Friday, 20 October 2017

How To Look After Your Mental Health In The Colder Months

How To Look After Your Mental Health In The Colder Months SAD depression Heat holders socks blanket review blogger mental health advice tips winter

Looking after your mental health can be a tiresome task all year around for some. For others, who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder) autumn and winter are their worst enemies. I love autumn and winter. They are my favourite seasons of the year. Not only because my birthday and Christmas fall within the same month, but I also love the change in weather, bringing out the warm jumpers and of course, not forgetting my favourite holiday of the year, Halloween! However, I'm fully aware not everyone shares my excitement for this time of the year.

Whether you struggle with a diagnosable mental health disorder or you just find your mood lowers and motivation decreases during the colder months, it's important to acknowledge that and take steps to look after your mental health. We all have a mental health. Therefore, we can all take steps to ensure we look after it. Just like we wouldn't go out in shorts and a vest in December in fear of catching a cold, looking after our physical health- we can do the same for our mental health.

Of course, taking steps to look after your mental health in the darker, colder months of the year isn't going to always prevent depression and SAD. Instead, it's about being prepared and taking time to help minimise the risk or the impact it has on your life. Think stock pilling Lem Sip in the cupboard for an inevitable sore throat. Here are just a few simple things you can do to look after your mental health doing the colder months. 


1. GET AS MUCH LIGHT AS POSSIBLE

With the dark mornings and dark evenings, getting enough sunlight and essential vitamin D in your body can be tricky. It's tempting to stay locked up all day because it's too cold to go outside. But trust me, making an effort to go out even if it's just for a 10-minute walk around the block or a brisk stroll outside in your lunch hour will do you a world of good. Wrap up warm and make sure you reward yourself with a warm beverage when you get back. Create the biggest most outlandish hot chocolate you have ever made and use that as your motivation to go out walking. 

2. CREATE YOUR OWN SUN

Unfortunately, I can't make the sun appear all the time during winter. I would if I could trust me but I can't. However, you can create your own sun by using a Lumie alarm. The premise of these clocks is that they wake you up with a natural, gradual brightening light which should help you feel more energised for the day. Basically doing the role of the sun, in the depths of winter. This is why these clocks are a genius invention for those who struggle with SAD. Getting up in the morning can be a challenge all year around, but this is heightened in the winter when the sun never shows its face, and you seem to spend most of your time in the dark. Although they're not the cheapest thing in the world, they are worth a try.

How To Look After Your Mental Health In The Colder Months SAD depression low mood tips advice Heat holders review winter

3. KEEP YOURSELF WARM AND COSY

It's no secret that it can get cold in the winter. I don't know about you but if I'm cold, I'm likely to be moody and being moody is no fun for no one. Being cold and grumpy can also mean you are less productive, which can worsen a bad mood further. However, there is no need to worry as there are easy ways to avoid all of this, with Heat Holders*

Heat Holders are a fantastic company who sell all kinds of products to keep you warm this winter. Actually, as I write this I'm wearing a pair of their cosy socks* and OMG it feels like I'm walking on marshmallows- without the stickiness. They are seriously that cosy. I also can't get enough of their warm, cosy fleece blankets*. I've been looking forward to the evenings just so I can wrap myself up in mine. I seriously challenge anyone to find something softer than one of these Heat holders blankets. You've got no chance. These items have been an essential in keeping me warm and improving my mental health. 

4. TREAT YOURSELF 

This is not specific to SAD really, but from experience, I think it is definitely something most of us do less in the winter months. Maybe it's because you are so stressed with the run-up to Christmas or you are spending all your hard earned cash on others, for the festive season. Maybe, you're dealing with the financial burn from Christmas in the New Year. Whatever the reason it can be easy to neglect self-care during the colder months. But we shouldn't. It is so important to take time out for yourselves and relax. Looking after yourself doesn't have to cost a penny. Watch a DVD, make yourself a hot chocolate and have a peaceful evening to yourself in bed. It may not seem a lot, but it is likely to do the world of good if you are feeling stressed beyond words.

How To Look After Your Mental Health In The Colder Months SAD depression heat holders socks blanket review blogger

5. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 

I just want to reiterate I'm all about a balance. If you want to eat five mini sausage rolls in a row or a whole box of Heros, you go for it. However, most of us know this isn't good for us. Treats are important but so is balancing that out with eating well and light to moderate exercise. In the winter months, it can be easy to be tempted by the isles of chocolate and treats in the supermarkets. It's so easy to put off walking to work because it's too cold or raining but if you can try and keep up a semi-active and healthy lifestyle during the colder months, not only will your body thank you for it your mind will too! 10 minutes of brisk walking every day counts as exercise, I'll have you know. It doesn't have to be loads, it's just about not getting out of habit as seasons and weather change. 

Let me know what you do to look after your mental health in the colder months in the comments down below.

Thank you for reading, as always X 

* Some of the items in this post were gifted to me. However, all opinions are my own, and I'm not being paid to write this post. 

Make sure you check out my October advertisers: Elf Feel Good VintageInfertitlyandlife and Lylia Rose
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