Plowing Through Winter...Positively
It’s that time of year. While we are gaining a minute or two of sunlight every day, the sun still sets very early. It’s cold outside, you spend more time indoors, and many of the days are cloudy and gray with no hint of sunshine. The winter months can really take a toll on your mental wellbeing and physical health. You may find yourself feeling irritable, having less energy, and struggling to find the motivation to do your daily tasks. Maintaining mental health through these difficult months is important to support your overall health and wellbeing. Give these suggestions a try to help you bypass the winter blues and manage those negative feelings.
Bundle Up and Get Some Sun. You need it. The sun provides some of the vitamin D needed to strengthen your immune system and fight off the illnesses that are everywhere in winter. Vitamin D also lowers blood pressure and increases the feel-good hormone dopamine that improves mood and reduces anxiety and depression.
Get Some Exercise. Regular exercise is great for both mind and body and helps with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies show that even fifteen minutes a day of moderate exercise can improve mood and increase energy. Break up your workouts at the gym and get outside to breathe the fresh air.
You might want to consider some seasonal activities like winter camping, hiking, skiing, or snow shoeing. Contact the Outdoor Connection at UWL. They rent just about any item you need at an affordable cost. It’s a wonderful way to try something before you invest. You may discover a new passion this winter.
Stay Connected to Your Support System. Maintain your social interactions. It benefits your mood and coping. Plan things to look forward to with anticipation during these winter months—a weekend away in a cozy cabin, a waterpark overnight with the kids, or connect with old friends. Winter can be a time to scale back and connect with others when you can’t keep the typical pace you have during nice weather. Hitting pause and making time for others are some of the best ways to reduce stress and relax.
Maintain Healthy Eating and Sleep Habits. Both are essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping us at our best.
Finally, if you are engaging in some of these activities and you still find yourself feeling down and unwell it may be a good time to schedule an appointment at ViaroCare Primary Clinic. We are here to help and welcome the opportunity to talk with you to determine how we can get you to feel better and back to yourself.
Jill Hey, MS, LPC
Behavioral Health Therapist
Viaro Primary Health
For questions or comments, contact firstname.lastname@example.org