The clocks have gone back and the weather has taken a turn for the worst - it's safe to say we're going to need something to lift our mood.
A new study has revealed the 'little things' we rely on and who we turn to when we need a seasonal pick-me-up.
According to the study, conducted by AXA, more people would turn to tea than an alcoholic drink to lift a bad mood. Also, one in sixteen find their pet the most comforting 'person' to turn to.
Top of the list of little things that mean a lot is a hug with 55 per cent of people saying it is their number one seasonal mood improver.
Commenting on the research, psychologist Donna Dawson, said: “Little things mean a lot in life, and many of them are free: walking outdoors or listening to our favourite music both work by calming us through using our senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. And heightening our senses can, in turn, lift our spirits, especially on those dark miserable days of winter.
“As ‘touch’ is the most powerful sense of them all, this explains why a hug is the number one ‘mood changer’. When the skin is rubbed, it produces hormones and enzymes that boost the immune system and increase feelings of well-being. Women’s brains are naturally more ‘wired’ to be receptive to touch - which is why they find hugging easier to do than men!”
The top 10 little things that mean a lot, are as follows:
1. A hug
2. Seeing friends
3. Having a walk in fresh air
4. Listening to music
5. Watching a favourite TV programme
6. Spending one-on-one time with a partner
7. Call or text from a friend
8. Comfort food
9. Cup of tea
10. Call and/or text from a relative
Of the things that didn’t make the top ten, alcohol comes in at 13th place. The traditional hot bath takes 15th place and, despite being known to physiologically improve well-being, exercise is down in 16th place in the study.