Staying Mentally Healthy During The Winter Months
It’s easy to get the blues during the winter, particularly when the holidays are over. The skies are gray, the weather is cold, and it is more challenging to go outdoors and socialize with others. Some people solve this problem by wintering in warmer climates. If you don’t have that luxury, the following tips can help you make it through the winter months in a more positive frame of mind.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
The sun helps us make the vitamin D our bodies need. During the winter, sun exposure is decreased, and so are vitamin D levels. According to an article in the Scientific American, 75% of adults and teens in the U.S. are deficient in this important nutrient. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to a lowered mood and increase the risk of depression and cognitive decline. It makes sense to supplement during the winter when you are spending more time indoors.
Get Some Exercise
A recent study has provided more evidence that exercise can boost mood, as stated in a Harvard Health article. Walking for an hour a day or running for 15 minutes reduces the risk of depression. Exercise increases serotonin and endorphin levels, which helps elevate your mood. Even when there is snow on the ground and the walks are icy, making it difficult to walk outdoors, you use a home treadmill, join a gym, or take a dance or yoga class.
Go Outside When You Can
Harsh winter weather can make it difficult to go outdoors. But when the weather clears, getting outside as often as you can make a huge difference in your mental state. Even if it’s only for short periods of time, being outdoors can help regulate your body’s energy and help reduce stress. It also gives you some exposure to sunlight, which not only helps you produce vitamin D, but also helps your brain produce serotonin.
Dehydration is a risk, not only in the summer heat, but also in arid winter conditions. Cold weather reduces the body’s thirst response, and you may not realize you are sweating, as perspiration evaporates quickly. Dehydration affects brain function. It can lead to headache, fatigue, a lowered mood, and difficulty focusing. Even mild dehydration can impact energy levels, alertness, and productivity. Carry a water bottle around with you in the winter and make sure you are consuming enough throughout the day.
Most people tend to isolate themselves from others when they are feeling down. Do the opposite if you are beginning to feel the winter blues. Spend time with family and friends. Join a class or engage in volunteer work. If you prefer to stay at home, invite your friends over. Building and maintaining social connections can help you stay positive. Just be sure to follow any necessary COVID-19 guidelines.
Make Sure You Have the Right Health Insurance
Health issues can have a significant effect on your mood and mental outlook. Getting regular checkups and medical care can help you stay healthy, fit, and in a better frame of mind. Having the right health insurance makes it possible to get the care you need, when you need it. Our friendly agent can help you find an affordable health plan that meets your needs.