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5 tips to enhance your mental health during the winter season

November in Canada can be a bit blah. Fall brings cooler temperatures, the end of daylight savings time results in less daylight, and the celebrations of the holiday season are still weeks away. Many Canadians also experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at this time of year.

So how do we take care of our mental health as we head into the cooler months? By proactively filling our lives with activities that keep us well and counteract the challenges that the season brings.

The cooler weather might force us to be indoors but that also means we can spend more time for self care activities.

You might not be able to go hiking but you can still do yoga.

The shorter days might encourage us to improve our sleeping habits.

Take advantage of the early sunsets and go to bed earlier.

The lack of holiday plans allows us to be intentional with who we socialize with and to more fully enjoy those interactions.

Instead of large gatherings, try meeting people individually or in small groups. Without the pressure of trying to see everyone and gift giving, you will enjoy these interactions more.

I encourage you to use this month as an opportunity to establish healthy routines that can help you navigate the holiday season and into the new year.

Here are 5 simple tips to help you improve your mental health:

1) aim for 15 minutes of exercise at least 5 days/week

2) spend 5-10 minutes each day cleaning one part of your living space

3) spend 10 minutes a day writing a journal

4) set a steady bedtime and stick to it

5) try a creative activity (knitting, painting, playing a musical instrument) and practice it 3x/week

Try to incorporate 2-3 of the above tips to help you create a healthy routine for yourself. Having a good routine in place will help you feel more balanced. This is especially important as we head into the holiday season which tends to be about excess (stress, food, conflict & expenses) and makes us feel unbalanced.

While there isn't much else going on, take this opportunity to take care of yourself. A healthier you in November will result in a happier you in December.

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1 Comment

Dec 27, 2022

Great tips. Thank you!

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