Connect with us


Use These Tips To Safeguard Your Mental Health Throughout The Winter



Use These Tips To Safeguard Your Mental Health Throughout The Winter

Winter is, for many, the greatest season to visit the High Country. Mountain wintertime activities include taking advantage of a fresh dusting of snow, zooming down the slopes on skis, and relishing the warmth of a hot chocolate mug. But for all its benefits, this season is not without its challenges. People may choose to stay home during longer periods of darkness and frigid winds, and many are negatively impacted by erratic weather and routines.

“Mental health-wise, it can be a very difficult time of year for people,” Director of Counseling Services Marla Gentile said. “Even if you don’t have diagnosable seasonal affective disorder, there are still things that affect everyone; it gets dark early, it’s very cold. People can have a tendency to feel depression. A lot of times the students come into the counseling center and they just have a really hard time getting out of bed in the morning. That is going to affect them academically and socially.”

Gentile stated that it is crucial for students to push themselves to make choices and form routines that would support their mental health because of these risk factors for mental illness. To appreciate the long winter season here in the High Country, she explained, one must establish a regimen that incorporates regular exercise, a balanced diet, hydration, stress management skills, and social connections.

Step Outside

There are lots of enjoyable outdoor activities that are exclusive to the winter season, despite the cold. Engaging in winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and sledding is an excellent way to enjoy the winter months and improve your mental health by being outside and interacting with others.

Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain Resort, two of the best places to ski and snowboard in the area, are conveniently close to Lees-McRae and both offer student discounts with a proper ID. Beech Mountain Resort also provides $15 night passes for Lees-McRae students every Tuesday. Get your buddies together for a night on the slopes to engage in a wintertime activity that is exclusive to the mountains.

Engage in Activities at Home

“Social connectedness can lead to a longer life, better health, and improved well-being,” state the Centers for Disease Control. Since humans are social beings, studies reveal that those who have strong social ties are better able to manage mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression—all of which can be made worse by a harsh winter.

“Students have a tendency to stay in their room because it feels like hibernation time, but it’s important to get out,” Gentile said. “Even if you don’t want to go outside, there are plenty of activities on campus to be with other people, which is the most important thing.”

The institution provides a range of campus life programs that can foster community among students throughout these months and help them deal with the challenges of the season. Follow The Den to stay informed about all the happenings on campus.

Continue On

One of the best things you can do for your mood and general mental wellness is to exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, beginning an exercise program might be intimidating, especially during the winter months. However, regular exercise offers both immediate and long-term benefits for mental health. While regular exercise can increase confidence, promote social contact, and serve as a healthy coping method for both daily problems and mental health concerns, it also has the short-term benefit of releasing endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemical.

Exercise can take many different forms, depending on what feels best for the individual. However, physical activity is necessary for both physical and mental well-being. The most crucial thing is to move in a way that feels pleasant for your body and brain.

“At this time of year in particular we tend not to exercise. We may not want to walk down to the SRC because it’s cold, or we may just not feel like doing it because we are hibernating. This is a really important time to exercise in whatever way you can,” Gentile said.

Counseling and Wellness Services offers yoga sessions at Evans Auditorium, and the Arthur Student Recreation Complex offers a range of group fitness courses, including spin and weightlifting, in addition to their traditional exercise facility. While taking a walk around campus or stretching for ten minutes at the beginning of the day are excellent methods to keep the body moving, group fitness classes are a fantastic way to mix exercise with social interaction for the ultimate mood boost.

Establish Healthful Habits

While being active, going outside, and taking part in campus events are important, there are also little things that each person can do to help themselves when things get tough.

One strategy Gentile suggests students use to stay motivated is to stick to a schedule. Regular mealtimes, exercise schedules, and wake and sleep times can provide students with the structure they need to stay healthy during months when weather and academic schedule changes may make things feel erratic.

Make Use of the Resources Available on Campus

While there are many strategies for students to maintain their mental and motivation over the winter, these challenges can occasionally feel too great to handle on their own. The best resource for students who need assistance with whatever struggles they are having is counseling and wellness services.


error: Content is protected !!