily reminder that Spring will soon be here!

Discover more about Katherine's Florists Spring Range here.

North East Winter Blues - Katherines Florists

Fresh Sea Air in Whitley Bay

I think it's important for everyone to have a happy place where they live, somewhere to escape to when you're struggling and for me it's Whitley Bay. I honestly can't tell you how important the little seaside town has become to me - I go there to clear my head and if I'm feeling sad a brisk walk in the sea air whilst doing a spot of dog watching and enjoying a coffee in a cosy local cafe is an instant fix. There's something so peaceful about being by the sea and with such a huge stretch of coastline in the North East there are plenty of beauty spots to choose from. Whether it's the bustle of North Tyneside or the serene views of Northumberland, there's no better cure for the Winter Blues.

Walking in Northumberland

We are so spoilt here in the North East and have miles and miles of beautiful walks and there really is no need to wait for the warmer months before getting out for an explore. Crisp Winter days in Northumberland can be stunning and without the throngs of tourists, our pretty villages can be deserted - you will have the hills to yourself and those picture perfect views will offer you hours of peace and quiet to recharge your batteries. Pack a flask of tea, take your favourite person and walk for miles!

To find out more about some of our favourite Northumberland walks in our guides:  Hareshaw Linn Waterfall, Low Newton Coastal Walk and Hadrian's Wall

North East Winter Blues - Hadrians Wall

Escape to Barter Books

Of course when the days are particularly dark, it's freezing cold and the rain is pelting down it's not always easy to get out and about in the fresh air and on those days I love to escape somewhere that's not only dry and cosy but also inspires me and makes me happy. Everyone has different triggers when it comes to SAD and for me being cooped up indoors always brings it on so to have somewhere indoors to escape to that doesn't make me feel worse is important. Barter Books in Alnwick is a perfect indoor escape - dry and warm yet the beautiful rows of book shelves make for a great adventure and curling up in the corner with something new to read is a great way to pass the Winter.

Fresh Starts with Helenlee Loves

I'm definitely embracing the "tidy house, tidy mind" theory this January and have been having a major clean of my house and it really does make you feel better. I spent a very productive afternoon with local stylist Helenlee Loves tidying out my wardrobe and taking out any clothes that didn't make me feel great. When you're feeling sad making the effort to make your home somewhere welcoming and tidy does wonders for your state of mind. I'm loving only having a wardrobe of clothes that make me happy and not having clutter all over my bedroom makes me feel so much calmer in the mornings and I tend to find that if I have a nice start to the morning my day gets off to the very best start and I'm far less likely to suffer later in the day.

Read more about my Style Makeover with Helenlee Loves here

North East Winter Blues - Helenlee Loves

Pamper at a North East Spa

We have a lot of wonderful spas in the North East and this is the perfect time to book yourself in for a pamper. I highly recommend booking a day with your other half or choosing a friend who brings out the very best in you and commit yourselves to a few hours of lounging about reading magazines, relaxing in the steam room and, if your'e feeling extra fancy, maybe even book in for a massage. As someone who finds it hard to really relax this is one of my favourite treats in the Winter months.

To find out more about some of my favourite North East Spas check out my reviews of Wynyard Hall, Rockliffe Hall and The Garage Spa

Make a North East Bucket List for the Year

To keep myself busy in the Winter months I do enjoy a good planning session so that I can have something to look forward to. Whilst we don't all have the money to be booking holidays to the sunshine in January, making a Bucket List for the North East is a very easy and cheap way of giving yourself things to look forward to. There are so many great things to do in the region and I find that by taking the time out in January to make a proper plan we actually get to tick things off the list. I'm working on my 2019 list and whenever I feel sad I look ahead to our future plans and it makes me feel a little better.

North East Winter Blues

I can't promise that any of these things are an instant cure and, in all honesty, I'm still taking each day as it comes with some days being far harder than others, but whilst we sit and count down the days to the arrival of Spring I hope that this gives you a little bit of inspiration to help pull you through.

If you've suffered from SAD this Winter and have any of your own tips of how to deal with it I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Fab tips Chloe - I think focussing on getting organised and the year ahead has really helped you x

    1. Definitely! Still counting down to Spring though!

  2. Such a cute post! There's so many ways to keep SAD at bay and I'm going to see if there are any alternatives in Manchester like this!

    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  3. Great tips Chloe! I've never suffered with it before this year - usually in January I'm ready to change my life and work on my goals, but this year it has really hit me and I've been finding January SO hard!

    Nikki x

    1. This January definitely feels so much longer than any I've ever experienced - it just keeps going and going and going! Really hope you feel better soon x

  4. You so right though spring is nearly here! Now you've made me want a spa!

    1. I quite fancy a spa trip soon, it's been a while! Although I did follow my own advice and we did book in to a city centre retreat for a massage last week - bliss!


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