Winter wellbeing tips to beat the January blues

Julia Marolton 27 December 2022
Cat looking through a rain covered window

Less sunlight and darker evenings have been shown to impact our psyche, here’s how you can mitigate that.

With the darker, rainier and shorter days it can be hard to get up in the mornings and a feeling of melancholy can set in. Whilst remaining in hibernation for the rest of the winter sounds nice, it’s important to keep your mental health in check. It’s easy for our mood to be affected by seasonal change, so here are a few tips on how to improve your mental health this winter season.

What you may be excusing for lazy winter behaviour could actually be symptoms of mental health issues in disguise. These are some of the symptoms to look out for that you may be writing off as winter blues, but are actually signs of worsening mental health :

  • Being unsociable
  • Low energy
  • Oversleeping
  • Easily irritable
  • Overeating/undereating
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feelings of disconnect
  • Nervousness

Tips to improve your mental health this winter :

Get outside - Grab a few layers, and a hot drink to go, then try to catch the rare sunny days of winter. Being outside greatly benefits your mood, it reduces feelings of stress and fear, and not only does it impact your mental state it also aids your physical health, reducing blood pressure and the production of stress hormones, slowing your heartbeat down.

Be kind to yourself - Being compassionate towards yourself can help you reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Acknowledging that you’re not alone is an easy act of self-kindness that you can voice to yourself every day.

Exercise - It’s no secret that exercise improves your mood and in the cold winter months who doesn’t want to warm themselves up whilst doing something good for their body? Starting small by doing some light yoga or a light impact workout will create enough endorphins to boost your mood.

Keep active - Getting out of bed can seem like the hardest task sometimes but keeping yourself active will make you feel more productive and allow less time for those bad thoughts to find their way into your mind. Reward yourself for every task or activity you do, to further motivate yourself.

Eat healthily - Keeping your body healthy will help keep your mind functioning better, improving your mental health. Eating healthier gives you more energy and keeps your body on high alert, helping you think more clearly.

Get a new hobby - If the weather has really given its worst, it can get tiresome and boring being confined to the inside of your home. Try picking up a new hobby this winter, like knitting or learning how to speak another language, anything that will allow your brain to focus and relax.

Talk to someone/ seek help - Sometimes no matter what you do and how many self-care tips you read it just doesn’t work for you. Talking to friends and family or a professional can be really beneficial. Expressing your feelings out loud to someone can make you feel more validated, whilst gaining another perspective on your feelings and situation.

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Julia Marolton 27 December 2022