5 Ways to Cope with the Winter Blues

5 Ways to Cope with the Winter Blues

It’s the season of new beginnings! There’s hope on the horizon!

So, Why do you feel glum?

Let’s be honest, January can be a very stressful and isolating month. Not only is it cold and dark, but it’s also the month that marks the holiday season’s close — perhaps a complete cluster or too good to end. This particular year, we enter the heart of winter holding onto remnants of collective and personal grief and loss. Whether you’re  experiencing a season-related form of clinical depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or a mild form of the “winter blues”, there are some strategies to cope.

Find silver linings

Positive thinking will not remedy your problems, yet framing your mindset may lead to a broader perspective and positive transformation. Perceptions of loneliness and failure impact your mood and physical health. Identify the source of your feelings and emotions. Take a moment to step back, reflect on what is good in your life, and appreciate the here and now.

Sleep

Sleep and mental health are intertwined and can influence one another. Too much sleep, too little sleep, or changes in sleep patterns can be disruptive. Explore and cultivate healthy sleep habits such as establishing a regular schedule, practicing relaxation techniques, unplugging from devices, and maximizing physical comfort and support.

Reduce the excess

Excess consumption of alcohol and unhealthy foods are damaging to the mind and body. Practice moderation.

Snowflakes

Stay active

Yes, it’s cold. Grab a warm coat, put on some comfy shoes, and boost your energy with a little outdoor sun and movement daily.

Connect, don’t isolate

We can physically distance without social isolation! Get on the phone, send snail mail, or connect virtually. Need something more? Organize or seek opportunities to gather outdoors in small numbers following local guidelines (i.e. exercise, volunteer, book club, or just chat by a fire pit).

Seek professional help

Reach out for professional support and resources. Anytime is a good time.

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