Although the winter season begins with a bit of holiday cheer, many people feel a little “off” as the cold weather drags on. Cold. Dark at 4:15 p.m. Yup, winter’s tough. And there is only so much Netflix any sane person can handle. But here are 9 things you can do to mind your mental health and wellness, and have a little fun.
1. Make an effort to be social.
Many of us are less social in winter. While socializing can seem like an effort in the winter months, it can help boost your mood. Make an effort to see friends and accept invitations, even if you only go for a while.
Simply being around people can feel good, like being in a gallery, movie theater or concert. Volunteering can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Not only will you be around other people, you’re also making a difference.
2. Eat healthily.
The cold weather can have us reaching for comfort foods high in sugar and fat. While you may get a short-lived mood boost from these foods, they can negatively affect your overall mood, so try and resist the temptation and eat fresh food. Small amounts of vitamin D can be gained from foods such as fatty fish and portobello mushrooms.
3. Connect with others.
A case of the winter blues can turn into something more serious. Depression and anxiety effects each of us differently. If you’re concerned about your mood or mental health, talk to someone including friends, family or health professionals. If you’re in crisis, call your local mental health service provider right away.
4. Make sure you exercise.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your health, mentally and physically. At home aerobic exercises like dancing, jumping jacks, jump rope and even jogging in place for 10 minutes a day is all you need to maintain your health and it will cheer you up.
Masturbation (like sex) stimulates the thousands of nerves in your genitalia, which send positive signals to the brain. A combination of mental and physical excitement slowly builds and builds until, hopefully, you reach peak sexual arousal – the orgasm. A mass of neurochemicals flood the brain, creating an overwhelming sense of euphoria and well-being. How is that for mental health?
6. Venture outdoors for 30 minutes.
A purposeful activity like a short walk in the sun has been proven to improve your mood. The warmest time of day is in late afternoon, it is the time you will find most people venture outdoors. So call a friend, bundle up and head over to your local coffee shop, neighborhood library or take a jaunt through the park.
7. Enjoy winter events, indoors.
You are less likely to plan activities or go out as much during the winter as the summer. And socialization is one of the best ways to keep the winter blues away. The winter season is packed with indoor festivals, concerts, foodie events, local theater performances and more. Check your local city guide to see what they have to offer. The winter events calendar is typically updated each week and can be found online.
8. Plan your summer vacation.
When the snow frosts your window and temperatures are at their coldest is the perfect time to start planning your summer vacation. Fantasizing about travel to the tropics, the Caribbean or beach locations abroad during the bleak winter months will surely improve your mood.
9. Get creative.
Creative activities, such as painting, indoor gardening and photography, can be therapeutic as they can help you turn negative thoughts or feelings into something positive and give you the opportunity to socialize. Sign up for a 8 week writing class or language introduction class at your local community center.