Your Mental Health Matters All Year Round
Winter, spring, summer, autumn… your mental health always matters. It’s never too late or too early to take a step.
Our mental health should never be underrated in its importance, and its significance to our well-being. Think about how much it comes into play throughout your day. Your mind helps you decide what to wear in the morning. It helps you motivate yourself to get out of bed or remember why you recognise the person you ran into in the supermarket this afternoon.
We use our minds in all these small ways, every day. When we’re in the best of mental health we may not even notice. Can you imagine a day without these inconspicuous thoughts?
When we’re suffering, seemingly small decisions like getting up and getting dressed can become fierce challenges every day.
Mental Health in Winter
People are generally in a better mood in summer. It’s not just about being able to spend more time out and about, doing summer things. A study in 2013 found that lack of Vitamin D in the blood is linked to depression. Taking Vitamin D supplements can help to prevent and improve depression – particularly if you’re feeling down in the winter months with all those cold, dark evenings and days not much brighter.
Some countries with particularly fierce and dark winters have come up with tried-and-tested techniques for boosting the spirits in winter. The Danish culture has a concept called ‘Hygge’ (pronounced ‘hoo-ga’). Hygge is basically the practice of living well and wrapping yourself up in seasonal comforts like big warm blankets, scented candles, mugs of hot chocolate and good books. These cosy aids to hibernation can go some way to helping you sustain your mental health and happiness levels through the autumn and winter months. You’ll find more ways to cope with seasonal depression on Mookychick by someone who suffers from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Mental Health All Year Round
Of course, not all mental health states can be solved with a mug of hot chocolate and the therapy of the world between the pages of a book. Our mind can have depths that we’re not even aware of, and these extents are apparent to some of us more than others.We get pulled into some deep and dark places through thoughts. Once we’re there, it can be difficult to pull ourselves out when the very thing that pulled us in is our much-needed lifeline – our mind, and our thoughts.
Unless they’ve experienced those thoughts themselves, no-one can really tell you ‘I understand’ or ‘I know how you feel’. Instead, it’s a helping hand towards the light that is needed. A companion. Someone you can trust not to leave your side, who can help you navigate your mind’s maze.
As cliche as it sounds, it’s true that talking about how you feel will always help; even if it’s just a little. Explain your thoughts to someone who you know won’t judge you. Enlighten them about what you’re going through. What if an outside perspective could offer you a stronger helping hand than you expected? What if someone who isn’t inside your head can help you change your way of thinking and help you give more weight to your positive thoughts?
Anyone could be that person for you. A family member. A best friend. A therapist. The ways I just listed in which others can help you are all in a therapist’s job description! In addition to being ethically obligated to keep all your secrets locked in the room in which you shared them, they also have an encyclopaedic understanding of reasons why you may be feeling and thinking this way, and how you can go about helping yourself.
There are many people willing to help you find ways to turn your mental health around. You may be in darkness right now but just reach out and you’ll find a helping hand.
- Where to go if you’re having a mental health crisis
- A personal story of mental illness and ‘getting right’