As the days get colder and the wintry chill sets in, we tend to spend more time indoors curled up in our blankets and binge-watching movies or just glued to our screens. As we become less active, our mental health can also suffer. If you’re also someone who feels down most winters, it could probably be due to your lifestyle habits or a bad winter routine. Mood disorders like SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a type of depression, can also strike some people and contribute to low moods during the day. It is important to manage your mental health in cold weather by modifying your routine a little, by adding more physical activities and a good diet. (Also read: Diabetes: Can feeling anxious or happy raise your blood sugar? Here’s what an expert has to say)
“It’s the end of the year. The sun is starting to set early and the weather is getting colder day by day. Less sunshine during this time of year often harms our physical and mental health. We feel more irritable and low on energy, or even struggling to do our daily tasks. Maintaining our mental health during these winter months is crucial for our overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Jyoti Kapoor , Founder and Lead Psychiatrist, Manasthali.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder
“Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression seen in people during winters. Symptoms include lack of energy, excessive sleep, sluggishness, loss of interest in routine activities or willpower. to do anything. The winter blues invite laziness; people choose to stay in bed and watch their favorite shows while consuming junk instead of going out and exploring places,” says Dr. RC Jiloha, Senior Consultant – Psychiatry, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
Here are expert tips for beating the winter blues and managing those negative feelings:
1. Get outside and exercise
Exercising daily is good for our body and mind. Even 15-30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can boost our energy levels, help us sleep better, boost our confidence and improve our mood.
“Cold weather doesn’t mean we have to stay indoors. Lay down properly with warm clothes and go out for a walk and get some fresh air and needed vitamin D. Exercise helps reduce stress and to relax. Spending time in the daylight, even in winter, refreshes the mood. If you are not able to go outside, there are still many options for home workouts. Check out the videos online to take or virtual classes to join in. You may even find that these types of classes offer a way to connect with others while enjoying the physical benefits,” says Dr. Kapoor.
2. Eat healthy and sleep well
“A healthy and nutritious diet is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and healthy lifestyle. Diets high in processed foods and refined sugar have been linked to worsening mood disorders, including depression. It can be tough with all those leftover holiday foods and desserts, but focus on keeping the balance — stock up on healthy fruits, veggies, and protein, but allow yourself the occasional indulgence. says Dr. Kapoor.
3. Plan a winter vacation
“Going on a winter vacation is the best thing you can do to break anxiety levels. Although darker days are moodier, a change in environment and snowfall make a big difference. People plan also many activities of trekking, extreme adventure sports and exploring snow covered mountains.Snowy weather.Staying in touch with your loved ones and taking the initiative to take care of your mental health is the first step to get out of your dark thoughts in any season. However, if you feel that your situation is getting very complicated and harming your personal life, please get professional help. Let a therapist understand your problems and give you the most suitable solution” , says Dr. Jiloha.
4. Plan your day
“Set up a proper schedule to maintain your energy levels throughout the day, including routine exercise like brisk walking or yoga without being stuck for the early morning timing,” says
Dr. Shweta Sharma, Clinical Psychologist and Founder, Mansa Global Foundation for Mental Health.
5. Do not consume negative news
“If you feel negatively impacted by the news, limit your exposure to 15 minutes and then focus on something more uplifting, like a TV show, sport, or any other movie you enjoy. The same goes for applies to scrolling through social media apps. Limit your time and move on to a new, more rewarding activity,” says Dr. Kapoor.
6. Be grateful
“Although it only takes five minutes a day, keeping a gratitude book can dramatically refresh your mood and open your mind. At the end of each day, write down at least one thing you are grateful for that day,” says Dr. Kapoor. .
7. Start doing meditation
“Meditation is a very good practice, even if it only lasts five to ten minutes a day and brings a big change in your health. Meditating once a day in the morning or before bed can help you keep your feet on your feet. land and quiet your mind,” says Dr Kapoor.
8. Plan outdoor activities
“Plan outdoor activities every week to get some new mental energy, because staying in one place or maintaining the same routine doesn’t give you enough motivation,” Dr. Sharma says.
“Write a gratitude journal to remind yourself ‘how important you are as an individual’ or to realize your self-worth,” says Dr. Sharma.
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