Keeping Away the Winter Blues

By Michael Lochran, Director of Programs and Operations

Winter can be a challenging season for many. It can be even more challenging when you are struggling with mental health challenges. Routine and connection can play an integral role in maintaining your mental health and well-being during these colder and darker months. Here are a few tips to help you keep away the winter blues.
  • Exercise a few times a week. We tend to be less active in the winter months, but elevating our heartrate and activating our muscles through exercise will pay dividends to our mental health.
  • Go outdoors even if it’s cold, especially on sunny days. Seasonal depression impacts us during the darker winter months. Sunshine and being outdoors is proven to have a positive impact on how we feel.
  • Make it a regular habit to practice mindfulness activities. This could include meditation, yoga or breathing exercises, which can reduce intrusive negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Be there for others. Take time to notice how those around you are doing and help provide support if they need it. Helping others helps you feel good too.
  • Become vulnerable with one person you trust each day. This can be a simple as telling them when you feel sad, overwhelmed, afraid or asking for help.  Our sense of connection is strongest when we share honestly with each other.  We are all in this together after all.   

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.