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Mental Health

Supporting Mental Health During the Cold Months

Mental health is extremely important and is many times overlooked. I am here to remind you that the winter months are tough and it will take a little extra energy to keep a positive outlook during those months. Here are a couple tips on how to take care of your mental health and what I am doing right now!

1. drink your daily dose of water

Drinking water is extremely important for you. Your body is composed of about 60% water and 90% blood. If you deprive your body of the amount of water that it needs, then it can affect not only your physical health with dehydration, but also can affect your mental health. Your brain is mostly water (around 75% to be exact) so drinking water makes your brain more alert and helps you focus and concentrate better. On top of that, water hydrates your skin and keeps your body healthy, moving and grooving the way that it should. Studies have shown that drinking 6-8 glasses or more a day decreases anxiety and depression rates. Therefore, it is extremely important to make that a priority in your day!

2. get your body moving 20 minutes a day

Another way to take care of your mental health is moving your body every day. Body movement or exercise releases endorphins and helps to relieve stress and or cabin fever. Your body needs to get movement daily. During the winter time, it is extremely important for your mental health to get that body of yours MOVINNNN! Movement gets blood flow going in your body that therefore increases blood flow to the brain and makes for a happy brain. Even if the movement of the day is walking around your house or doing some stretching, movement is extremely important for your mental health. For 20 minutes, it gets you out of the “funk” you might be stuck in. Endorphins make you feel more alive and can help with the battle that might be going on in your brain.

3. eat three meals a day

Eating three meals a day is also extremely important for your mental health. In order for your brain to be happy and working in the way it should, you must provide it with the proper amount of nutrients. Think about it; your brain is constantly on. Even when you are sleeping, it is working for you. When your brain works that hard, it requires a lot of fuel to function. Depriving your brain of that fuel can have an affect on your mental health and evidently your mood and day to day life will suffer. When you provide your body with food, you will also be supporting your brain and taking a step towards supporting your mental health and you as a whole human being. 

4. get outside every day

The last way to support your mental health on the daily is through getting outside. Our serotonin levels are lower during the winter months so it is important to bring them up in any way we can. 

Getting outside exposes your brain to vitamin D. Vitamin D boosts serotonin levels and therefore fights off depressive or anxious states. If you get fresh air every day, when you breath in that fresh air, it allows more oxygen to go through your body, get to your brain and allows your brain to function in the way that it should.

Ultimately your mind and body are connected. When you make your muscles, stomach or skin happy your brain follows.

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Leslie Williams

Kent State '22

I am a writer that is passionate about spreading positive messages to others. My goal is to lift people up and give them good advice. Outside of writing I love to be outside, do yoga, and focus on physical, spiritual and mental health. I am hoping my articles will not only educate others but spark conversation and interest.
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