Image shows - 'Every act of kindness creates a ripple without end'. Anon.

The Grey Day Survival Guide

Image shows - Chocolate, chocolate, and maybe more chocolate...
Chocolate, chocolate, and maybe more chocolate...

I love most shades of grey. Weather-aged vintage zinc, pebble-grey front doors and charcoal cashmere…

Grey skies? Not so much.

You know those days so dull that you wonder if Mother Nature forgot to paint in the sky when she got up that morning?

Days so grey that the sun can’t be bothered to rise and it gets dark at some point after lunch and definitely before mid-afternoon caffeine hits?

On days like that, I find life harder. What about you?

Image shows - Grey skies over the Northumberland coast
Grey skies over the Northumberland coast

 

I am designed for blue skies and temperatures firmly in the red. Sunshine on my face makes me feel alive.

On grey days, here is what I do to stay bright (some of it is even scientific – honest!):

I enjoy whatever I need to get me going in the morning. In my house that means an egg boiled to soft squidgy perfection and granary toast with Brittany butter dotted with seasalt crystals.

For you it might be java, juice, your best homemade/deli-made something on chunky toast – or even a sneaky bowl of the kids’ sugary cereal after they’ve left for school. Whatever it takes just feed your soul. Grey days are not brightened by diet food.

 

If staying in bed with a good book isn’t an option, I channel my duvet day into what I wear. There’s a nine-year-old cashmere jumper that feels like a portable cuddle. Or my Seasalt coat with the furry lining. Or my slipper soft padded boots.

Image shows - Cosy clothes and comforting drinks are the way to go on grey days
Cosy clothes and comforting drinks are the way to go on grey days

I phone a friend. One who makes me laugh. You know who you are ladies 🙂

I ignore chores. What’s the point of putting on a wash? It won’t dry. And you’ll just end up looking at underwear on radiators for the next two days.

I take to the skies… via my laptop. Grey days are great holiday planning days.

Image shows - 'Every act of kindness creates a ripple without end'. Anon.
'Every act of kindness creates a ripple without end'. Anon.

 

Doing something for someone else boosts your own spirits. I’m not a scientist, but Michael Steger is. He’s a psychologist at the University of Louisville who studied students to see whether pleasure seeking or selfless acts made them happier.

And yep, you’ve guessed it…Although the motive might be self-serving, at least the action is pure. And hopefully, you will brighten someone else’s grey day too.

Salmon, dark chocolate, blueberries, turmeric, spinach, oysters and coffee are all proven to improve mood. A menu containing all of them might end up a little Heston-esque. And oysters are a ‘non non’ in months with an ‘r’ in them.

Oh well, chocolate it is then. When it comes to dark chocolate I am torn between two favourites – Divine and Montezumas. Research is ongoing. (And as you can imagine I am taking it VERY seriously).

Image shows - Dark chocolate brings light into my life...
Dark chocolate brings light into my life...

Let there be light – just not too much. Lamps are proven (yes, that science bit again) to have a more calming effect on our moods than bright overhead lights.

Winter’s Moon has a range of retro lamps and lampshades that will brighten even the darkest day. If you only have overhead lights, soften the effect with some vintage Edison filament bulbs from Industville.

Decorative filament bulbs
Image shows - Kitchen disco anyone?
Kitchen disco anyone?

Crank up the kitchen disco. Research from the University of Missouri, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that upbeat music makes us feel happy. Join the party Pharrell, Justin T and Mr Mars.

As for Monsieur Chopin and Herr Beethoven, we will come back to you on a sunnier day.

Image shows - Bed, glorious bed
Bed, glorious bed

 

Bedtime can be a moveable feast when the sun hasn’t even risen.

I grab a book and treat my toes to an evening snuggle in my slubby linen sheets.

What do you do when skies are grey?

Send us your Grey Day Survival tips…