5 Tips to Manage Your Mental Health When Transitioning from Fall to Winter
Transitioning from Fall to Winter can be difficult for many people. As we anticipate the fast approaching cold weather and darkness, we struggle with the changes to our schedules, our change in activities, and often increased social isolation.
To help your transition from Fall to Winter a little easier to manage, here are a list of suggested tips to keep you going as the weather changes.
1) Declutter and Make Room for Winter
Decluttering your space can really help increase your mood. Often the environment around us can reflect what is happening internally. Taking some time to declutter and organize, will help you feel more at peace. Decluttering and organizing BEFORE you need to start pulling out your winter gear will make it much easier to cope with when the time comes.
2) Eat Well
Studies suggest the cold weather cues our bodies to increase our caloric intake. Our bodies are wanting to stay warm. Adding energy by increasing our food intake is one of the ways our body keep up warm. This is what our bodies are supposed to do. However, we don’t always plan for the changes in our body, and we often default to reaching for sugary foods. Having a plan to add warm and healthy food to our diets will help with reaching for convenience foods that we might not usually reach for. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to restrict some of your winter favourites, like hot chocolate and marshmallows. It means you want to be mindful about what you are eating, so you are less likely to binge on the sugary foods that might make you feel sick and sluggish. Check out Work of Art YEG on Instagram for tips on mindful eating.
3) Brighten Your Living Space
Winter means the days grow shorter and we have less sunlight. The lack of sunlight can impact us in a few ways; including making our homes feel smaller and cramped. You might already have added a sunlamp to increase the light in our homes, but there are some additional low-cost ways to increase brightness in our homes. Try switching out the warm lightbulbs in your home for cool ones or removing screens from windows to increase the light coming in (remember to put the screens back when it’s warm enough to start opening the windows again.
4) Get Moving
The cold, dark, early evenings might make you want to stay home and hibernate, but physical activity is important to keep our moods up. Plan now, before the snow hits, on how you can keep active. During the warmer winter months, you could join a cross country ski club, and in the colder months you could sign up for a yoga class. It might be helpful to join a registered activity, so you feel more accountable to keeping up with the activity. Check out the Edmonton Sport and Social Club, or the City of Edmonton’s Fitness Center Programs!
5) Stay Social
Similar to why we might decrease our activity, we might struggle to get out and socialize during the winter months. Plan for social activities now, before the urge to hibernate kicks in. You might want to arrange a regular activity with some of your friends, like checking out an Edmonton Oilers Game or joining a book club at the Edmonton Public Library. You can also pick a registered activity, (like a dance class at Foot Notes Dance Studio) which will help you stay accountable in keeping social connections.
If you are struggling with a low mood, winter blues, or transitioning trouble, call Aligned Minds (587) 606-4099 to set up a free consultation with a licensed professional therapist. We are here to help!
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