Winter can bring the cold, snow, and the blues. If you are down, you may want to check out BetterHelp. They have tons of winter mental health tips, resources, articles, and counselors that can help you make it to Spring. There are also some things you can do yourself that can help you fight the negative feelings that often come with the winter weather.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects people during the winter months. Some claim that it can be caused by a lack of sunlight and reduced levels of vitamin D. However, the evidence shows that vitamin D supplements will not help cure the winter woes. So, what can help with your winter mental health?
Sure, it is cold. However, sitting around all day every day is not great for our physical or psychological health. Even a small amount of exercise can give us more energy and positively affect our sleep quality and patterns. Exercise also improves mood through the release of endorphins.
Also, being out in nature can help to ease your mind. Just make sure that you bundle up appropriately. The warmer you are, the more you can stay outside. The more you stay outside, the greater the impact it will have on your mental well-being.
Sometimes cold weather makes it harder to connect. Combine that with the pandemic and flu season, and most people are probably avoiding social interaction on purpose. Social interaction is crucial for our mental health and well-being. Even if you are just keeping in touch with friends and family via Zoom, then you can reduce the chances of anxiety and depression. It is also possible to talk with a therapist online at places like BetterHelp.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal can be beneficial for an individual’s overall mental health. Some people enjoy writing about their current feelings, while others prefer to write about what they will do when warmer weather arrives. It can also help to write one thing you are thankful for every day. This can make you appreciate the things that you still have during the winter.
Some people decide to invest in a lightbox so that they can participate in light therapy (read Celluma’s blog to learn more). It is best to do it first thing in the morning all the way through the winter months. Since we often wake up before the sun rises during the winter, waking up to 30 minutes or an hour of light therapy can help us stay on regular sleep patterns and avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts and salmon, can help improve your mood. Also, try to limit your sugar intake. Sugar can wreak havoc on your system and impact your wellbeing. Try to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. There are tons of great fruits during the winter, including apples, oranges, and grapefruit.
Watch a Funny Movie
Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it can still work. Watching a funny movie can be a great way to enjoy the time indoors. Make some hot chocolate, gather your family, and enjoy the time. If it is still around Christmas, then choose a Christmas movie that the whole household will enjoy.
A lot of people start to feel down when the weather begins to change during the Fall. winter can feel so long resulting in poor winter mental health. Try to cheer up with exercise and get together with friends and family if possible. Do your best to stay on a regular sleep schedule and try to incorporate as many healthy foods into your diet as possible. If all else fails, find a qualified therapist to talk to about your winter-time blues.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.