Are you noticing the cooler weather and less daylight are correlating to decreased feelings of well-being? If so, you aren’t alone. Keep reading for simple lifestyle choices that may benefit your physical and mental health during the coming months.
• FOOD CHOICES
You might notice that comfort food quickly boosts your mood. Have you also noticed that you have a “crash” sometime after consuming these foods?
Research suggests that healthier food options correlate with a more sustainable sense of well-being.
A helpful hint to finding more sustainable nutrition in a grocery store is to shop around the perimeter, where the fresh and unprocessed foods are usually found.
• ACTIVITY LEVELS
Are you moving your body less during these darker months? It is important to engage in physical activity (of any type) year-round to maintain your physical well-being, which is directly linked to mental well-being.
Research shows physical activity does not need to be rigorous to be beneficial. Take care to always be mindful of your personal body needs and consult your doctor if you aren’t sure.
• INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
Are you feeling hopeless when communicating with someone close to you? Sometimes communication styles and miscommunications cause us stress and can lead to feelings of depression over time. If this sounds familiar to you, consult a mental health professional to work on interpersonal communication skills.
If you are in an unsafe relationship, there is help. Reach out for help when you are being abused. A national resource for getting the help you need is the national domestic violence hotline: 1.800.799.7233
• SLEEP SCHEDULES
Feeling tired, or that you cannot get restful sleep?
Sleep is often the number one culprit for poor healing both physically and mentally.
Without proper sleep and sleep hygiene (the routine you follow to get yourself ready to fall and stay asleep), your body and mind can both suffer.
The general guideline for an adult is 7-9 hours of sleep each night for an adult, 8-10 hours for a teen, 9-12 hours for school age children and even more sleep for younger children. If you suspect sleep could be hindering your ability to function properly, you might consider consulting your doctor to find a solution.
Robin S Archer Phd
is the founder of Mindful Paths Network, a group supporting counselors in their own private practice missions to provide counseling services for children, adolescents, adults, groups, couples, and families experiencing a wide variety of behavioral and mental health concerns. Mindful Paths Network's newsletter addresses a variety of mental health concerns. This blog is an extension of the newsletter which is not currently available by email request.