Taking care of yourself during the winter months is essential to survive it. We are advised to eat our greens, get some sunlight, move around, make sure you don’t spend all day hibernating in bed doing Netflix, and chill while drinking hot chocolate. But today we will give you some less conventional methods for boosting your mental health in the colder seasons of the year — and you may never have thought about some of them.
1. Take A Very Cold Shower
“The most unusual (and very effective) mental health tip I’ve used is cold therapy. This includes things such as ice baths, cold showers, and simply being outdoors in the cold for long periods of time. It sounds crazy, but the science supports that cold therapy not only boosts physical immunity but also elevates emotional wellness.” — Jordan, 24
Well, I have not tried it myself but this idea is quite crazy to imagine getting all wet with freezing cold water, I am sure it will awaken my entire body and then contemplate why I did it. If he said it worked for him, I will try it.
2. Lean Into What You’re Capable Of
“It might seem unusual to give in to your mental health issues rather than go against them, but winter — especially in a pandemic — is not the time to push yourself and make yourself more tired. Besides, you’re not giving in to it completely because you’re making small manageable moves. For instance, I find that water is harder to get myself to drink in the winter, but I accept that drinking tea or coffee is just as good if it means I’m going to stay hydrated! Another example is with skincare – if you can’t bring yourself to wash your face at the sink with water, then put micellar water and cotton pads by your bed and do it all from there!” — Rhiannon, 22
Well drinking water cold or hot for me is no problem even if it is winter, His idea was not crazy at all. It makes sense, If I am thirsty I drink water. Also, I am the type of person who doesn’t care if the water is freezing cold I will wash my face clean, I cannot sleep with makeup on.
3. Do Some Breathwork
“I offer free monthly breathwork sessions to my community. It helps alleviate stress and anxiety and exercises your respiratory muscles.” — Vanni, 30s
So people pay her to practice how to inhale and exhale to improve their mental health? Wow, what a genius.
4. Use A Sun Lamp
“I have to be especially diligent about managing my symptoms in the winter because of the lack of sunlight. I use a sun lamp during the winter months to instantly boost my mood if I’m feeling down. Just a few minutes a day on gray days and it does wonders. The trick is to have it in the periphery (like the sun, don’t look directly at the light!).” — Nicole, 30
Okay Nicole, points taken. I will order a sun lamp now on Amazon. I agree that sunlight is vital for mental health during winter.
5. Immerse Your Head In Water
“Feeling anxious? Bend over, hold your breath, and immerse put your face in a bowl of cold water for up to 60 seconds. This is usually sufficient to induce the ‘dive reflex.’ The colder the water and the longer the immersion, the better it works. The dive reflex is when our hearts tend to slow down below resting heart rate when submerged in cold water without oxygen. This is due to increased activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which decreases arousal.” — Sabrina, the 30s
I got to admit this one is easy to do and I have done it and yeah I can’t feel anxiety anymore, I feel cold, kidding aside it worked I felt relaxed after it!
6. Visit A Kitten Café
“Kitten café! People might not always want a pet or be allowed to have pets, so visiting cat cafés is a great way to reap the benefits. Those who have pets or interact with animals are less likely to suffer from depression, have elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine which help relax and calm an individual, have fewer visits to doctors, and have better overall physical and mental health.” — Ashleigh, 38
This one I want to try, I would also like to visit a dog café too if that is possible. The Animal lover in me is so excited to do this! Meow!
7. Call A Therapist Hotline
“There’s a service called Listeners on Call that I have been using to help with managing stress. It is a phone service that you can dial where you can speak with therapists, or you can get pre-screened to then speak with another normal person who has gone through what you are going through now. It’s pretty neat.” — Alex, 25
I believe this one is helpful and not creepy at all. I could use someone to talk to when things get rough.
8. Do A Half-Marathon
“The last two years I’ve signed up for a half marathon race in January or February. I discovered running a few years ago, and ever since it’s been one of the most important contributions to my mental health, especially in the winter months. I have a really bad seasonal affective disorder, and I live in an area where the winters are really gloomy and rainy. By signing up for a marathon or half marathon, I have a goal that I can work toward in the winter that keeps me focused and healthy. I personally run five days a week as part of my training, which gives me consistency and forces me to get outside every day.” — Grace, 26
Running on icy roads while snow falling all over my body is a must-try for me. After all exercise, winter or not improves mental health.
9. Shower In The Dark
“Shower in the dark! It really helps if you’re feeling overwhelmed/overstimulated because with the lights off you’re just in a little sensory cocoon with hot water and water sounds.” — Sarah, 33
This could be a scene in a movie. I have tried showering in the dark once when our electricity was not working. It gave me a relaxed feeling. I just wonder can I light a single scented candle? Will it work the same way?
So does the list seems too weird for you? I think it acceptable and it does make sense. Mental health should be a priority for all of us, especially in the wintertime. Take extra care of yourself!