5 Ways to Stay Positive Despite Gloomier & Darker Days

Nov 6, 2023 | Mental Health

As we slip into the colder months, the days get shorter and darker. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to many people’s health and well-being. In fact, about two million people in the UK suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Inevitably, what works for each person is different. But in an effort to beat these colder months, here are a few things you can try.

1. Get Outside & Get Active

While going outside may seem like the last thing you want to do, walking for about 30-60 minutes can significantly impact your mood. If walking outdoors doesn’t suit your fancy, you could opt for a treadmill (although, this may be somewhat more expensive). 

In fact, any physical activity has the ability to boost your mood and mental health. Even a quick workout at home can help release those feel-good endorphins, helping you feel better.

2. Connect With Others

It’s easy to become a hermit during this time of the year. And yes, it might take more effort to get out and get social. But it’s well worth it!

As humans, we are wired for connection. The truth is we haven’t evolved far past our tribal ancestors. Thus, we long for the feeling of belonging that socialisation brings about. So, say YES to those invites. Or go a step further and make plans yourself. You’ll feel better for it.

3. Count Your Blessings

Practicing gratitude is an attitude that can help you overcome stress and other negative feelings. Take time each morning to look on the bright side. What can you appreciate about your life? What are you thankful for?

Try finding at least 3-5 things that you are grateful for. And make sure to pause and truly feel those feelings of gratitude!

4. Try Something New

Getting into a new hobby can help keep your mind and brain active, keeping those negative feelings at bay. It can also provide something to look forward to, such as a drawing or art class. It also may offer something to create goals around, providing motivation and purpose.

5. Use Light Therapy

The reason we feel down during this time of the year isn’t a big secret. Our body thrives off of the sun’s natural light (In fact, this is how the body makes the majority of its vitamin D!). An easy way to counteract the darkness is by trying light therapy each day.

This may mean situating yourself in front of a light therapy device for an hour or two each morning. It may further help to record how you feel before and after for the first few weeks to determine if this is something that is working for you.

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