Top 50 things Brits do to get them through a gloomy winter from comfy PJs to the World Cup | The Sun

BRITS will turn to movies, family time and comfort food to get them through a gloomy winter, according to research.

A study of 2,000 adults found 57 per cent actively look for pick-me-ups when the days get darker and the weather gets colder to boost their mood and keep them buoyant.

Those polled will also seek comfort and reassurance by popping on cosy fluffy socks and slippers (19 per cent) and enjoying the restorative powers of hot chocolate (20 per cent).

They’ll also indulge in relaxing bubble baths (15 per cent) and freshly baked cakes (17 per cent) to see them through winter.

While box sets (15 per cent), comfy PJ’s (19 per cent) and log fires (11 per cent) will also bring comfort during chillier times.

Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll, who is working with Healthspan Vitamin D which commissioned the research, said: “Often small pleasures remind us of pleasant memories, and so act as a mental comfort blanket.

“Cosy socks and jumpers can be particularly soothing and joyous because as young infants we relied on physical touch to bond with our primary caregivers.

“Finding relief from the constant ‘permacrisis’ of the last few months and winter can be a particularly challenging time.

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“Positive distractions such as watching a favourite movie and spending time with loved ones are both excellent ways of giving yourself a break from chronic, heightened stress.”

More than a third of adults (37 per cent) admit they spend more time in a bad mood when winter has the nation fully in its grip.

Four in 10 (40 per cent) feel more lethargic in winter, and 31 per cent do less exercise when it’s dark, wet and windy out.

But on the positive side, 27 per cent believe they get better sleep during the colder months than they do in summer.

The anticipation of Christmas (24 per cent) and Christmas Day itself (29 per cent) are what many love about the winter months – in addition to the changing colours of the seasons (27 per cent)

Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) love the cosy indulgence of winter and 21 per cent said they revel in comfort eating.  

A huge 86 per cent of respondents believe it’s important to look after their mental health during the gloomy winter months.

As a result, 41 per cent feel they need to make more effort to do the things that make them happy, compared to the rest of the year.

This year in particular is going to put that theory to the test, as 58 per cent think things like the rising cost of living will dent their mental fortitude.

But more than half (51 per cent) admit to feeling ‘guilty’ at least occasionally for taking time to look after their mental health or happiness, according to the OnePoll figures.

Dr Meg Arroll, speaking on behalf of Healthspan Vitamin D supplements, added: “This is really a crucial part of this whole conversation.

“Finding the balance between making sure you’re taking time for yourself and meeting all your other commitments – from family to work – can be challenging.

“But as this survey shows, there is awareness that it’s even more important to look after yourself in the wintertime and during times of uncertainty.

“As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup – so even small amounts of winter respite will be beneficial for not only your own wellbeing, but for that of your loved ones also.”


1.            Watch a movie

2.            Spend time with family

3.            Eat more comfort food

4.            Christmas films

5.            Roast dinners

6.            Exercise

7.            Cook a proper homecooked meal

8.            Hot chocolate

9.            Fluffy socks / slippers

10.          Spend time outdoors

11.          Wearing pyjamas / loungewear

12.          Spend time with friends

13.          Take a vitamin D supplement

14.          Watch a comedy

15.          Light candles

16.          Sunlight

17.          Eat cake

18.          The Football World Cup

19.          Laughter (make sure I get a good laugh everyday)

20.          Eat more chocolate

21.          Eat more fruit and vegetables

22.          Cuddles

23.          Watch a box set

24.          Online shopping

25.          A hot bath with smellies

26.          Bake cakes

27.          Have more lie-ins

28.          Sex

29.          Going to the pub

30.          Planning or booking a holiday for the following spring/ summer

31.          Have more duvet days

32.          Spend money on cosy clothes

33.          A log fire

34.          Electric blankets

35.          Phone a friend for a gossip

36.          Sea air

37.          Black Friday sales

38.          Do a jigsaw

39.          Listen to podcasts

40.          Go on a winter sun holiday

41.          Practice mindfulness

42.          Have a pampering session

43.          Watch true crime shows

44.          Dance

45.          Daydream

46.          Do a colouring book

47.          Add grounding rituals to my days

48.          Outdoor/cold water swimming

49.          Fake tan

50.          Reading books

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