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Balancing Your Mental and Physical Health This Winter

Balancing Your Mental and Physical Health This Winter

Winter can come with a unique set of challenges for some people, year after year. The holidays can be stressful in many different ways. Many struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) thanks to the short, gloomy days. Others develop expectations for the season that never seem to coincide with reality.

This year, on top of everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic has created even more problems. Families have been kept apart for months. Some are grieving the loss of loved ones, or simply the loss of traditions and togetherness. Others have lost their jobs or have been having to deal with the stress of working from home.

Needless to say, finding ways to balance your mental and physical health this winter is more important than ever.

Thankfully, there are several ways to make your overall health a priority and take care of yourself, despite the circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at how you can strike a balance between your mental and physical health, and find a sense of peace during this uncertain season.

Avoiding Burnout

It’s easy to automatically associate winter with the holiday season. This comes with thoughts of gift-buying, extra events, and possibly financial worries or stress over too many obligations. While this year might look a little different, the risk of burnout is still very real. Some people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, others have had to work more just to stay afloat.

Your employer should be doing all it can to help foster your health and wellbeing now — and at any time. If your job is draining your energy or causing you extra stress, make sure you’re taking mental health breaks that include:

  • Getting outside
  • Going for walks
  • Standing up and stretching

Your workplace culture should be one that promotes mental health. If you feel like you’re working in a toxic environment, it might be time to consider a different path. If you’re working at home due to the pandemic, it’s just as important to take it easy on yourself. Sometimes, you can be your own worst enemy, especially if you feel the need to make more money or work harder this time of year.

When it comes to burning out in other areas of life, keep the idea of taking breaks in mind. Whether you’re shopping for the holidays, dealing with family members, or even just trying to keep up with the news surrounding the pandemic, take a break to reduce your stress. Practice mindfulness by focusing on the present moment and your breathing, rather than worrying about what’s going to happen in the future.

Creating a Calming Space at Home

Most of us have been spending more time at home than ever before. That’s exactly why your home should feel more like a sanctuary, or a place you know you can relax and find comfort.

Start by setting intentions for your living space. How do you want your home to make you feel? Do you want to boost your productivity? Reduce stress? Once you set those intentions, you can get to work on cultivating a home that promotes positive mental health. Some additions you can make to your space to focus on wellness include:

  • Utilizing calming scents
  • Adding live plants
  • Eliminating distractions
  • Adding crystals

Another very important means of creating a calming space is to ensure you’ve removed as much clutter from it as possible and you’re using soothing colours. Not only can these practices help with making a space feel calm, they help make it feel bigger if it happens to be a smaller space in your home. This, in turn, adds to the sense of calm.

It’s not just about creating the ideal space for mental health, but what you do within that space. If you’ve already set intentions for the space itself, think about the activities that help you to feel centred and balanced. When you dedicate that space to those activities, it will have even more of a positive impact. You’ll know that no matter what else may be going on in your life, you can find comfort in your own home.

Staying Active

Staying active year-round is important, but to keep both your mind and body healthy this year, you should make physical activity a priority. There is a bigger connection between your mental and physical health than most people realize. Taking care of both can help you to strike a balance that leaves you feeling peaceful and at rest during this busy, stressful season.

Those who struggle with their mental health often end up dealing with physical issues. Those who don’t take care of themselves, physically, are at a greater risk of developing mental health issues. The cycle goes both ways, which is why you shouldn’t only focus on how to improve your mental health this winter.

It may be cold outside, but there are plenty of ways to stay active in the winter, whether you want to embrace the cooler temperatures or stay warm indoors. If you love being outdoors no matter what, embrace fun winter activities like:

  • Sledding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing/snowboarding
  • Cross-country skiing

Going on a winter hike is also a great way to get moving and appreciate the beauty surrounding you. Staying active outdoors can also help to boost your energy while reducing fatigue and stress. Regular exercise, whether indoors or out, can also help to combat the emotional exhaustion that you might be feeling this season due to the state of the world.

If you want to stay indoors, you can make everyday activities a part of staying physical. Everything from cleaning your home to playing with your kids can get your heart rate up and help you to stay active.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for your overall wellbeing. You can’t ignore your physical or mental health, especially when you’re dealing with uncertainty. So, take control of your health this season by making it a priority. When you do, you’ll feel more at peace, and learn to accept whatever winter may bring.

About the author:

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden. 

Credit

Submitted Exclusively to CrystalWind.ca  by Frankie Wallace © 2020 crystalwind.ca

About the author:

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden. 


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