5 Ways to maintain mental health during the winter months

The days feel shorter, the temperature drops, and the air is crisper. The holidays fill the air with happiness and cheer, yet they can also bring sadness and stress. You are not alone if you are concerned about your mental state. Here are some tips for coping with this holiday season.

  1. Get outside! With winter coming, the daylight hours are decreasing. All the more reason to get out! Getting outside for just a couple of minutes a day can make a huge difference in your mood and physical health, reducing stress and increasing self-esteem. Bundle up, enjoy the fresh air, and go for a walk. Not the walking type? Take up a new hobby! There are loads of fun winter activities like learning to snowboard or ski, having a snowball fight, or building a snowman. If you are more of a homebody, practice opening up the blinds and letting in natural light, or try out a sun lamp.

  2. Manage your time. Write down daily routines and schedules, and stick to them (which can sometimes be tricky). There are several health benefits to following a routine, like reducing stress. Maintaining structure and a routine can help you feel more organized, in control, and confident. Try starting a simple morning routine by getting out of bed, grabbing water, and practicing good hygiene. Personalize it to your schedule and what works best for you so you’re more likely to stick to the routine. Imagine yourself moving through the next few months. What do you want to be doing? Who do you want to be? Get some supplies or set up your space to get yourself started.

  3. Keep a journal. Even something as simple as keeping a journal can help strengthen your mental state. Keeping a journal can help you achieve goals, track progress, and process emotions. Journaling can also help you track your day-to-day triggers to learn ways to control them better. It allows you to reflect and set goals to improve for the future.

  4. Prioritize your mental health. This winter, you can focus on things that uplift your mood and mental health. Set boundaries and get comfortable with saying no to things you don’t want to do and to people that may cause you stress.

  5. Connect if you are feeling lonely. Connect with the people you love and uplift your mood if you feel lonely. You are likely not alone, and sharing your feelings can help you feel empowered. Something as simple as sending a loved one a text to check in can help increase happiness. Even sending a letter, partaking in an online forum (like our Discord), or playing video games can help! 
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