7 Mental Health Hacks to Prepare for a Long Winter

Don’t let your mental health suffer this winter.

This winter will be unlike any other. Not only are we going to have to contend with unpredictable weather conditions (seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a winter-cyclone-tornado-fire), but a pandemic is raging the globe.

So on top of our scheduled seasonal depression, we will likely be sequestered indoors, away from our families for the holidays, and spending lots of time alone, indoors.

Our mental health should be our number one priority, but we often let it fall to the wayside. During a winter like this, it’s important to pay special attention to our mental state, and take steps to stay healthy, in both body and mind. Here are seven mental health hacks that should help you with the upcoming cold season.

Journal. Of all the things you can do to support mental health, journalling is both the hardest, and most rewarding. Being able to work your emotions out on paper will allow you to be more self-reflective, especially in terms of knowing when you are right or wrong.

Self-Check ins. Taking the time to assess your mental state throughout the day can help you be objective about how you are handling stress. If you are depressed and taking it out on everyone around you, being aware of it is the first step to changing it.

New Routines. It is very easy to get caught up in the routine of your life, even after it has stopped serving you. If your life starts feeling stale, consider changing your daily routine by adding new activities in.

READ MORE: Five Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder Before it Starts

Breathing Exercises. One of the best ways we can navigate stressful situations is by breathing more slowly. Take a deep, slow breath right now and tell me that you don’t feel a little less stressed!

Healthy Hobbies. Especially in quarantine times, hobbies are invaluable. Find healthy things that you like doing, and make them a regular occurrence.

Meditation Apps. Meditation is hard, which I totally get. Meditation apps make it easy! So now you have no excuse to get zen.

Scheduled Social Time. Social time, even via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype can do wonders for your quality of life and mental state. Schedule weekly social calls with your family, especially if you can’t see them in person.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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