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Dealing with Seasonal Changes and Mental Health

seasonal changes
Image credit: AnnaKóró

For many, the changing seasons can usher in a medley of emotions and adjustments when it comes to their mental health. Whether you find yourself grappling with these shifts or you’re simply intrigued by the seasonal effects on well-being, we have a few a tips from our LifeSkills team to guide you through the fall and winter months.

1. Stay Warm
If the weather is getting colder or you’re feeling chilly, this can affect the way you feel. It can impact how well you sleep and how much you drink, and it can exacerbate symptoms of other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Staying warmer can also help your body to feel like it is closer to another season, which, in turn, could make you feel happier or healthier. Invest in extra layers, blankets, or heaters to stay warm.

2. Sleep Well
Lack of sleep can impact many mental health conditions, including depression and seasonal affective disorder. Most people need to sleep for 7-9 hours per night to feel refreshed and happy the next morning. If you fail to get enough sleep or stay awake long enough each night, this can result in worsened symptoms. Create a sleeping routine that encourages you to get enough sleep every night. This may include switching your electronic devices off an hour or two before you go to bed or playing some relaxing music to help yourself wind down.

3. Maintain a Routine
Maintaining a routine throughout all seasons can help your body and mind to cope with the effects of changes. Darker evenings or brighter mornings can cause you to feel like you’re lacking your normal routine, so taking steps to maintain this could help to
improve your mental health during difficult times. Your routine should include regular meal times, regular exercise, and a continuation of any essential activities that you normally take part in.

4. Talk to People
If you’re struggling, don’t hold too much inside. Talk to friends and trusted relatives when you’re feeling down, or consider seeing a professional counselor to help you. Speaking to people might also help you to discover that many other people feel the same as you do. Since it is very common to struggle with changing mental health as the seasons change, it’s likely that you already know other people who are experiencing similar things to you.

5. Find Things that Make You Happy
During any time of the year, finding things that make you happy can improve your mental health and make you feel happier and healthier. Making an effort to include these things in your daily routine can ensure you can find some joy every day. The things that make you happy might vary from hobbies and sports to talking on the phone to your friends or watching your favorite movie. Music, arts, and other creative activities can also help you to get through a difficult season or period.

If you need additional support, the LifeSkills team is here to help. Reach out today (270) 901-5999.

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