The winter months can be hard. It's cold, it starts getting darker earlier, and many people begin to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you suffer from SAD, remember, you're not alone. Below you'll find some tips to help you keep your mental health in a better place this winter.
Not only is exercise good for your body, but it can also help regulate your mood! Exercise doesn't have to be intense - you can go for a walk or practice yoga. Even cleaning your room or house counts! (Plus, a clean home will make you feel better).
2. Create a Schedule or To-Do List
It's easy to come up with reasons NOT to do something. Try creating a schedule or to-do list to help keep you on track. Plus, checking things off your list can leave you with a sense of accomplishment which can help boost your mood!
3. Go Outside
This might seem obvious but step outside, even if it's for a little bit. Even a few minutes of sunshine can help boost your mood. So if there's a break in bad weather, go outside!
4. Make Time For Your Friends
Many people find themselves isolated in the winter months and with COVID-19, it's been hard to get together with friends and family. Make a conscious effort to see your friends. Call them or set up a FaceTime call if you're not quite comfortable hanging out in person or if they live far away.
5. Self Care
Do something that relaxes you and helps take your mind off stressful things. Read a book, take a bath, or make your favorite food.
6. Be Patient and Focus on the Positives
It's easy to get frustrated and focus on negative things. Don't expect yourself to "snap out of it". Healing takes time. Do your best to find at least one positive aspect of the day or season and focus on that. Keep a journal so if you have trouble finding a positive, you can look back on one from the past.
7. Stay Away from Caffeine and Alcohol
Stimulants and depressants can warp your mood and cloud your judgment. It's best to stay away from them when you're feeling especially low.