Beating the Winter Blues: Practical Ways of Coping with the Grey Days

Practical Ways of Coping with the Grey Days

Winter can be a challenging time for many of us, especially with the shorter days and grey weather. For people living with disabilities, the winter blues can feel even more daunting. But don’t worry, there are plenty of practical and low-cost ways to lift your spirits, beat those winter blues and live the life of your choosing. Here are some tips to help you stay positive and engaged during the colder months.

Embrace the Light

One of the main reasons we feel down in winter is the lack of sunlight. Natural light boosts our mood and energy levels, so make the most of it whenever you can. Try to spend some time outside every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If going outside isn’t an option, sit by a window where you can soak up some daylight. Opening your curtains and blinds during the day can also help brighten your living space.

Stay Connected

Social connections are crucial for our mental wellbeing. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups regularly. Whether it’s a phone call, video chat, or an in-person visit, staying connected can help combat feelings of isolation. If you’re part of any community groups or activities, make an effort to attend their events, even if they’re virtual.

Keep Moving

Physical activity is a great way to boost your mood and energy. Find exercises that suit your abilities and preferences. It could be gentle stretching, yoga, or even a short walk. There are plenty of online resources with accessible workout routines you can do from the comfort of your home. Moving your body releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.

Create a Cosy Environment

Make your living space as warm and inviting as possible. Soft lighting, warm blankets, and comfortable seating can make a big difference. Consider setting up a special corner with your favourite books, music, or hobbies. A cosy environment can be a great refuge from the grey days outside.

Engage in Hobbies

Winter is a perfect time to dive into your hobbies or try something new. Engaging in activities you enjoy can distract you from the winter blues and give you a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s reading, crafting, painting, or playing an instrument, find something that makes you happy and spend time doing it.

Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help manage stress and improve your mood. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. There are many apps and online videos that can guide you through these practices. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference.

Eat Well

What we eat can affect how we feel. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Comfort foods are great in moderation but try to avoid excessive sugar and processed foods as they can lead to energy crashes. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and enjoy warm beverages like herbal teas to stay cosy.

Set a Routine

Having a daily routine can provide structure and a sense of normalcy. Set regular times for waking up, meals, and bedtime. Include activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good. A routine can help you stay motivated and focused, even on the gloomiest days.

Seek Professional Help

If the winter blues start to feel overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Talking to a counsellor or therapist can provide you with support and strategies to cope. Many professionals offer telehealth services, making it easier to access help from home. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Stay Positive

Try to focus on the positives, even when it’s tough. Keep a gratitude journal where you write down things you’re thankful for each day. Positive thinking can help shift your mindset and improve your overall mood. Celebrate small victories and remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.

Take Advantage of Resources

There are many resources available to help you cope with the winter blues. VIVA Mutual offers support and information that can be beneficial. Reach out to us for guidance and assistance. We’re here to help you navigate the winter months with practical advice and support.

Get Creative with Indoor Activities

When the weather keeps you indoors, get creative with your activities. Try indoor gardening, start a puzzle, or bake some delicious treats. Engaging in creative and fun activities can lift your spirits and make the winter days more enjoyable.

Winter doesn’t have to be a season of gloom. By embracing these practical tips, you can lift your mood and enjoy the colder months. Remember, you’re not alone in this, and there are always people and resources available to support you.

Reach Out for Support

Staying warm and positive in winter is possible with a bit of creativity and planning. Remember, staying warm is not just about physical comfort; it’s also about taking care of your overall wellbeing. Stay safe, stay warm, and reach out if you need support.

VIVA Mutual’s Support Centre team is always available to share our expertise and experience for the benefit of Support Coordinators, NDIS participants and those who support them. Many of us live with disabilities ourselves and/or have family members with NDIS Plans too, so we know what we’re talking about. 

For a confidential chat with one of VIVA Mutual’s understanding and supportive folks, please call 08 8877 8000 or send us an email via admin@vivamutual.org

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