Are you keen to discover ways to look after your mental health in winter?
The autumn and winter months can be magical, with many of us enjoying the glittery frosts and cosying up at home with hot chocolate. For some, however, the long, dark nights and poor weather can start to take their toll on mental health.
This week, we’re exploring ways of looking after your mental health in winter:
Address How You’re Feeling
Winter brings with it long, dark nights and a sharp drop in temperature. For some people, this shift can cause feelings of stress or sadness, which can be associated with SAD – a type of seasonal depression.
If you find yourself cancelling plans or spending more time alone than usual, you may want to explore the reasons behind this; acknowledging that you might be suffering from low mood is the first step in looking after your mental health.
Once you’ve become aware of how you really feel, you can begin to look for the source of your mental pain and tackle it head-on.
Reduce Feelings of Loneliness in Winter
During the winter months, it can be tempting to stay tucked up at home in the warm. This, however, can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Why not consider moving into a retirement property? You’ll be surrounded by friends in a small community, with endless opportunities for activities and social interactions.
By downsizing, you’ll also have lower heating and energy costs, reducing the financial stress of keeping your home warm throughout the colder months.
Looking After Your Mental Health: Have You Considered Therapy?
Talking about your feelings is a crucial step to offloading your problems and finding a solution. You’ll feel better for talking things through, and it’ll help you to gain clarity as you untangle the web of thoughts in your mind and your emotions. You may want to talk to a healthcare professional or a friend to help you navigate your way through your low mood.
Alongside talking to someone, you may also want to try other forms of therapy. These can include journaling or art. Journalling is a great way to channel your inner creativity whilst reducing stress. Once you’ve written down your thoughts, you can expect to experience a new perspective and a clear mind.
Art is a wonderful tool for expressing your emotions and can distract you from your low mood. Try standing in front of a blank canvas with a selection of paints, and let your mind drift away into a peaceful, relaxing state. Once you achieve this, let your hand mindfully do the work for an abstract, expressive piece of art.
Looking After Your Mental Health: Improve Your Lifestyle
It can be tempting to retreat to your sofa and indulge in unhealthy snacks when you feel low. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion and lethargy.
Try making yourself some healthy snacks in batch. You could also set yourself a daily step goal – you can monitor this using a pedometer – and rest in the evening once you’ve hit your target.
This can motivate you to move more, and the feeling of achieving your goal can help you to feel accomplished. Once you’re comfortably hitting your target each day, you can then start increasing it.
Embrace the Winter Weather
Improving your mental health often comes down to accepting that there are factors you can’t control. The weather is a great example of this; you can’t change it, but you can alter your perception of it.
It can be tempting to let grey skies and drizzly rain dampen your spirits. Instead, why not use this time as an opportunity to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a good book, or try putting together a puzzle? Making the most of the circumstances can help to boost your mood.
If you’d like to know more about improving your mental health, why not read our previous blog for tips on how to be happy?
Alternatively, if you’d like more information on our retirement properties, please contact a member of our team at Friary Meadow.