Summer is over—let's start serious planning for optimum mental health this winter 🕯️.
So let's say we made it through the past 5 months. How did we do it? We planted vegetables, we grew flowers, we revamped outdoor spaces, we went on bike rides, we found new ways of staying connected virtually, we baked bread, we homeschooled—so basically we are professional pandemic survivors.
The curtain closes and a new scene begins, enter the fall and winter months. Now, if we don't live in a southern location, we may be getting a little anxious about how we are going to do this again in the heart of the winter???
You've got this, and we have some great tips to help you make it through—you professional pandemic survivor, you!
5 Tips to Contemplate
TIP 1 - Keep doing the things that worked for you the first time around.
For example, if being outdoors was your best medicine. Keep it up. You may just have to alter things a bit. How about an outdoor heater? Fire-pit? Warm, comfortable winter boots? Snow shoes? Cross Country skis? Heavier outer gear? And there many outdoor family activities to embrace like sledding, ice skating and building snow forts (channel your inner 7 year old).
TIP 2 - Grow plants all year round.
Keeping in touch with nature has many psychological benefits. Being surrounded by plants can improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety and encourage healthy eating by growing herbs inside all winter long.
TIP 3 - Turn the light on.
If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, seriously consider a light therapy lamp (on Amazon starting at $19.99 and up). According the National Institute for Mental Health, "Symptoms of SAD may be relieved by sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, on a daily basis from the early fall until spring. Most typically, light boxes filter out the ultraviolet rays and require 20-60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white fluorescent light, an amount that is about 20 times greater than ordinary indoor lighting."
TIP 4 - Stock up on your Vitamin D before the season hits.
Don't wait until you are feeling down, start taking the supplement early in the fall. Some studies suggest pairing the supplements with light therapy can really bolster the outcome.
TIP 5 - And finally my favorite one—Create your own hygee house.
Merriam Webster definition - hygge is a Danish word (pronounced Hue-Guh), meaning a quality of coziness that makes a person feel content and comfortable. BUT it also is a feeling of being content in the moment alone or with family and friends, recognizing it—AND then thoroughly enjoying it.
The Danish created hygge to survive long winter months and cut through the mundane and lack of sunlight, here are some ways you can create your own hygge:
a.) Create a warm hygge-lit atmosphere (all year long) with candles, string lights and twinkle lights. Don't think you have to buy expensive candles, the flame free candles create a great hygge-lit coziness and are very economical.
b.) Put a kettle on. Warm liquids like coffee, tea, hot cocoa are essential for achieving hygge. Make it a ritual.
c.) Get the snuggly stuff out. Fuzzy socks, soft blankets, winter comforters, pillows, flannel pajamas and warm sweaters and hats are perfect to add to your hygge snugafication.
d.) Dust off that slow cooker. Slow things down, including your cooking. Think healthy soups, stews, roasted chicken—cooking longer and slower producing comforting aromas throughout your hygge nest.
As we round the next corner, rest assured there are things we can do, to not only pull us through these unprecedented times together, but you might just get a glimpse into what your new normal should have looked like all along.
Now more than ever, your employees need emotional support and resources. The pandemic has created a whole new set of physical, financial and emotional stressors that have woven their way into the home and workplace.
When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work/life balance and increase your happiness. The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.
Combining years of clinical experience and the formation of a meaningful partnership with an organization’s human resources department, Ulliance is among the best EAP providers, and our experts can tailor recommendations for a variety of work\life circumstances.
Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you. Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.
The Ulliance Employee Assistance Program can address the
• Stress about work or job performance
• Crisis in the workplace
• Conflict resolution at work or in one’s personal life
• Marital or relationship problems
• Child or elder care concerns
• Financial worries
• Mental health problems
• Alcohol/substance abuse
• Interpersonal conflicts
• AND MORE!