snow covered road, winter
Mental Health

8 Tips for Coping with Winter Blues

It’s the winter, it’s cold and dark, and really not that inspiring. Do you notice your mood and energy dropping in the winter months? If so these tips might help you cope.

Light up your day

With shorter days it is more important than ever to try to get outside and see the light. To make the most of the light try to get up early so you don’t miss it.  If you can’t get outside try to always open your curtains and sit near a window.

Limit your news

Watching and listening to endless news can often make us feel worse – especially when there is so much sadness and despair with COVID-19. When you are already feeling very low try giving yourself a daily time limit for news, or even days off completely.

Treat yourself

Often when we feel low we can be very hard on ourselves. Be your own best friend and lavish yourself with treats during these difficult times. You could try having a warm bubble bath, listening to your fave tunes or watching a comedy sketch.

Think about your fuel

We all need food to function. Even though it feels tempting to reach for the sweets and ice cream, try to remember that healthy food will give you more energy for longer. Sugar gives us a quick boost but it is always followed by a sharp fall in blood glucose levels, leaving us more tired than before. For advice on healthy eating see NHS advice here.

Want to know more on this subject? Read this

Keep moving

Moving your body can help reduce stress and give you energy. Find what works for you, whether it’s a quick walk with the dog, a dance in the kitchen to the radio or Wii tennis.

Get ready for sleep

When our minds are full of worry most people find it difficult to relax and sleep. When this goes on for days, weeks and months you could find yourself out of a good routine. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Training your body to find a routine again will help with managing your mood.

Give yourself a rest

Rest is just as important as sleep. If you are working around the clock, or just exhausted from not doing anything, try to lie down at night and rest your eyes and your body. Enjoy the feeling of not having to do anything and try not to think about not sleeping. Many people also find it helpful to have a lie down or even a nap in the afternoon – but if you do, just be careful it doesn’t disrupt your sleep pattern if your nap turns into a sleep.

Open up

If your mood and energy levels feel very low and more serious, try to open up and talk to someone you trust, and get some professional advice from your GP who could recommend some other treatments such as medication, light therapy and/or counselling.

You can find more from our psychotherapeutic counsellor in residence Chloe here.

Image of the author, Chloe Foster

Chloe Foster has a background in working in mental health and youth work. Today she runs Sussex Rainbow Counselling where she specialises in counselling LGBTQ clients online.

Chloe holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapeutic humanistic counselling from The University of Brighton. She is also an approved accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society, and an accredited gender, sexuality and relationship diversities therapist with Pink Therapy.