How to Beat the Winter Blues
Feeling low or depressed can happen at any time, but winter can be especially hard on our mental health. Here are a few things you can do to beat the winter blues.
Let’s face it, for many people January is a bit of a dull month. Cold weather, grey skies, the lull after Christmas and broken new year’s resolutions can all conspire to make us a bit down in the dumps. Although the famous ‘Blue Monday’ (the day of the year we’re supposed to be at our most miserable) has been proven to be nothing more than a marketing gimmick, January can be a time when some people feel lower than usual. So, how can we beat the blues and take care of our mental health this winter?
Embrace the daylight – We all know how much better we feel when the sun is shining, even though it might not happen as often as we’d like here in the UK. However, even in duller weather, spending as much time as you can outside and making sure lots of natural light can get into your home are really important. Our bodies need light for some biological processes to work effectively, like regulating melatonin production to keeping our sleep/wake cycle in a healthy rhythm, and Vitamin D production. Exposure to natural light has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression.
Nourish your body – There is lots of truth in the saying ‘you are what you eat’. If what you put in to your body is good, you’ll feel good too. Eating healthy foods and staying hydrated will help make sure your body has the water, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients it needs to be able to function properly. Studies show that a healthy diet can help with managing depression.
Get active - Keeping your physical health in good shape affects your mental health – if your body feels good, your mind will benefit too. It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise you do as long as you enjoy it and it makes you feel great. Whether it’s walking, jogging, high intensity workouts or relaxing yoga - whatever way you choose to be active will have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing. One review of studies into exercise and depression showed that moderate exercise can not only treat but prevent depression. So, get your body moving if you want to feel happier!
Do more of what you love – whether it’s your favourite crafting hobby, getting together with friends, enjoying a sport or relaxing with a good book, doing more of the little things you enjoy can make you feel more positive. Even if you can only fit in a quick 5 minutes of ‘me time’ here and there, it all makes a difference.
Talk about it – When a friend asks how we are, how many of us reply, “Oh, I’m fine!” out of habit, even if we’re not feeling very positive about life in general? The out-dated stigma of having mental health issues can still make some people reluctant to acknowledge or talk about how they are feeling. But it’s OK to tell people that you’re not OK! Talking about the state of our mental health with friends or professionals, like doctors or counsellors, can make a world of difference. It’s only by being open that we can get the help and support we need.
Mental Health Support
Although the above tips can help boost your mood if you’re feeling low, sometimes they might not be quite enough to do the trick. If that’s the case, talking to your doctor is a good idea. Charities like Mind and the Samaritans also have lots of great support and advice on offer. However you’re feeling, it’s important to know you’re not alone and that there’s no shame in talking about your mental health problems.
If you’re living with mental health problems and would like to know how you might benefit from having care at home, get in touch with us today. At Bluebird Care we have a range of homecare services available across the Bromley and south-east London area that can be adapted to suit your individual needs and give you the bespoke support you deserve.