Paisley isn’t known for its temperate winters, so it’s important that you stay safe this season. Even mild winter months can pose a threat to mental wellbeing since days become shorter and there’s barely any sunshine to be seen. Small aspects of the season can subtly wear down your mood and ability to remain upbeat, so it’s important to be aware of these potential triggers and pay attention to how you feel.

Why Winter Brings People Down

Without daylight, many people experience the seasonal affective disorder, which can impact individuals to various extents. In the worst cases, it can bring about intense depressive periods that can have a lasting and damaging effect on a person’s psyche. While it’s tempting to think of humans as more evolved than other animals, we are still a part of nature and are affected by its changes. A lack of sunlight can drastically influence our routines, behaviours, and emotions. There’s nothing wrong with this, and trying to deny it can cause more harm than good, so staying mindful is a useful tactic to combat the mental effects of winter.

The Importance of Keeping Active

Some people are regular joggers, while others prefer a yoga lesson or a game of football. Some people don’t enjoy exercise at all. While physical health and mental health are intrinsically linked and staying fit is important, keeping active in winter isn’t just about exercise. When the days are shorter and colder, we tend to shrink our routines to the most basic tasks, leaving little room for enjoyable activities. Although it can feel rewarding at the end of a hard day to cosy up on the sofa and watch TV until bed, over time, this can make you feel worse. No matter how small, a sense of achievement is a great way to keep your mind focused and happy. Restart a pre-existing hobby or try something new. If you want to avoid the cold outdoors, there are plenty of activities to enjoy inside, such as jigsaws, reading, painting, clay modelling – anything that gives you something to work towards with low stakes can have a surprisingly positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

Make Small but Lasting Changes

If nothing seems to be working, there’s a chance you’re pushing yourself too hard. Making small changes to your daily habits can slowly improve your mental health over time. Holotropic breathwork, for example, can be a new technique that you introduce into your routine that reminds you to care for yourself. Simple habits lead to significant improvements if you give them time.

Connect with the Community

Especially now, when we’ve all been forced to limit our time with each other, connecting with the community is hugely important. Even if it’s just arranging a food collection service for elderly neighbours or starting a virtual book club, getting to know new people has a surprising way of lifting even the darkest of spirits. Bring yourself and others joy by reaching out and remembering that winter doesn’t last forever.