While many people have used the opportunity to carry out home improvements during the recent lockdowns, it is equally likely that with recycling points, charity shops and the like closed, we have built up a certain amount of clutter in the home.
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Christmas time – ah, the Satsuma’s and the cinnamon, snowballs and tinsel, a time for remembering the love of family and friends. But have you ever wondered why we do some of the things we do at Christmas? Why do we eat Christmas pudding and mince pies? Why do we send cards and are they just as popular as ever?
Taking Care of Mental and Physical Health in Winter Months
Most human beings are social animals so being forced to stay away from others, especially during the winter months, can be hard to bear.
If you have been asked to work remotely, it could be argued that this is good for mental health as it can give some structure to your day, as long as you are disciplined about the hours you work.
However, there are some things that you can do that could make it all more bearable whether you are working or not.
Sunlight is good for your mental health. So, when choosing where to work at home, try to put your workspace near a window. Make sure you can draw the curtains back fully and clean the windows, inside and out. Perhaps use a strategically placed mirror to bounce light around the room.
Clutter can add to your stress levels by increasing your level of cortisol. Have a proper clear out, get organised, and get some proper storage if you can.
Couple taking a winter walk
Build some physical activity, preferably in the fresh air, into your day. The danger of lockdown is that even those activities, like walking to the bus or train station, are not happening, dramatically reducing physical activity.
Plants in the home can also make a difference by reducing blood pressure, anxiety, stress and rumination (endlessly going over the same thoughts) Their presence can also improve attention, memory and sleep.
Take care of your physical health by eating healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking, drugs or drinking too much alcohol. It can make a difference to your mental health too.
Perhaps take up a new activity or hobby that you have previously not had time for. Read, write, do crosswords or jigsaws, bake, or try drawing and painting, or take an online course to learn something new. Whatever it is, find something that works for you.