If the thought of the winter and snow days fills you up with sadness and loneliness, and all you want to do is to snuggle up in your favorite blanket while binging Netflix and drinking your hot cocoa, studies confirm you’re not alone. And the pandemic has brought extra low feelings this year, too. Fatigue, sadness, loneliness, depression, hibernation—those are all signs of a possible SAD disorder, but the good news is you can fight it off with some helpful mental health tips.
Walks and all of the outdoor activities you used to enjoy are less possible, and you’re spending more and more time indoors. Shorter days during the winter mean you are less exposed to natural light and sunshine, and that’s why many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency, especially during the winter months.
Many psychologists advise implementing a daily self-care routine to make this time a little less hard on you.
Here are some mental health tips you can start implementing today to feel better.
- Seven Mental Health Tips to Feel Better During the Winter Months
Seven Mental Health Tips to Feel Better During the Winter Months
1. Get Some Sunlight
How many times have you had the desire to go out but ended up snuggling with your fur baby on your couch instead? Be honest here.
Now, I’m not suggesting you go out on a blizzard or during heavy rainfall, but taking a walk even on a rainy and cloudy day can bring a lot of joy. Immerse yourself in the abundance of nature or simply enjoy the sound of the rain falling. Take baby steps on your journey to feel better every day. These are the winter activities you need.
2. Don’t Overconsume
In this case, I’m not talking about consuming food. This mental health tip might sound unconventional, but it really helps. It might be easy to find yourself buried in other peoples’ lives by scrolling through your Instagram feed or being triggered by the news you see in the mainstream media. It can make you feel angry, frustrated, and powerless. The good thing is that you have control over the content you consume.
Instead of scrolling endlessly, try reading a book. Books can always cheer you up; just make sure you’re reading something uplifting and inspiring.
Sometimes all you need is a pen and a piece of paper to feel better. Don’t believe me? Just try it, and notice the relief you’ll feel afterward. The resentment we oftentimes carry around is our worst enemy. By writing it down, we’re releasing a lot and feel more relaxed instantly.
The self-help book “The Artist’s Way” is a great start to show you how a simple routine like “morning pages” can make a huge difference in how you feel. If you feel stuck and not sure where to start, try using journaling prompts.
4. Get Enough Sleep and Rest
This mental health tip might seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t actually get quality sleep and rest. To feel rested in the morning and get enough sleep, you need to start going to bed earlier. Even if you don’t feel tired and think you’ll be tossing and turning in your bed, it is worth a try.
Guided sleep meditations might help. For me, the app Insight Timer does miracles, and there are a couple of great teachers I like to follow. I always fall asleep long before the meditation is finished.
5. Breathing Practice Tips for Mental Health
Breathwork is intentional breathing. During the breath practice, you’re intentionally shifting your breathing pattern. This practice is getting more and more popular these days, and people usually go to see a breathwork coach after they have tried everything else to help them cope with anxiety and stress.
Breathwork is yet another great way to train your mind to feel good every day. Breathing exercises are often described as liberating. Breathwork can help with anxiety and depression. It can be your best friend and supporter in your everyday life while you’re facing different challenges.
Apart from the fact that it reduces stress, it helps create the feeling of joy, happiness, gratitude, love, clarity, and peace.
6. Take Your Vitamins
When we’re not spending time outside and not as active as we are during the summer months, we are probably lacking some vitamins.
Luckily, many pharmaceutical companies produce vitamins in the form of a small pill. Don’t hesitate to take it. If you’re not sure what you need, you can go get checked or check out our list of the best supplements to take in the winter.
Also, it is crucial to include plenty of fall and winter vegetables in your diet.
Maybe, if it weren’t for COVID, you’d be able to visit Tulum or sunny Florida, but since we’re all pretty much trapped in our cities, we don’t have much choice.
7. Support the Community
Supporting your local community can mean so much more than just giving something back. Offering a helping hand when someone is in need can benefit you in so many ways. The feeling of happiness and fulfillment after you do something for someone without expecting something in return is what volunteers get addicted to.
The most popular ways of supporting the community are by volunteering. Whether you’d like to be a mentor to a younger person, a school governor, or volunteer at a food bank, the feeling of content afterward is invaluable.
Supporting a local small business is also something you can try to boost your mood. Sharing them on social media or giving them a positive review on Google will do more than you think.
Help out your neighbors by baking an apple pie on a cold, winter’s day or shovel the snow in their front yard. Donate the clothes you’re not wearing to a charity or donate money to someone in need. Become a sponsor to a child from an SOS Family.
These methods of supporting the community will, in turn, help you feel better.
Simple but Powerful Mental Health Tips
Feeling blue this winter? Try one (or all!) of these mental health care tips, and see your mood change for the better. They might sound like small steps, but they can lead to big improvements in your mood and outlook.