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HEALTH MATTERS: Welcoming winter

Tara Welsh
Tara Welsh - Contributed

Cold weather and snow outside doesn’t have to give you the winter blues.

There are many great ways you can warm your winter woes and make the most out of the season.

Start by welcoming winter.

There are some things, like the weather, that we cannot change but fortunately there are many things that we can change. How we talk about winter has the power to change how we feel. Talking about how much you hate winter will make you hate it even more.

Talking about the cold weather, road conditions, and how much snow there is outside only creates dread and makes the winter more difficult.

The old saying ‘misery loves company’ is so true. People around you will join in to talk about their winter woes too. It’s easy to get caught up in those conversations but if you challenge yourself to talk differently about winter then others will too.

Remember, there’s a lot more to winter than cold weather.

On another positive note, the winter weather will help you enjoy the simple things in life a little more.

Snuggling up with a hot cup of tea will be much more appreciated after spending time outside.

It’s all about perspective.

Challenge yourself to look for the good things about winter.

Stop and really focus on at all the beauty that winter has to offer.

Listen to the sounds of winter like the wind whistling, crackle of snow under your feet or children playing.

Notice the smell of crisp, fresh air.

Take a deep breath and enjoy!

Savour the many tastes of winter like hot chocolate, hot soups and chili.

Notice the sensation of catching a snowflake on your tongue or the warmth when you come inside.

Look closely to see the many beautiful sights of winter like light fluffy snow falling, frost on the window and tracks in the snow.

To feel better about winter, take a moment to really focus and think about what you find relaxing.

Enjoying winter activities is a great way to beat the winter blues. Many outdoor activities also provide health benefits such as exposure to natural light and physical activity.

Whether you enjoy the great outdoors or prefer to stay inside, spend time doing the things you can enjoy. The winter season will feel much shorter when you are having fun. Skating, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, building a snowman, sliding, games, crafts, cooking and baking are all great activities to welcome winter.

Warm your heart this winter by spending time with family, friends and coworkers.

It’s tempting to hibernate at home and binge watch TV but being social will help boost your mood. It can be as simple as inviting people in or going out for a coffee; stay connected to enjoy the winter season.

Everyone has ups and downs, but feeling down or sad for long periods of time may be a sign of something more.

Is it just the winter blues or is it something more? Take the first step toward getting back on track. Take a free and anonymous mental health screening at CheckItOutNL.ca and learn more about services and supports.

Don’t let winter bring you down.

How will you make the most of the winter season?

Tara Welsh is a regional mental health promotion consultant.

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