Seasonal change can be transformative. Each new season is a chance to pause, re-evaluate your year so far, and embrace renewal. However, the drop in temperatures, changes in nature, and fewer hours of sunlight can cause emotional imbalances and may even lead to feeling blue. There’s no reason to let the season take over your mental health. Here are our top ten ways to beat the seasonal blues without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to combat seasonal blues (or any mental health issue) at home is with meditation. A simple 5-10 minute practice daily can help you feel more connected, happy, and alive during the dreary winter months. Practice alone or use a guided meditation app or video.
Movement is crucial for a happy mind. Studies have shown that exercise can defeat depression even better than some antidepressant medications. No matter what kind of exercise you enjoy, make sure to get 30-60 minutes at least three times per week. The best medicine? Lace up your sneakers for a brisk walk every single day (or dance in the warmth of your living room!).
Join a New Group
Many people feel isolated during the winter. It can be hard to keep in touch with friends due to heavy holiday schedules and the cold temperatures often keep people indoors. To keep company, join a new group. This will give you the connection that is so crucial during the winter, while also opening you up to new friends, experiences, and even goals. Try a book club, a dinner club, volunteering, sport or yoga studio, or even take up a new part time job if you have the time.
The winter is an introspective time and one of the best ways to connect with yourself and relieve feelings of depression is through art. Being creative is something every human can do – you don’t have to be an artist or writer to create. Anything that allows you to tune off and use your mind or hands to create something (cooking, journaling, reorganizing, tinkering) will work.
Start a New Habit
Is there something you’ve been wanting to improve or a new habit you’d like to take on? It could be reading every day, yoga, a skincare routine, blogging, a new language – the list goes on! Pick a new habit you’d like to develop and make it your winter goal. Having something to work on everyday that betters your life will motivate you to get up and enjoy your day. Even more, accomplishing your tiny goal each day will give you something to celebrate.
The fall and winter seasons can sometimes get the best of us. We may feel down due to changes in the weather and sunlight, or the craziness of the holidays, end of financial year, or other year-end issues can cause increased stress and worry. These tips are a great way to prevent the seasonal blues, but sometimes we need a little extra push. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your trusted healthcare provider to discuss seasonal blues and mental health.