Mental Well-Being

Healthy Habits for Better Mental Health This Winter

December 4, 2023

Winter can wreak havoc on our mental health. Between lack of warm sunshine and the longer, darker days, it is no wonder that many of us experience seasonal affective disorder, increased stress, heightened feelings of depression and anxiety, and a general lack of motivation this time of year. But what if we try to make this winter a better one? There are simple things you can do right at home to increase your mental health this season! 

Start with building healthy habits for better mental health

For some of us, mental conditions exist that require professional help. So, aside from getting whatever help you personally may need this season, here are some excellent habits to help you boost your mood, let go of stress and experience more joy this winter. 

Stay connected 

Humans are social creatures, and our brains work better if we have a wide variety of steady, supportive relationships. This can mean a wonderful group of friends, family, supportive partner, or any other type of community that helps you to feel connected to others. No matter who your chosen village is, make sure to organize plenty of chances to interact this season. Whether that means weekly potlucks with friends or a lovely date night with your partner, connecting to others will keep you afloat during the dark days of early winter. 


The cold winter air can zap water from your skin, creating dryness and even dehydration. Drinking plenty of water has been proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and more by helping to boost serotonin production. Start with about 64 oz of water a day and see how you feel! 

Go outside

Fresh air, even if it feels like an icy blast, is a great way to invigorate the mind and body. If you feel like you are in a slump or low on energy, bundle up and spend some time outdoors. Walk the trails in the local Hancock County Nature Preserves, take a stroll in your neighborhood or take the kids outside for a winter adventure. 

Continue healthy eating and exercise habits 

You knew we would end up here, right? No matter the season, it is important to keep up with your healthy habits. Maintaining a weekly exercise routine will help you to get a steady supply of endorphins and boost both your mood and energy. Eating a healthy, whole, balanced diet will do the same and leave you feeling (and looking) great this season!  


Have you heard of hygge, the Danish art of coziness? There is a reason why the Danes are some of the happiest people on earth, even though they live through some of the coldest, darkest winters: REST. They understand the importance of getting more rest during these winter months, much like our hibernating animal friends. So, snuggle up with a good book, take a nap, cuddle with your kids or pets for a movie night and make sure to take plenty of time to rest your body in cozy ways this season! 

Even though winter can feel long, before you know it the springtime sun will start shining again. Make these next few months yours by incorporating more rest, self-care, and connection into your days!  And if you need a few resources to help, the Hancock Health Connection Center navigators are here for you.

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