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Literally and metaphorically winters can be dark and hard to deal with especially if you are living in a rainy mind.And this comes from someone who loves rain and darkness. But Seasonal Affective Disorder—or SAD is a very real condition that affects a large number of people.


I’m not going to pretend that all days can be saved, realistically,some days are going to be unfixable. And that’s ok, you can’t change the weather,let it rain,bring your rain boots,this too shall pass.
Others can be saved with little actions of self-care and patience.

This is a simple, fun guide to deal with those, fixable days instead of letting the darkness settle in.

Understand the science behind your crankiness.

There’s a small gland in our brain called the pineal. When the pineal detects darkness it releases melatonin,which is responsible for our sleep cycles. During those long dark days,our bodies are being forced to be awake when the brain thinks it should be asleep,hence the bad mood. It’s all about brain chemistry, not your fault or weakness. Let go of the guilt, and if you live in a very dark part of the world, consider investing in a light box that mimics natural light and boosts your serotonin production.Keep your environment well-lit.


Self explanatory, but I could not leave this one out of the list for obvious reasons. It works,it really does and there are plenty of people out there including mychelf that swear their workout routine has saved the day more than once. If I happen to miss my training session, even on a good day, for some ungodly reason,make sure you keep a healthy distance,’cause I’m not gonna be a good company.

Make your home your happy place.

When it’s too cold and dark to spend time outdoors, make sure your home is nice and cozy, whatever that means to you.
Life feels better when you are looking forward to go home and get comfy. Your space should reflect your taste and tastefully decorated room can be so comforting and relaxing especially during those endless cold nights. Wall art, fresh flowers, soft fabrics and a couple of candles can really make a difference without breaking the bank. Make a nice hot cup of cocoa and give yourself permission to indulge.

Plant a plant!

Spend the weekend getting your hands dirty and your house greener. Plants help reduce stress levels and create a feeling of well-being which is exactly what you need when it gets all dark and windy, weatherwise and mentalwise.

Pamper yourself.

Yes, you may have replaced your heeled sandals with over the knee boots but do not, I repeat do not let yourself go, just because you are hiding in layers of jumpers and pashminas.Do your nails,take a long hot bath, and spend time hydrating your skin,hair and lips to make sure they stay healthy and glowy despite the harsh winter temperatures. Invest in leave-in products for your hair and sleep-in products for your face and lips.Boys, don’t feel left out, you do your thing as well,being well-groomed should not be a seasonal luxury!

 And while your face mask is sinking in, why not bake a delicious treat?

Cooking or baking has become a common cure for stress and can be a very relaxing activity, and now there might actually be some science to back that up!There is growing recognition in psychology research that creativity is associated with emotional functioning and baking can be a legit therapeutic tool against seasonal depression.

Organize your bits & pieces!

You don’t even have to go Marie Kondo in a single day. Start small and declutter your junk drawer, organize your desk or a kitchen cabinet or simply your wallet and see how this affects your mood while decreasing the sence of chaos that triggers hidden behavioural issues. Washable craft bags are a great space-saver while offering fast and easy access to your most used everyday items such as remote controls, battery chargers,usb flash drives and cables!

The overall point is to actively draw your mindset towards a more positive direction and use the traditional tools of cognitive psychology to utilize your brains flexibility and train it to make the best out of a dark day-  weather wise and mentalwise.

How do you tackle your dark days?

Let’s make this post the starting point of a conversation where we can all share out tips and experiences to help each other out!I’m always here for you on all my social media platforms: Join the chelfdom by subscribing to the blog with your email address on your right, find me on Instagram or Tumblr and make sure we’re friends on FB to keep in touch.










  1. Vox says:

    You’re right; doing anything productive on cranky or sad days—exercising, cleaning, or planning—helps me feel better about my situation and improves my mood instantly. Thanks for shedding light on something we all go through.

    • says:

      It’s hard to take the first few steps towards doing something productive or creative BUT it’s a proven way to cheer up and feel a bit better indeed! Thank you for stopping by!

  2. These are some great suggestions. Although, honestly, I can’t really relate. At least not right now. I live in southern California, and we’d all be outside dancing in the streets if we saw rain.

    Though, the good news is there is a day of light rain forecasted for mid-January. Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I’ll be sure to hold on to them for those rainy days. 🙂

    • says:

      In that case I hope you are having a glorious rainy day! <3

  3. Really enjoyed your blogpost. I don’t struggle with depression, but will be moving to Montana in a few years and will be dealing with a lot of seclusion during the long winters. I currently live in San Diego, so it will be a big change. I do love the seasons, especially rain, but haven’t had to deal with it for an extended time in many years. Great tips to keep in mind! Happy New Year!

    • says:

      Hi Hilda! I’m currently based in greece, we do get a lot of sunshine but I also spend a lot of time in the UK so I’m no stranger to the seasonal mood disorders. I crave the rain and the winter weather, it’s what truly makes me happy, however I do get it, sometimes it can be too much, especially in parts of the world like scandinavia. Good luck with all your endeavours in Montana, I’m sure you’ll thrive and kick ass! Happy new year to you too!

    • says:

      many thanks!

  4. Pam says:

    These are definitely all ways to make yourself feel better during the darker months. I especially agree with the exercise and pampering!!

    • says:

      Both work like a charm 😉

  5. Great tips for any day to make it a positive day.I love to spend time among plants.Organizing is also a good idea,but that cannot change my mood.Instead I love to cook something new…

    • says:

      Hi Amila! It’s all about experimenting and trying new things to see what works best for you!Organizing really helps me get my thoughts in order, for someone else that might be listening to music or like you said being among plants! As long as we try,we will find something that works 🙂

  6. Haris Vavalidis says:

    Wow ! I always thought messy house is a source of inspiration but I’ll try to follow your advice to see if it works better hahahaha!!! + reading a good book + take a walk in the city while listening music in headphones +++++ going to concerts, works prefect for me!! 😉

    • says:

      It’s definitely not a rule of thumb,whatever works for you! Maybe an organized chaos is soothing for you in which case go for it! Going to concerts is a good one indeed! I love how you guys add to the list <3 Nothing takes the blues away like a good ol' mosh pit Haris! Thanks for stoping by mate!

  7. Chelf, I honestly always feel better when I read your posts! There’s a life and delight in your content. UMM and VEGAN cake recipe, yes please! I’m also a big fan of gardening, my plants really do boost my mood.

    • says:

      Hey gorgeous!The love is mutual!

  8. Did you take all of these photos yourself?? The photo quality is
    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You have inspired me to go and clean my whole house now hahaha I am so used to clutter but I really do think that having a good old tidy can really change your mindset to a positive one 🙂 Keep at it gal x

    • says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this one as well Tash!

  9. I had no idea about the gland that makes melatonin but dang it makes sense. and your cake looks delightful!

    • says:

      Yeap, it’s all about biology and chemistry Marlene 🙂

  10. I love the photos and I think the post is great. Sometimes its hard to remember what to do to keep sane. I’ll try to remember to pamper myself as often I can.

    • says:

      Thank you for the kind words Alexandra! A little self care goes a long way! <3

    • says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the post! A neat tidy space sure helps a lot!

  11. I think i would have the hardest time determining what kind of natural light fixtures I could come up with. But all of these are good to prevent the darkness from spreading internally. I do agree that exercise works. Just have to remind myself to fit it into my day.

    • says:

      They make light boxes specifically for that purpose David. And yes, exercise does work indeed! It really helps a lot! If you are sort on time I suggest downloading the NTC app and fit in a few mini workouts at home! Keep me updated and good luck!

  12. You know, sometimes I just catch myself in a bad mood. Not sure how I got there and in those moments, you’re completely right. I have to stop and ask myself,”why am I so cranky” lol. Usually I can turn it around but sometimes there’s no getting out of the funk.

    • says:

      Hey there! Yeap some days cannot be saved and that’s totally ok! But when you can turn it around, you get a feeling of accomplishment which is sooo satisfying, right?

  13. This is a lovely post. Iv had my own techniques in the past but will definitely be taking these suggestions into the new year! starting with the plant ideas and pampering 🙂 x

  14. I agree with making your home a happy place, after work going home should be a place of comfort. I have plants all over my house too.

  15. Rose says:

    I love these ideas. They are so easy and manageable for everyone. It makes complete sense to bring warmth and cheeriness inside when the outside is disappointing and uninviting. My kids are always quick to figure something out even beyond television when challenged. Reading, games spa day are their go tos.

  16. Long dark days can definitely leave me in a cranky mood. One of the best things I like to do when I’m feeling that way is to cuddle into a warm blanket and watch a movie with my hubby. We also add the “natural sunlight” bulbs to our lamps in the winter because we’ve found it really helps with mood swings.

    • says:

      Sounds like the perfect remedy combo to me Heidi!

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