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Ways to Protect Mental Health During Winter Months
It is hard to believe, but we are already approaching the winter months. As the temperature begins to drop, more and more people will find themselves spending more time inside. This is something which happens every year, and sometimes people will find that all the time spent inside can be detrimental to their mental health. There are certain things everyone can do to protect their mental health during the winter months.
- It is important to find something you enjoy doing. Even though we spend more time inside during the winter months, we can still find things we enjoy doing. Whether it be playing a board game, doing some sort of workout, reading a book, watching a movie, or even doing a puzzle, there are many fun things we can still do inside.
- Take note of how much time you are spending with people and if needed be sure to spend time alone. As it gets colder, it seems we spend more time with people because we are inside most of the time. For some people this doesn’t bother them at all, but for others they need to make sure they are spending time alone and not just with other people. Practice an awareness of how you are feeling around other people and be sure to do what is best for you.
- It is good to practice gratitude during the colder months. I mean, it is always good to practice gratitude, but it is especially important to practice gratitude during the winter months. Knowing what we are grateful for can help improve our overall emotional well-being. Whether you write down what you are thankful for or even if you say it out loud or tell someone, the actual practice of gratitude is extremely beneficial.
- You can still go outside too. Be sure to bundle up to stay warm, but we should all still spend some amount of time outside. Being outside in the fresh air helps improve our mental health. Even though it is not as fun to be outside during the winter because it is so cold, it is still a good thing to do. There are a lot of things we can still do outside: go sledding, build a snowman, or just go on a walk.
- You could try and learn something new. If there is something you have been wanting to learn, the winter season is a great time to teach yourself something new. Have you always wanted to learn how to play guitar? Maybe this winter you start teaching yourself that skill.
Even though life is different in the winter when it is so much colder and people are spending more time inside, there are still plenty of things we can all do to improve our emotional well-being. There are many celebrations that happen during these months upcoming months, so be sure to celebrate well. Celebrate the life you have, the individuals who love you and who you love, and whatever it is that brings you joy.
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.