How to Preserve Your Mental Health as Days Get Shorter and Darker
Even as beautiful fall weather and colors begin to make their appearance, the prospect looms of cold, cloudy, and short days ahead. Even for the most positive of people, the long winter months can make it difficult to stay happy and mentally healthy. Nevertheless, it is important to do everything you can to maintain your mental health, to help prevent yourself from falling into depression. Here, then, are a few ways to preserve and protect your mental health as those summer days slip away.
If your corner of the world isn’t sunny and bright, one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to go somewhere that is. You don’t have to be a snowbird and spend all winter in a tropical locale. In fact, just a week or two will do wonders. In addition to the benefits of the warm temperatures and the abundant sunshine, the excitement you experience in preparing for and anticipating your getaway will help you overcome those winter blues. Important here, though, is to ensure that you don’t overspend on your trip, or you might begin to feel down for a different reason.
Don’t Go It Alone
Often times, when you’re struggling through winter and are most vulnerable, it seems that tragedy takes this opportunity to strike. At any time, but especially during the short and dark months of winter, it’s important to bring people around you to help you through difficult circumstances that arise. For example, if a loved one dies, it’s a very good idea to hire someone from a funeral home to help you prepare the arrangements. The extra burden of planning a funeral, while you’re already struggling with grief, could be too much to bear. Let someone who knows what they’re doing take the reins so you can have the space you need to grieve well.
Another great way to get yourself through the winter blues is to include as many other people in your life as possible. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, you still need other people in your life to help make your day brighter. One of the best ways to include others is to get involved in some type of service organization. This way, you’re able to improve someone else’s life while improving your own at the same time. This busyness helps keep you from having time to focus on your own circumstances, which can certainly help when the weather is bleak.
Don’t Hold Back
If you are suffering from symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or other types of winter blues, it’s important to seek help if you notice those symptoms worsening. You definitely don’t want to overdo it in hopes that your symptoms will just “go away.” Be honest with yourself and others about what you’re experiencing so you can get any necessary treatment as soon as possible.