When the days are shorter, and the nights are longer, it’s harder to maintain your mental health. Winter can be a challenging time. During the colder months, you may notice that you:
- Have less energy
- Feel tired throughout the day
- Find it harder to sleep
- Experience a lower mood
What can you do to stay positive during the snowiest season of the year? We’ve put together a few ways you can take care of yourself this winter:
Monitor Your Mental Health
How are you doing?
You might immediately respond to this question by saying “Good!” or “Fine!” or “How are you?”
But how are you really doing? If we never pause to reflect, we lose sight of ourselves. Try to take a moment to check in with yourself.
By doing a daily check-in, you can recognize what you need at that moment. Is it a shoulder to lean on? Is it a day to work on your personal projects and hobbies? Maybe you just need a little time to yourself. No matter what it is, you can identify it by journaling your thoughts and feelings.
Rethink Your Bedtime Routine
Did you know that most people spend one-third of their lives sleeping (or trying to)? Sleep takes up a lot of our time, so it’s no wonder why it’s so important. After a bad sleep, we feel lethargic, irritable, and have trouble focusing.
Improving your sleep quality is a great way to tend to your mental health. If you have trouble sleeping, you can try to:
- Read a book before bed, instead of looking at your phone
- Take a hot bath
- Practice breathing exercises or gentle stretches
Check In With Your Friends & Family
When you share your thoughts and feelings with others, it reminds you that you’re not alone. Those around you may face similar challenges when it comes to mental health.
Just as you might have a harder time during the winter, so may those around you.
Take the time to check in on how your close friends and family members are doing. You can send them a text, a phone call, or set up a video chat. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and it can help lift them up from a low mood.
Spend Time In The Sun
In the summer, it’s easy to soak up the sunshine. You can step outside wearing just a t-shirt and shorts, and feel the warmth from your favourite star. But in the winter, you need to bundle up in several layers first.
Still, it’s essential to receive a regular dose of vitamin D; it keeps your bones strong and your skin healthy (as long as you’re wearing sunscreen). But that’s easier said than done in a place as cold as Winnipeg.
To supplement a lack of sunlight, you can spend more time near a window during the day. Bundle up in a parka and scarf and go for a short walk. And/or, add a vitamin D supplement to your first meal of the day.
In the dead of winter, it can feel like the cold will never end. You’re longing for the warm, sunny days of summer. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Schedule something special for yourself to help you get through it.
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