As the long balmy days of summer slide away into the long cold nights of winter, you may notice your mood dropping. Even those who love the cold crisp days of winter can find that prolonged darkness takes a toll on our mental health. As such, now that Fall is here, it’s vital to take steps to give your mental health a boost to ensure you stay as resilient as possible. The following are simple yet effective methods of self-care to provide yourself with a much-needed boost.
With sensible precautions against UV exposure, it’s easy to get ample vitamin D by spending a moderate amount of time outside in the warm months. But as the days become short and cold, it becomes difficult to get enough natural daylight exposure for adequate vitamin D production. As this essential nutrient has long been believed to influence mood, taking a supplement will ensure you get enough to bolster your mental and physical well-being.
Difficult to contend with feelings can hit at any time of the year and may come about as the result of specific events or for no discernible reason. Getting therapy is an excellent way to address these feelings and learn coping strategies for working through them. Many older people still feel nervous about going out post-covid or struggle with mobility issues meaning they dismiss therapy as an option. Reasonable online therapy prices allow anyone to access support from the comfort of their own home.
If you’re the kind of person who sees the cold weather as the perfect excuse to stay in and hibernate, Fall may be the time of year your activity levels drop off. Multiple studies have shown exercise to be beneficial to maintaining good mental health. As such, it is vital not to go into full hibernation mode and find ways to remain physically active that you feel comfortable with in cooler months. Perhaps join an exercise class aimed at over 50s or find a suitable yoga video to follow on YouTube.
Maintaining regular sleep patterns is essential to overall good health, but sleep can become problematic for various reasons as we age. In later years our eyes don’t let as much light in, which, coupled with reduced daylight hours, can disrupt the brain’s natural circadian rhythm. Using a daylight lamp helps increase the amount of sunlight strength light our brain registers, helping regulate sleep. Bolstering this with other methods to encourage good sleep habits will positively impact mental health.
Avoid the temptation to stay cozied up at home now that the rush of summer has passed. Being around other people is essential to good mental health for even the most introverted person. Maintain friendships, attend classes, or find new ways to meet people to ensure you’re not isolated and lonely.
As always, if you or a loved one is suffering chronic mental health issues, seek professional medical help. Otherwise, the above suggestions are an excellent way to maintain self-care as the year tips from warmth to cold and dark.