Time to Warm Up! - Family Counseling Blog | Mental Health & Wellness | T.R. Liscombe - relaxing-1979674_1280

This time of year it is even more important to stay on top of not just our physical health but mental health too. This applies to both youth and adults.  Michelle Obama once said, "We need to teach our kids that mental illnesses are just like physical illnesses and deserve the same kind of care and compassion."  This is very true. Children should learn early about healthy mental health care. Adults should also set a good example in demonstrating positive ways to care for mental health. I love it when I hear about schools offering yoga, meditation, therapy and other mental health support. It is so needed.

During the Winter, in different parts of the world, the sun is out less, which means there is a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.  Low levels of vitamin D can present similar symptoms as those with depression. This is an example of why it is important to have  check in's with your (PCP) primary care physician.  Your PCP can do lab work to check your levels and let you know if supplements are needed.

There are fewer activities happening out doors in the winter months. With this, people are indoors more, interacting less with others and are more susceptible to colds due to the weather reducing the immune system. 

So what could we do when the Winter months challenges our mental health?   Here are a few suggestions. You can, of course, add on or develop your own list that works for you.

1. Schedule your primary care physician check up.

2. Identify a mental health therapist or schedule your next appointment.

3. Eat healthy mood boosting foods and hydrate.

4.  Treat yourself to some warm-hot tea or coffee-decaf preferred.

5. Call and visit supportive family and friends.

6. Invite people over and have a pot luck.

7. Volunteer to help others.

8. Do loving-kindness meditation twice a day. ("Metta")

9. Read  a good book.

10. Attend a free virtual class about something that interest you.

11. Do some gratitude journalling.

12. Create and restate daily positive affirmations.

13. Laugh! Watch a fun comedy.

14. Allow yourself to embrace the beauty of  Winter. 

15. Be mindful as you look outside or go for a short walk, after bundling up in your Winter gear!