How to Stay Mentally Healthy During Cold Weather
Stress, depression, and anxiety can affect your physical and mental health. Not only does it affect your body and thoughts, but it also harms your feelings and behavior. It is important to recognize common stress symptoms because this can help you manage them adequately.
Poor mental health can cause various health conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. Research studies highlight that extreme weather changes affect mental health negatively.
During cold weather, people usually stay inside and detach themselves from day-to-day activities. Studies show that this detachment from normal activities in the cold winter months is known as the “hibernation mode,” which can increase stress and depression.
That’s why in today’s article, we will talk about staying mentally healthy during cold weather. Read on!
Use a therapy Lamp
Everyone knows the significance of direct sunlight for the human body. It is the best source of vitamin D, which helps improve your mood. However, in some parts of the world, the weather gets extreme during winter and people have a hard time getting natural light.
If such is the situation with you, we recommend you purchase a therapy lamp or box, a product designed to provide a natural light spectrum that can increase vitamin D levels. Light therapy affects chemicals in your brain and improve your mood, sleep, and ease depressive symptoms.
Although dehydration seems common during cold weather, it can impair your cognitive function. In extreme cases, it can cause delirium and unconsciousness. Research shows that not drinking enough water (8-10 glasses) during winter can even cause a coma.
Remember, our brain cells have 75% water content, and when you dehydrate yourself during cold weather, it directly affects your neurons. As a result, you suffer from mood changes, stress, fatigue, headaches, and low-focus.
Water has natural calming properties, and if you drink enough water, it will keep your cells and tissues hydrated. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water is an essential step in managing your stress and anxiety. Drinking sufficient water can generate feelings of tranquility and relaxation, even if you don’t have stress or depression.
Studies have found that one can achieve core body temperature using certain meditation techniques, which not only keeps your brain healthy, but it also boosts your immune system to combat infectious diseases.
Meditation or deep breathing during winter can help you ease symptoms of stress and anxiety. It balances your nervous system, increases concentration, enhances awareness, and boosts brainpower.
Get Enough Rest
Many people have poor sleeping habits, and because winter has long, cold nights, they don’t go to sleep on time. Eating too late at night and using electronic devices, such as smartphones in bed can cause restlessness.
So, restlessness can harm your overall mental health. Some studies have found that people often feel tired and want to sleep more in the cold winter days. The fluctuation in sleep habits is primarily due to daylight reduction in the wintertime that affects internal circadian clocks.
Psychiatrists and mental health experts recommend getting enough sleep at night – i.e. at least 8 hours. Doing so will keep your brain healthy and boost your nerve cells to communicate accurately. Sleep also plays a key role in removing toxins from your brain.
Regular exercise helps boost energy and prevent you from gaining weight during the cold weather where people usually add some extra insulation. In simple words, the physical workout can keep you warm, fit, and safe.
If you can’t exercise outdoor due to cold weather, you can spend some money buying a treadmill and other machines, which you can use for physical activity. Running on a treadmill, for instance, produces endorphins, which are brain chemicals that work as natural painkillers.
Exercise likewise improves your ability to sleep, reduces stress, and enhances mood. Don’t forget to include meditation, massage therapy, and deep breathing – all of which can significantly improve your overall psychological health.
The severity of cold weather can affect your central nervous system negatively. For example, extremely cold weather can lead to hypothermia. It can cause a bad mood, headaches, increased stress levels, disorientation, and even damaged neurons.
Therefore, it is important to take care of your mental health, especially during the cold weather. Lastly, regular workout, enough sleep, hydration, etc. can keep you mentally healthy during winters. Good Luck!