Ways to Act-Belong-Commit for your mental health during winter!

21/06/2019

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Winter. As the days get shorter, the weather cools down and our dams (hopefully) start to fill up again, it's also when most of us head indoors to become hermits, as we binge on Netflix and enjoy the comforts of home-life.

For some people however, winter is particularly difficult, as the seasonal change can lead to a decrease in physical activity and leave them feeling unhappy and isolated from friends and family. It can also lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a mental health issue triggered by the change in season, thought to be caused by changes to the body’s circadian rhythms ('body clock') at certain times of the year. It may also happen because in winter the body produces less of the hormones melatonin and serotonin, which affect sleep and mood.

The change in weather doesn’t have to negatively affect your mental health however.

There are plenty of ways to Act, Belong and Commit for your mental health and wellbeing throughout the winter months:

Act

Keep active in as many ways as you can -physically, socially, mentally, culturally and spiritually.

  • Sink your teeth into a new book
  • Hit up the ten pin bowling alley with your friends or family!
  • Rug up and head outside for a walk with your furry friend
  • Experiment by cooking a new winter recipe
  • Get creative - download our Mindful Colouring-in sheets for some inspiration
  • Reach out to a loved one, and enjoy an old-school chat on the phone.

Cluttered table top

Belong

Keep connected to friends and family; get involved in groups, join in local community activities.

  • Invite a friend over for a night in, watching your favourite movies or TV shows
  • Plan a family get together over a hearty meal
  • Join or start your own book club
  • Attend a musical, quiz or comedy night
  • Enrol in a class with a friend
  • Dig out the board games and host a games night with some healthy snacks.

Commit

Commit to a cause; become a volunteer; learn a new skill; or take up a challenge yourself.

  • Embrace the KonMari movement and clear out the clutter. Be sure to donate anything you don't need anymore to a local charity!
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or for another cause you are passionate about
  • Adopt or foster a rescue pet
  • Work on a home improvement project
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Winter - what better time to commit and join the gym. Take advantage of the free trial sessions most gyms offer to see if it is right for you.

These activities don’t rely on the summer weather, are low cost or free AND can help keep you mentally healthy this winter!

For further ideas on how to keep mentally healthy during the colder months, check out the activities listed on the Act-Belong-Commit Activity Finder.

Start a gratitude journal

 

 

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