Winter is here. The holiday season is over and it has brought along with it bone-chilling cold, grey skies and shorter days. It’s not just people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or the clinical version of the winter blues who are susceptible to symptoms similar to those of depression, such as sadness, fatigue, and irritability during these long winter months. Everyone has to work a little bit extra on their mental health during these morose winter days.
Here are a few basic ways in which you can promote mental health during winter:
Let the sun shine on you. The intake of vitamin D supplements during the winter months can be beneficial in a lot of ways. Most of mental health diseases are correlated with low vitamin D levels, especially depression. Certain foods are good sources of vitamin D, including cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines, eggs, and cereals fortified with vitamin D.
Research shows that socializing with positive people has a good effect on one’s overall mental health. The company you keep and the people around you influence you more than you think. This is especially important in winter when we tend to spend a lot of time indoors. Spend quality time with your dear ones chatting over a hot cup of coffee or a steaming bowl of soup. Another great way of spending time with your friends in the winter is to meet them at the gym for a workout.
The winter ambience tends to make one lethargic leading to drowsiness and fatigue. Enjoy walks in parks, picnics or any outdoor activity. Uplift your mood by being less sedentary and more playful to bear the cold weather. Being physically active is also a great way to stay warm. So, sweat it out in a run, a yoga session or during a great workout.
Winter is the time for a variety of fruits and vegetable that you can easily inculcate in your eating regimen. This will in turn help promote mental health. A healthy, balanced diet will uplift your feelings in addition to giving you more energy. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid junk food and instead relish tasty mood-boosting soups and stews.
The cold weather pushes us to remain cocooned inside our homes. Staying indoors and spending days feeling lazy, unproductive and sad. To feel good and upbeat, go outdoors. Have fun in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on bright sunny days.
Follow these simple steps and make the winter season a joyful and positive time of the year. So, put on your woolen overcoats and caps, savour hot coffee and enjoy the chilly season with lots and lots of fun and happy times!