Winter can be a difficult time for lots of people: it’s a challenging season anyway, with the risk of flu, asthma and painful falls and trips all increased. The weather itself poses a risk: the restriction of opportunities caused by the cold, the rain, and even sleet and snow, paired with the short daylight hours can bring on a kind of depression known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. In this post, you will learn a few ways for preparing for a Winter.
This year, it’s even more challenging. Regulations to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 do protect people, but they also limit our opportunities for meeting friends and family and can lead to more isolation, less opportunity and deepening depression.
Today we’re taking a look at how you can preparing for a Winter, and build your resilience so you can look forward to a more hopeful year in 2020.
Crafting Your Way Through
Winter nights have traditionally been a time to work on your crafts: to make clothes or decorations, to knit scarves, make presents for your friends, or display memories of the year past in a scrapbook.
If you plan to use your winter nights productively, pick up an embroidery set for beginners, and get ready for a major project, it can give the season a sense of drive and purpose that can help to maintain your mental health and motivation until the days begin to lengthen once again.
Winter brings many health risks with it as a matter of course, and preparing for a Winter this year it’s especially important to take care of yourself. If you’re vulnerable to the flu – through, or an existing health condition, you can claim a free vaccine through the NHS which can help to protect from the most widespread types of flu each year. You can also claim a free vaccine if you’re a carer for someone in one of these vulnerable categories. If you don’t qualify for a free vaccine you can still walk into a many high street chemists and buy your flu jab for a small cost.
There are also mental health issues to consider during the winter: limited light can cause fatigue and mental fog, or even outright depression. A SAD lamp, which replicates the wavelengths of natural light, can help to alleviate some of these symptoms. You can also support your health in the winter with a vitamin D supplement, as your body will naturally make less in the lower light levels.
We may have reduced opportunities to meet up indoors, but we can still find ways to fill our need for social interaction. Try and think of plans that play into these cold, dark months – starting a film or book club with your friends is a good way to generate a conversation that’s not about the weather or the pandemic.
You can also still meet up outside. Preparing for a Winter by investing in some warm clothing, waterproofs and a thermos flask for hot coffee or soup can open up the outside world to you in the winter, letting you meet friends for walks even on wet or freezing days. This could be a vital lifeline to help get you through what looks to be a challenging winter for everyone.