When summer is in full swing, many people can’t help but feel their mood improve as they spend time out in the sun and enjoy a more laid-back season of life. But once the weather starts to change, it can take a big toll on your mental health and your outlook on life if you’re not careful.
Depending on where you live, winter months could be very dark and dreary, which can lend itself to having dark, dreary moods as well. So to help you combat this, here are three ways you can maintain your mental health during the dark winter months.
Make Time For Meditation
To really connect with yourself and your mental state, it’s crucial that you spend some time meditating on a regular basis.
According to Dr. Dominic Wu, a contributor to Harvard Medical School, regular meditation has been known to help people who are dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, including those that can be brought on seasonal changes in the weather. By spending just a short time meditating a few times each week, you may find it easier to relax your mind and find peace and calm both in your mind and in your body. This can be very helpful to your mental health, as stress and anxiety can rob you of your internal peace.
Let The Light In
Part of the reason why people find themselves getting more depressed during the winter months is that they aren’t getting enough sunlight. Tanya Peisley, a contributor to SANE.org, shares that by spending some time out in the sunlight during the winter months, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can give your body the vitamin D intake it needs to have a boost in your mood.
If you don’t live in an area where you can get an adequate amount of sunlight during the dark winter months, or if you work all day and never see the sun, there are also light therapy devices available that can give your body more access to light and have a similar effect as spending time in the sun.
Get Some Exercise
In the winter, many people simply hunker down to avoid the dark and cold. However, if you choose to do this, you’ll only be perpetuating the problems of feeling depressed during the winter.
Rather than taking this route, Brigitt Earley and Melanie Rud, contributors to Real Simple, advise that you try to continue exercising on a regular basis to boost your mood and decrease symptoms of depression that you might be feeling.
If you’re worried about how the dark and cold of the winter months might negatively affect your mental health, consider using the tips mentioned above to fight against this.