10 Ways To Maintaining Mental and Emotional Health in Winter
It is extremely common to feel melancholy, tired and mentally drained during the winter months. After all, it can be hard to stay cheerful when the days are short, the nights are long and the temperatures are low. However, it is possible to combat the winter blues, finding new ways to boost happiness during the coldest parts of the year. Here are ten smart tips that will help you to stay upbeat.
1. Make Sure You Exercise
If you tend to enjoy outdoor exercise then you might simply stop working out when the winter weather creates an inhospitable environment. However, your mental health will benefit if you find other ways to stay active. Vigorous exercise promotes the release of endorphins, chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being and improve your mood. If you don't like the idea of working out at a gym, think about watching aerobics videos or signing up for fitness tutorials online. As long as you can find a way to exercise at least three times a week, your body and mind will thank you for your efforts.
2. Face Your Difficulties
When you are feeling down and are not sure why, a simple self-reflective exercise can help you to take control of your mood. Start by setting aside fifteen minutes to write down everything that is bothering you, whether these sources of stress and unhappiness are significant or small. Once you have finished making your list, write down a plan of action that relates to each item on the list. For example, you might opt to deal with dwindling friendships by sending long emails to each of your favorite people, or work to combat weight gain by donating all your unhealthy snacks to a food bank Often, even the simple act of making the list will help you to feel better.
3. Be Creative About Indoor Activities
Time indoors does not have to be monotonous and unfulfilling. When heavy snow or horrible temperatures make it unrealistic to go outside, think of new ways to enjoy yourself at home. If you have a family then you might want to consider board games, collaborative craft activities or cozy movie nights. There are also plenty of solo activities that are perfect for time indoors, such as reading, starting to keep a regular journal or taking online classes. In addition, don't forget that winter is the perfect time to create a wonderfully comforting home environment using soft blankets, festive decorations and scented candles.
4. Enjoy The Daylight Whenever You Can
Try to find a daily opportunity to spend some time outdoors so that you get at least a little exposure to the sun. If you bundle up in your warmest clothes, a winter walk in the park can be quite enchanting thanks to the ways that snow and frost change the landscape. For people who are prone to seasonal affective disorder, time in the daylight can make all the difference to mood.
5. Look Into Fun Indoor Trips
As well as staying busy when you are at home, try to be a bit more creative about winter day trips. Every city has plenty of great destinations to visit with family or friends. For example, you could plan an afternoon date to a museum and then go out for dinner, you could spend two days relaxing at a spa, or you might make a commitment to see a new movie at the theater every weekend.
6. Turn Your Attention To The Future
You can remind yourself that winter is merely a passing season by choosing to focus on the fun experiences that you will have in spring and summer. Browsing through potential vacation destinations can lift your spirits, especially if you find a great deal to book in advance. When you reflect on the fact that sunny days and shorter nights are definitely in your future, winter can feel less like an unending form of torture.
7. Keep An Eye On Your Finances
The festive season is another common contributor to low mood during winter, as excessive spending can create stress or impose financial limitations. You can help to avoid this source of unhappiness by outlining a strict budget and making sure that you stick to it. If you find it particularly challenging to follow a budget, consider talking to your bank and ensuring that a chunk of your monthly earnings is transferred straight to a savings account so that you cannot easily spend it.
8. Be Careful About Your New Year's Resolutions
The start of a new year offers a unique chance to influence your mental and emotional health. Specifically, if you set unachievable new year's resolutions or allow other people's ideas to influence your resolutions, you can start the year feeling like a failure. You will want to set positive new year's resolutions that make you feel good, and it helps to have a clear plan detailing how you will achieve these resolutions. Visualize the required outcome on a daily basis, believe you can succeed, and remember that the law of attraction teaches us that a positive attitude can turn dreams into reality.
9. Consider Buying A Light Box
If you have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder or strongly suspect that you are struggling with this condition, look into the idea of buying a light box. These clever devices offer a realistic simulation of daylight, and they can make a world of difference to some people who feel depressed during dark winter days.
10. Be Kind To Your Partner
Finally, relationship problems are a common cause of emotional distress in winter, with January being one of the busiest months of the year for divorce lawyers. Your relationship might be adversely influenced by financial difficulties, family pressures that come to the fore during festive celebrations, or any of the other stressful factors mentioned above. You can help to prevent conflict by actively nurturing your relationship, being honest about your needs and making an extra effort to be compassionate.