At this time of year, it can start feeling a little more difficult to get through the day—especially if the clocks have changed where you live and the nights start drawing in.
And winter can be a particularly tough time if you’re one of the three million Australians living with anxiety or depression1.
Here are five ways to help beat your winter blues—or help any friends or relatives who may be feeling down.
- Volunteer—Whether it’s coaching the kids’ soccer team, cooking breakfast for the homeless or reading to seniors, there are plenty of ways to make a difference. And by volunteering you’re not only helping others, you’re also helping improve your own sense of self-worth and purpose. Working with animals is another proven way to boost your mood if you like the great outdoors. Check out Volunteering Australia for ideas about how to get involved.
- Exercise—When you exercise you’re releasing chemicals in the brain called endorphins which can help to improve your mood. So your physical health can have a positive effect on your mental health. And joining the local cycling club, footy team or swimming group is also a great way to meet people. But it can be hard if you haven’t exercised for a while—here are some tips to get started with exercise.
- Connect—It could help to talk with others about any issues in your life. And fortunately, there’s a lot more help out there these days if things are really getting you down. Organisations like Beyond Blue and Lifeline can provide advice and support if you need to talk to someone. And joining a group can help you connect with people with similar interests—Meetup is a great place to link up with like minds.
- Work—While working too much can cause stress, not working at all can also have a debilitating effect on your mental health. So if you’ve been off work for some time, starting a structured return to work program can help in your recovery. Here are some tips for returning to work.
- Sleep—Problems with sleeping can make anxiety or depression worse. Luckily there are ways you can train yourself to develop better sleeping habits. Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
So as the colder weather sets in, now’s the time to put in place some good practices to help you get through the winter months.
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