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COMBAT CABIN FEVER: INSIDE INFO

As the days shorten and the chilly air bites, it’s easy to feel hemmed in at home. To help you feel the warmth inside, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips to help you embrace those wintry months.

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1. THEME DAY
Watching films and TV helps offer comfort. When you’re stuck for inspiration, why not have a theme day – dig through your music catalogue, books and film collection and find things relating to a specific theme to enjoy.

2. LIGHTEN UP
Bringing more light into your day can help keep the winter blues at bay. Rise and shine – maximise the light that wakes you up by leaving your curtains slightly open or set your lamp to turn on with a timer. To bring some sunlight into busy areas, use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) in places like the hallway or kitchen.

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3. DECLUTTER
There’s no harm in starting a spring clean a season earlier. Winter months are great times to tackle the cupboard under the stairs, or dig into an old photo album to swap some framed pictures around. Avoid tackling the entire house at once, instead choose achievable areas that allow you to benefit from your efforts.

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4. CHANGING ROOMS
One of the least expensive ways to refresh a room involves rearranging your furniture. Re-examining what you already have with fresh eyes is greener, cheaper, and often more effective than buying something new. A top interior tip is to look at changing the area around your sofa – perhaps you could rearrange some shelving, add a table or change the wall hangings. Remember to move any furniture blocking your radiators.

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5. SUNSHINE DINE
When the darkness creeps in, winter stews take centre stage – but once in a while, why not embrace some summery delights? Take the time to plan a sun-soaked dinner. A prawn cocktail starter might be followed by roast chicken, peppers and feta, then a citrus cheese cake. All washed down with a refreshing glass of Pimms and lemonade.

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6. FEATHERED FRIENDS
A bird feeder is a great way to add action in your garden. Most likely visitors are starlings, house sparrows, blackbird, blue and great tits, robins, greenfinches and collared doves. In winter months there’s a food shortage and birds appreciate your efforts. Feed them high energy, high fat foods to help build their fat reserves to survive frosty nights. Either sit back and enjoy the sights or start a diary and track the varieties that visit your feeder. Lots of bird identification tips at www.rspb.org.uk

7. MIND THE GAPS
DIY tasks will keep you warm and bring your bills down. Draughtproof your doors and windows, insulate your loft, add a jacket to your hot-water tank, and consider getting cavity-wall insulation. Remember to have your heating system serviced every year.

8. WRAP UP
Ignoring the chilly winter months won’t make them go away. Wrap up warm and wander out – there’s really nothing better than embracing the weather. Remember lots of layers and a walking stick can help. If steps are slippy dust them with salt and consider fitting a grab rail – Age UK Camden can help.

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9. BAKE AN EXCUSE
Popping around to a neighbour is a great way to break up the day. Bake an excuse in the shape of a cup cake, muffin or pie. Arriving with something scrumptious is an easy way to let someone know you’re thinking of them and an instant winner to share over a cosy cup of tea.

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10. GET TOGETHERS
Long nights and bad weather can get you down. Avoid struggling on your own and boost your spirits with a social activity. Browse our Get Togethers section on this website, meet a friend, visit a local attraction and indulge in cup of hot chocolate. Even a small change of scenery can have a big impact on the winter blues.