During the winter months, many people tend to experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. It’s cold and gloomy outside, no wonder you aren’t feeling your usual jolly self. SAD is often linked to the reduced amount of sunlight in winter because our bodies use sunlight to regulate sleep, appetite and mood. Therefore in the winter, when light levels are lower, your body clock is disrupted. This leads to depression and tiredness. Winter may put a damper on a lot of things, but don’t allow it to affect your mood. Winter is the perfect time of the year to boost your mental health while having fun doing it! Here are some ways you can get the full benefits of your winter.
Studies show that volunteering leads to lower rates of depression, and it gives a sense of purpose, which positively impacts longevity/life expectancy.
Volunteering can also help people whose mental health may be impacted by feeling lonely by allowing them to stay connected and contribute to communities in meaningful ways. Volunteering can be fun if you find a cause that you are good at or passionate about.
2. Keep a gratitude journal
Try writing at least three things you’re grateful for in your journal each day. Gratitude has been shown to help people sleep better, make healthier lifestyle choices, and form stronger bonds with others.
And if nothing else, a gratitude journal will help you find something positive about your life on those cold and gloomy winter days when you aren’t feeling your best.
3. Plan a getaway
Sometimes all we need to get out of a funk is a trip, even if it’s just a short getaway for the weekend. Even a weekend getaway has been shown to have immediate effects on stress levels and can enhance your overall well-being.
The planning and anticipation of an upcoming trip not only gives you something else to focus on, it also gives you the opportunity to connect with others, which is great if you have been feeling lonely.
4. Have a game night
Challenging your brain with something fun can relieve stress all while sharpening your cognitive skills and enhancing your memory. A game night with close family and friends is the perfect way to do this whether you’re doing