Winter is the time of year where it’s easy to become prone to depressive feelings. This is somewhat inevitable, as the lack of daylight begins to take its toll. Feeling this way during the winter months is even a condition all of its known; known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Even without winter, depression is one of the most common mental health problems. Depression Awareness Month is actually October, though it tends to get overlooked during that time. With November and the cold nights setting in, I thought it a good time to start looking at ways to improve your mental health in general. Whether you have a general depressive issue, a seasonal variety such as SAD or just want to be more mentally healthy; you’ve got plenty of options.
It is often stated that gardening is good for you, but few people go into details as to why. While the combination of being outdoors and among nature is no doubt part of it, soil microbes might play a huge part in it. These microbes have been proven to help alleviate depression and other mental health conditions. It’s not a total cure, but every little helps.
If you are wondering what use that is to you during winter, when the ground is frozen, you still have options! Look at SW Greenhouses or similar for cold frames, both of which let you get your hands into the soil without needing to break your spade through the icy ground.
While I’ve looked initially at depression, there are many other areas that can make your mental health less than robust. One of the most common issues is stress, which can attack anyone at any time.
Cortisol is the “stress hormone”; your adrenal glands pump you full of this and cause the symptoms we associate with stress. There are a few ways to naturally lower cortisol, but one of the most surprising is to chew gum. There’s also some evidence that chewing gum helps you stay focused on a task, too – so give your jaw a workout.
It may initially sound like a Roald Dahl creation, but EFT has numerous proponents the world over. The basic gist is that you tap on to various areas of the body for a set time each day. This is literal tapping; you use your finger and hit the area repeatedly. The belief is that this helps to free emotions.
There’s no concrete evidence for it and plenty of people are sceptical – but plenty of others insist it has helped. It may be that just taking the time in a day to sit quietly and focus on a task is actually what you are benefiting from, especially if you struggle with time. There are plenty of resources online, though the idea was originally presented in Gary Craig’s EFT Handbook. If you are a fan of alternative therapies, then it might be worth giving it a try.