Caring for your mental health in autumn and winter: my top tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm a big advocate for mental health as many of you know, it's something I've spoken about for years on my blog, sharing my journey of anxiety and depression. When the seasons change into autumn and winter, I find it's the most challenging time for my mental health. With darker nights and dreary weather, the natural joy of summer passes and it really affects me.

I know many people struggle with seasonal changes, regarding their mental health. If you struggle with your mental health in autumn and winter, here are my best tips to care for it.

Caring for your mental health in autumn and winter: my top tips

Make the most of the daylight hours

My least favourite thing about autumn and winter is the short days and how it's dark outside before the work day even ends. Sometimes, I feel robbed of an evening because I can't roam around or do activities the same as I would during bright summer evenings. Due to this, I make the most of the daylight hours. This means waking up earlier and getting out and about in the day when I can. On a work day, I would try going on walks during my lunch break or running errands during my breaks, and on the weekends, do as many activities as possible whilst the day is bright.

Maximise your morning routine

I'm a morning person, I always have been. I love being able to accomplish a list of things before the day has even really begun because then I feel as if I have more of a day. In the autumn and winter, it's even more important to maximise your mornings because as it gets dark sooner, the days feel shorter, even though they aren't. I think many of us forget how much we can do in the space of an hour or two before we start our course of the day, whether it's a work day or a busy weekend. I've been trying to get up and ensure I do some form of exercise, whether it's pilates, a workout or a walk and some reading as well. That way, I'm doing something good for my body and something I enjoy to set me up for the day. 

Stay sociable

I always find this time of year, I'm ready to hibernate and do more activities inside and that in itself can sometimes shut off as many social plans as summer brings. Because of this mindset, I would suggest trying to stay sociable. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to go out in the cold, you can have film nights or games nights. However, keeping social will prevent you from hibernating and falling into a negative mindset, if you're feeling low.

Do the hobbies that make you happy

We all have hobbies which make out hearts happy, whether you love to paint or delve into a good book. Whatever it is, don't let the dreariness of these seasons prevent you from pursuing them. Make time for the hobbies you love, even if it's only for 20 minutes a day.

Practise self-care

Self-care is one of the most important things and doesn't only mean bubble baths and facemasks. It means listening to your body and understanding what it needs, emotionally and physically. It's also all about setting boundaries, saying no when you feel you need, practising affirmations, practising self-love and looking after number one. Motivation can lack in these seasons and why it's crucial to prioritise elements of self-care in your daily routine.

Utilise indoor exercise

Unfortunately, as these seasons come into play, it means darker evenings and my content beach walks aren't as easy to do anymore. This is why I love to utilise the power of indoor exercise. With Youtube and other social media platforms sharing an array of various workouts, we're spoilt for choice on what to do to look after our bodies. I'm obsessed with pilates, they're one of my favourite types of exercises. However, you could also do yoga, a dance workout, HIT workouts, fully body workouts and even utilise any workout equipment if you have it.

Participate in activities to slow down

I recently wrote a post about activities to help you slow down because recently, they've really been helping me to relax and care for my mental wellbeing. We don't always need to be doing exciting things to warm our hearts and be thrilled, there are many calmer activities which can provide the same feeling, such as drawing and writing.

Focus on healthy eating

When I talk about healthy eating, I don't mean dieting because as many of you know, diet culture is something I absolutely despise. I believe we all deserve to enjoy good food and treat ourselves, it's all about eating intuitively. Intuitive eating is picking food that's going to make you feel good mentally and physically. That could be a fresh fruit smoothie or a giant cookie. It's about making the right choices for yourself, having cooking freedom and listening to your body.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

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