Maintaining Your Mental Health through Winter Blues || Sacred Acres Alpaca Farm
I find myself at a bit of a cross-roads when it comes to the winter season. On the one hand, I adore the holidays. One of my love languages is gift giving, so these holidays allow me to shower my friends and loved ones with my affection through thoughtful and memorable gifts. On the other hand, winter has a way of taking a toll on my mental health. The days are shorter and colder and scraping ice off of my windshield always starts me off in a bad mood in the morning. Maintaining your mental health through these harsh winter months is vital in supporting your overall health, safety, and wellness. So, I wanted to offer some tips and support to help you beat these winter blues and manage those negative thoughts.
We often forget in our socially distanced day-to-day life how rejuvenating and healing the outdoors can be. Getting in touch with nature and unplugging can help us reconnect with the now. Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.
At Sacred Acres Alpaca Farm, we encourage people to reconnect with nature with our walking trails. Along our 23 wooded acres along Ballinger Creek, our eastern boundary. Our alpacas are trained to walk on halter and lead, and guests can schedule to walk them over fields and along trails with a guide.
Keep Up Healthy Eating and Sleeping Habits
Mental health and physical health are so tightly interwoven. A core component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is keeping up with healthy eating and sleeping habits. It may be challenging with all those leftover holiday foods and treats, but focusing on maintaining a balance assists in creating a sustainable nutritious diet overall.
Having a routine for a good night’s sleep is fundamental for mental and emotional resilience. With less daylight during the winter months, our circadian rhythms (the body’s natural clock that helps regulate important functions like sleep cycles and mood) can be thrown off balance. The best way to combat this is through routine. Commit to going to bed and waking up on a consistent schedule; consistency will be key in getting your body on a healthy sleep cycle.
Have a Support System and Stay Connected
Support systems are incredibly beneficial when it comes to combating negative mental health symptoms. Though the pandemic has changed the methods by which we connect and interact with friends and family, you can still find ways to connect. It is important to reach out to your support system and talk with those you trust when you are feeling like you are struggling. Be open and discuss your concerns and be open to perspective and insight to your problems. I know I would be lost without the friends and loved ones in my life.
Sometimes when we are in a rut, the first thing to go is our interests and hobbies. I cannot encourage enough the importance of having something scheduled to look forward to. Whether it is a coffee date with your close friends or an open farm event at your favorite alpaca farm, intentionally taking part in activities that you enjoy reduces negative thinking and promotes positive emotions and well-being.
Speaking of farm events, we are hosting a free open farm event on December 17th - December 18th from 10am - 4pm. Come out and enjoy the fresh air, farm fun, and bundle up with alpaca fiber winter gear from our farm store. We can’t wait to celebrate the holiday season together. Stay safe, farm friends.
Mental Health is just as important as physical health.