Winter Mental Health Tips

I usually find Winter to be quite difficult. Not only can the lack of sunlight be troublesome, but the Winter months seem to be full of events that trigger anxiety for me and when it gets to about September, I start to worry about the months to follow. First there’s Halloween, then there’s bonfire night, then there’s Christmas, then there’s new year. All this really means for me is more chance of getting ill and an added pressure to ‘go out and do things’ and be happy. Here are my tips for looking after your mental health in the Winter months.

Try to keep at least some routine. I always find that the Festive season can be a bit troublesome because I have just over a week off work. I’m sure anybody else would absolutely love the idea of 10 days off but for me, the lack of routine makes things really difficult. I find that the days all blur together and I lose track of where I am and what I’m doing. This year I’ve tried to plan out some days so that I know exactly what I’m dealing with. I’m even going into work for two days!

Do more of what you enjoy. As it gets darker and colder, a lot of us fall victim to the ‘Winter blues.’ When you suffer from a mental illness this becomes doubly difficult so at this time it’s really important to try to increase the amount of time spent on things that we actually enjoy doing. Going for walks, reading and writing are all things that I try to spend more time doing in Winter. I also find meditation really helpful, particularly when it comes to dealing with anxiety.

Get enough sleep and water! I feel like we underestimate the value of getting enough sleep. I always find that after a bad night’s sleep I’m ten times more anxious the next day so I try to get at least eight hours every night anyway, but even more so in Winter. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink as much water as you can because all these things, although simple, do make a difference.

Lamps and candles
Going to work when it’s dark and getting home when it’s dark can sometimes make you feel like you’re living in constant darkness so I find a bit of calm lighting really helpful. Lighting a few candles or using a lamp instead of a big light can help to create a less harsh, calmer atmosphere which can help me to relax.

Take each day at a time and remember that every single day is a new chance and a new start. This is actually something that I remind myself of all year round. I have managed to teach myself that one bad day does not dictate a whole week. I know that when I go to sleep after an awful day, the morning will be brighter. Always try to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ because it’s always there. Every single day, it’s there. Sometimes you just have to look a bit harder.

Does anyone else find Winter particularly difficult? What are your tips?

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14 Comments

  1. November 6, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    These tips are excellent. Although I love all things Christmas/Autumn/Winter, I definitely feel that this time of year is when my mental health plummets. I think it’s a combination of when academic work starts back up again and since I’ve been at uni this means living 4 hours away from my friends and family, making it doubly hard to keep calm and confident about things. Not to mention to absolutely freezing and wet weather we’ve been blessed with this week – makes me very anxious and unwilling to go out and do things when it’s like this!

    I definitely find snuggly cosy evenings once in a while with soft scented candles and fairy lights make me feel much better – and yoga and meditation at least once a week are really useful!

    I like the tip about routine, and I think it’s definitely a good thing to have and even though in the holidays I love my lie ins, I definitely find a routine helps me feel better in the long run and get things done and ordered.

    Hope things are ok with you right now and hope you had a wonderful night the other night! (When you didn’t have anything to wear, haha!)

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  2. Nicole
    November 6, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    These are all wonderful tips! I’m not looking forward to winter this year because of my birthday/ Christmas with the high expectation to be happy but I will be coming back to this post if I need it ❤️❤️

  3. Mike
    November 6, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    I really like Nicole’s idea of coming back to read this later. I might be doing that!

  4. November 6, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    All great tips! This season is always a bit hard on mental health… I find that what help me the most is spending time outside. I’m quite a sporty/outdoorsy person so I try to go walking/running/hiking as much as possible. Though I somehow find it colder here in England than in my home country of Canada si it makes it harder to find the motivation… 🙂

    • Hannah
      November 7, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      Omg yes!xx

  5. November 12, 2016 / 10:03 am

    great tips i feel a bit trapped at winter cause i cant go out cause its cold my tip would be to go to peoples houses more. & i loved the routine tip even though Christmas is great the lack of routine does make me anxious

  6. Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind
    November 23, 2016 / 10:36 am

    We loved this post Hannah! It’s very current for this time of year and we think our service users and readers will understand completely with your tips and advice. We would love to share this blog post on our website! Do let us know your thoughts 🙂

    http://www.middlesbroughandstocktonmind.org.uk/blog.aspx

  7. January 3, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    I love these, Hannah. Simple tips that can easily be done. It’s nice to be reminded that small steps can have a big difference 🙂

  8. January 7, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    This is lovely. So many wonderful little tips! I find that I tend to get low when the seasons change but I think all these tips can be applied to that too! Thank you for writing this ☺️

  9. January 12, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    I love this post! So many of these are great ideas. Also the simplest are the best – eating well and hydrating is so underrated. Great post.

  10. January 29, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Love this post :)x

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