Winter is upon us

Mental Health and Wellness
Winter is upon us

It can be easy to experience the “winter blues” once we have left the busy holiday season and no longer have many events and parties to look forward to with family and friends.The weather is gray, the air is bitter and damp, and we find ourselves returning back to our routines. So now what?

Here are some things to help you overcome the blues:

  • Find something to  look forward to.  Make an effort to schedule some exciting events into the weeks ahead. Plan your next trip or modest weekend getaway.This can include events as simple as a Saturday evening night out with friends or a Friday evening game night. Whatever you decide, it is always important to have enjoyable plans to look forward to!
  • Reach out to your support crew. When you are feeling down, it is important and beneficial to talk to those who support you and help raise your spirits.Try to spend time with people who understand and encourage you.
  • Take care of yourself.  Most of the time this is much easier said than done in our busy lives - but so important. Make sure to get plenty of rest (seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults). Try to incorporate healthier eating habits and exercise into your daily routine! (See below)
    • Unleash the endorphins. Work some exercise into your daily routine as mentioned above. This can be as simple as taking a short walk each day or as exciting as taking up a new sport or signing up for group exercise. Whatever it may be, remember that with a little physical effort you can actually improve your mood!
    • Reset your thinking.  A positive outlook will help lift the sense of unease when it comes to returning to work and other commitments. Be aware of statements like, “I hate being back at work.” Reframe negative self-talk so that you are saying something more positive to cultivate a more optimistic mindset like, “I enjoyed the time off for the holiday but I am grateful to be back at work and planning my next adventure.” Reframing is important and will become more automatic once you are aware of your own thoughts and emotions and how they can affect you.
    • Begin your day on a positive note. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee in the morning and listen to your favorite music on the way in to work!
    • Treat yourself.  Indulge in something special: a manicure, pedicure, massage, haircut or something that makes you feel good about yourself and is for you alone. You can also learn something new! Sign up for a class that you have always wanted to take, with a friend or alone.
    • Keep in touch. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with loved ones. Make an effort to schedule time with those you enjoy spending time with!
    • Realize that what you are feeling is normal.  Post-holiday blues are not uncommon and it is understandable after all that goes into holiday prep and celebrating to feel a little let down afterwards.You may feel down after the holidays for many reasons regardless of your holiday experience.
    • Know when to seek help.   If you feel like what you are experiencing may be more than the winter blues, reach out to a mental health care provider who can help you work through some of these feelings. Some red flags may include are inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, weight loss or feeling down for an extended period of time.