Limiting media: With pandemic shutdowns you may have more time than ever to watch the news. But constant exposure to upsetting updates can trigger anxious feelings. Take a break from the 24/7 news cycle by shutting off the news sometimes.
Going outside: Even when it’s chilly, going outside can invigorate your mood. Stay warm by dressing in layers and wearing insulated boots. Start with a few minutes of fast walking, and you’ll warm up in no time.
Hobbies: Doing something you enjoy, such as baking, helps reduce feelings of stress and worry while helping you feel happier and more relaxed. Now may be a good time to learn to play the guitar, take up painting, or try some new comfort-food recipes.
Mindfulness: Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness elicit the relaxation response, which is a physical state in which your mind and body calm down. By increasing awareness, mindfulness helps you relate to anxiety and stress with more ease.
Try Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's
Mind the Moment virtual mindfulness training program.
Light box: Spending time in front of a light box each day may help alleviate some of the common symptoms of winter-pattern seasonal affective disorder, such as oversleeping, overeating, weight gain, and social withdrawal.
Sleep: Getting a dose of daylight each morning helps your brain regulate its production of the hormone melatonin, which supports good sleep. For best rest, keep things cool in the bedroom: 65 degrees is considered the optimal sleeping temperature.
Exercise: Being active is one of the best ways to manage your mood. Want to get a great workout without going outdoors? Join in on these virtual strength, yoga, and Zumba classes. On nice days, maximize the feel-good effects of winter activity by exercising outdoors in the middle of the day, when daylight is strongest.
Zoom socializing: Looking for a new way to socialize virtually? Try this: Pick out a few favorite recipes, send them to your friends, turn on your devices, and cook a meal together. When it’s ready, mix a cocktail and enjoy a virtual dinner party.
Pets: Spending time with animals can offer significant mental health benefits. A study found that more than 90 percent of respondents said their pet helped them cope emotionally with pandemic lockdowns.
Click to reveal tips on managing mental health