Days are shorter in winter, and this can have a physical and psychological effect on people. Along with the shorter days, the temperature drops, and we miss the bright sunshine. Having lots of energy and being in a good mood can be difficult for you at this time. Without adjusting to the changing times of the day, it can affect how people feel and work every day. Finding more fun ways to cope with the shorter winter days can improve our mental health and well-being. Take a look at these 7 ways to make the most of the shorter winter days
- Get outside and explore
Even though it might be cold, it’s worth trying and having some fun outside during your day. Take a nature walk, go on an outdoor adventure. Not only will the physical environment help your body change a little, but it’s also good to get outside and explore the outdoors to make you feel better about staying indoors all the time. Speaking of outdoors, getting lots of natural light on your skin is good practice and health. Even if it enters a small part of the skin that is not covered, it is good both mentally and physically to get the sun. Just watch out for dry skin and sunburn, which is common in snowy but sunny areas.
- Choose the right foods to eat
Once summer is over, many of us start eating foods high in carbohydrates like pasta, mashed potatoes, and desserts. As sweet as these sweet treats can be, they’re often full of sugar, fat, and refined carbohydrates that can spike your blood sugar levels, which can affect your mood and your strength.
The good news is that there are plenty of comfort foods that can satisfy your winter cravings without ruining your diet. For example, a cold stew that is warm with meat and potatoes and heavy with vegetables can be a good way to warm up on a cold day. Combine that with a slice of whole grain bread and you have a comforting, nutritious meal that gives your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
- Do the exercises
When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. This will increase your energy and reduce the feeling of fatigue. You should aim for 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
However, you have to be careful when choosing to exercise. Make sure you do vigorous exercise like HIIT or jogging. Try to do it a few hours before you retire to bed because it can affect your mental health. The perfect exercise you can do at any time would be walking, yoga, or gentle stretching. These will give you the energy you need throughout the day, and you can always do them before you go to bed. In addition to exercising your body that needs a healthy workout, such as your muscles, lungs, etc., being active also helps to keep the body warm naturally.
- Keep a sleep schedule
Keep your sleep routine as regular as possible. Stick to your usual sleeping pattern. Do not change your sleeping pattern based on the season. Just because it’s dark at 6am doesn’t mean you can go to bed at 6am. And this also applies to your wake up time. Set a consistent time for waking up and going to sleep every day. You can get a watch. It has great benefits for your health and mental health. For example, a clock can evoke the feeling of sunrise and make your body feel ready for the day ahead.
- Enjoy quality time with family and friends
Spending time with friends and family is a proven way to lift your spirits during the cold and dark months. Go on vacation, it may be in your country or abroad. You can have an amazing “sunny” vacation in winter. You can also enjoy home-cooked meals or enjoy family movies together. This can help you improve your mood and make you happy when the daylight is long.
- Learn a new skill or hobby
With cold weather and cloudy days, it can be difficult to find something to keep you awake and interested. One strategy that you can think about is to find a new hobby that you can pursue at home or to revive a past hobby that has been forgotten. Some suggestions include sewing, art, painting, learning a foreign language, starting a blog or vlog, writing a book, etc. The coolest part about these suggestions is that each one can be done from the comfort of your home. This will give you something to do even on the coldest of days. Learning something new is a fun way to lift your spirits after a dark and scary evening.
- Don’t forget to look after yourself
Self-care is very important. To relax your mind and body, make sure you take time to do things that make you happy. In addition to the tips mentioned above, do not engage in negative coping behaviours like excessive drinking, excessive spending, or excessive screen time that contribute to depression. You can practice mindfulness meditation and yoga. These will keep your thoughts and emotions under control and help you stay positive. Keeping a gratitude journal is also helpful.
It is not unusual to be affected by changes in the seasons and weather or have a time of year when you are more relaxed/stressed. For example, you may notice that your mood or energy levels decrease when it’s cold or hot, or that you notice changes in your sleeping or eating patterns. But if your feelings are interfering with your daily life, it could be a sign that you are suffering from depression. But if they return at the same time of the year, you may likely be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as “seasonal depression.” If this is the case, then you need to see your doctor ASAP. The Winter tips: 7 ways to make the most of the shorter days already discussed above will also help improve your condition.