When the nights draw in I hardly ever seem to see daylight, except from my desk window. The evenings can be long, sedentary and dull. So after some thought; chewing tops of biros, a new spreadsheet, calendar and brainstorming with myself, I decided that a cunning plan is needed to make my winter a bit more fun. Here goes…

Work: Play my “happy songs” on the way to work to start me off with good vibrations. I always seem to wear dark colours, so I have dug out a couple of old sparkly cardigans (black and dark red with sequins on), to wear over my imposed ‘uniform’. Bright scarves, spangly earrings, a few bits of bling and a necklace, also made it onto the list. I thought that would be a talking point and hopefully raise my colleagues’ mood with my twinkles! At lunchtime, I decided to go for a walk inside on the gym machine (if it’s rainy), at least three times a week.

Rainy days: Have you noticed how everyone walks hunched up and looks miserable when the weather turns wet and windy? I have found a large, multi-coloured umbrella and waterproof bootees to put in the car for just that day. I will make a concerted effort to look cheery and splash in car park puddles, whilst warbling a few bars of ‘Singing In The Rain!’

Evenings: When you are working, you don’t always want to live the high life in the evenings. Ever conscious of the old leccy bill, I love my candles in the winter time. They give a magical glow, wonderful reflections, and an air of mystery (especially if I can’t see where I’ve put my glasses). I’ve also been marking on my calendar a variety of things to do that make me smile before dinner. For example: find my yoga mat and start with half an hour of gentle moves from Marta while the spuds are on, look up some tap dance steps on YouTube, find my tap shoes and puff my way through one routine a week. This will be a challenge as my muscle memory from years ago is probably a bit vague, my stamina questionable, and the walls quite thin, so I wonder if the neighbours will mind all the clacking! To relax, I make time for a meditation from the Happynesshub before retiring to bed. Most importantly, I catch up with my gratitude diary.

Next on the list – phone my pal and make regular dates to play cards; we always have a laugh. It increases mathematical dexterity, skill and craftiness – of course the obligatory glass or two of Prosecco is necessary. Keep up with my Sudoku, crosswords and Scrabble. Read my book club books at least a week before the meeting and don’t cram at the last minute. I find I look very vague and nod in agreement a lot when I have forgotten the plot. I must also finish the colouring book I started last winter. Gosh, the list goes on…

So, have a think about how you will keep your happiness levels up as the season changes and the nights draw in; how you can brighten your days and evenings – and also the other people around you. 

P.S. Don’t forget to take your sunshine vitamin D, helps keep the blues away! (Or so I’ve been told).