Keeping Mental Health Positive During the Cold Winter Months
By Lisa Malowany, SARC Program Manager and Trainer
January and February tend to be the coldest months of the year and can leave us feeling like we will never get out of the deepfreeze. Did you know this is a typical time for people to be feeling down and their mental health can suffer as a result? The good news is that there are things we can all do to help our own mental health and leave us in a more positive mental state.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Find things that bring you joy and do them. This could be as simple as doing something that you haven’t done in a while. It could be reading a book, cooking, crafts, photography, or anything else you enjoy doing. The only limit is your own imagination.
- Get involved in something new. This could be volunteering for a cause, a new activity, or an old activity you used to do but haven’t done for a while. This can give you a new sense of purpose.
- Make a plan to spend time with people you enjoy. How about coffee with an old friend or a movie with your partner? Or taking your kids to an indoor park in the cold winter months. Surrounding yourself with people you enjoy will help to bring you joy.
- Take care of your body. It is a proven fact that exercise helps a person’s mental health. That does not mean you need to go out and join a gym. It could be as easy as going for a walk, taking the stairs, or even dancing in your kitchen. Getting the body moving is the point as our body feeling well will improve our overall well-being.
- Eat nutritious meals. Who doesn’t enjoy a good snack or unhealthy meal every once in a while? We all do, and that is ok…once in a while. However, fueling our body with nutritious food and regular meals will help our body feel good and help to promote a positive mental state.
The great news is that spring is just around the corner and we will be facing warmer weather…..eventually! Using some of these strategies will help get you through winter but also help at any time to maintain positive mental health.
If you try some of these strategies and find that your mental health is just not improving or are feeling so low that you can’t even think of doing any of these things, please consider talking to a friend, a family member or your physician – there is help available to help you feel better.
Would you like more information on how to support people who are struggling with mental health issues? Consider taking Mental Health First Aid; this course, offered by SARC, will provide you with the tools to support people who are experiencing mental health issues and crisis. Visit SARC Learning Central for upcoming dates.