As we head into winter, many people can start to feel that their mood is lower – the lower levels of sunlight and the cold naturally can have this effect on the body, and as many animals in the natural world head into hibernation, it can make us want to do the same!
Winter is a time for everyone to take things a little slower and be kinder to ourselves – here are some things that can really help to boost your mood over these colder months of the year…
Being in the Natural World – Nature has a great positive effect on the brain. Spend some time walking through the winter woods and you will start to feel more calm and relaxed. There are lots of interesting things to see at this time of the year, from winter birds to the various fungi that can be found.
Pets – Spending time with pets is calming and uplifting. Cuddle up to your cat or take your dog out for a game of fetch and both of you will benefit from this.
Knitting – Something that is proven to lower the blood pressure, as well as being a great way to create cosy hats and scarves is knitting. A knitting kit is a great way to get started, and you could even join a local knitting club.
Exercise – In the winter we naturally want to stay in more, but getting exercise is not only good for your body but also for your brain as it increases positive feelings. Try something relaxing like yoga or go swimming if you don’t want to be outdoors in the cold and dark!
Mindfulness – Mindfulness and meditation are skills that take practice, so spend a little time each day doing this. There are lots of free guides online that can help you, and the more that you do it the better you will get at being able to do it. Start off with a few minutes a day and build up slowly.
Practice Gratitude – Something that we can often do when feeling down is focus on negative thoughts. However, everyone has things to be grateful for so start a list to help you focus on this. From a good cup of tea in the morning, to spending time with family or friends.