Phone: 343-3391 Fax: 343-2934

29 Yaldhurst Road, Sockburn, Christchurch

PO Box 6088, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8442

Are you emotionally prepared for winter?

Gray Crawford
Woman outside in the snow

The temperatures are dropping, and the days are getting shorter and shorter. This is the time many of us start grappling with the winter blues. The change in seasons can have a profound effect on our mental health, leading to feelings of fatigue, low mood, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). With the right strategies and mindset however, it's possible to prepare your mental health for winter and emerge from the colder months feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

  1. Prioritize self-care: Winter is a time to prioritize self-care like never before. This means carving out time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Whether it's practicing yoga, taking long baths, or curling up with a good book, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine.
  2. Stay active: Exercise is not only crucial for physical health but also plays a significant role in boosting mood and combating winter blues. Even though the temptation to hibernate indoors may be strong, try to incorporate regular physical activity into your day. Whether it's a brisk walk outside, a workout at the gym, or a dance class, find activities that you enjoy and make them a priority.
  3. Get sunlight exposure: Limited sunlight during the winter months can disrupt our circadian rhythms and contribute to feelings of lethargy and low mood. Combat this by seeking out natural light whenever possible. Take short walks during daylight hours, sit near windows, or consider investing in a light therapy lamp to mimic the effects of sunlight.
  4. Maintain social connections: It's easy to become socially isolated during the winter months, particularly when cold weather discourages outdoor activities. However, maintaining social connections is vital for mental well-being. Try to stay connected with friends and loved ones, whether it's through video calls, socially distanced gatherings, or virtual game nights.
  5. Practice mindfulness and meditation: Mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools for managing stress and improving mental health. Dedicate time each day to quiet reflection, deep breathing exercises, or guided meditation. These practices can help cultivate a sense of inner peace and resilience, even in the face of winter's challenges.
  6. Establish a routine: Establishing a consistent daily routine can provide structure and stability during the winter months. Aim to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day, schedule regular meals and exercise, and allocate time for work, leisure, and relaxation. Having a predictable routine can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.
  7. Seek professional support if needed: If you find that your mental health is significantly impacted by the colder months, don't hesitate to seek professional counselling support. Our counsellors can provide valuable guidance and support tailored to your individual needs.