3 ways to better your mental health during the holidays


Getty Images

The Holidays can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own personal needs.

Paying attention to one’s mental health is incredibly important, especially as shorter days of sunlight and cold winter weather approaches.

Here are three ways to help cope with the, at times, unbearable weather in order to help improve mental health and keep a positive mindset throughout the winter season.

1) Exercise

Exercise is always an important and encouraging activity that can help one stay active and engaged. Exercise is proven to improve one’s mood, boost energy and promote better sleep, according to Mayo Clinic

In the winter, it can be common for people to participate less when it comes to outdoor activities including going for a walk, run, swim or any other outdoor exercise-related activities. Getting a gym membership or having equipment at your house and creating a schedule or goal can be helpful. The goal is to exercise in a way that makes you feel good.

2) Eating well

Food can impact one’s mood, with a good diet being linked to improving one’s mood, feeling more energized and being able to think clearly, according to Mind.

Make sure that you aren’t skipping meals, that you are eating breakfast, staying hydrated, taking vitamins, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and making sure to get enough protein. Cutting down on sugar and alcohol can also be beneficial, according to Mind. Try to eat healthier foods in a way that you enjoy them, but don’t think that you must cut your favorite foods out completely. 

3) Do something you enjoy

People that are active and have hobbies that they enjoy are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Whether it is watching a movie, hanging out with friends, going shopping, writing, reading, listening to music, painting or whatever else interests you, it is important that you make time to be able to do what you enjoy.

It can also be helpful to stay in touch with family and friends as well to avoid the possibility of isolating oneself, which can only take even more of a negative toll on one’s mental health.

SAD, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is more common in northern than in southern parts of the United States. Make sure to take care of yourself and pay attention to your mental health this winter in order to try to keep a positive mindset and mental health state.