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Getting Ready for Winter – 3 Tips for Coping with Shorter Days

Getting ready for winter might seem a bit premature as we are only in mid-September, however for many of us the thought of shorter days, longer nights, the cold and the damp can make us feel low and sad. We have discussed SAD syndrome in these blog posts previously, both Winter SAD and Summer SAD. You can read these posts by clicking on the links below.

Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD

Summer Sadness – Summertime Blues

If you think that you might be someone who is adversely affected by the winter months you could begin to put in place mechanisms to reduce the impact of the dark and colder days on your mental health. Below are 3 tips to consider:

  1. Keeping Warm
    • Think about your home, is there anyway to make it more cosey. At the moment with the cost of fuel, adding lots of lights might not be viable, but you could consider adding brightly coloured furnishing and pictures. Make sure your bedroom is cosey too. Do you need new bed linen or could you paint it a brighter colour. Do you need a warm, snuggly throw to keep you warm in the evening.
    • Make sure you have a good winter coat, gloves, scarf and shoes. If you think about this now, then there is time to save up before winter comes. If you have something already, get it out ready.
  2. Getting Exercise
    • We all know that exercise is good for our mental health, even in the cold weather get outside and go or a walk in nature, around where you live or your local park. If you can’t go outside consider doing indoor walking, there are lots of free workouts on Youtube. This is one Youtube channel that has lots of indoor walks. Lucy Wyndham Reed – Walk at Home
    • Think about joining an exercise class or club, in this way you are getting exercise and being social at the same time.
  3. Eating Well
    • It can be easy to eat comfort food in the winter months, spend some time now considering what you would like your diet to be like. Plan for the food you might eat to ensure that it is still healthy and nutritious. Maybe this would be a good time to experiment with cooking and baking, or trying out new recipes.

It could be easy to go with the flow in the winter and stop exercising and eat all the things that are enjoyable but not great for us. These tips are encouraging you to approach winter consciously, and to think about how you want it to look for you. There are various other resources online to look at.

NHS – Beating the Winter Blues

Met Office – Looking after your mental health through the winter

Lifespan- How to maintain your mental health in winter

If you are still struggling with the thought of the winter months you might want to talk to somebody, reach out to your friends and relatives, or if you need to a professional. Paul Carter is a counsellor and psychotherapist with many years of experience, you can learn more about Paul here on the About Paul Page. If you would like to make an appointment with him please use the Contact Page or call on 07843 813 537. Paul works in Birmingham and Kingswinford, although currently due to COVID is working exclusively online and on the telephone. For more information about how counselling works and current fees please take a look at the FAQs page.

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