Gratitude and Your Mental Health

“Importance of Gratitude for Senior Health”

Being grateful for the things in your life can actually improve both mental and physical health! You probably have a lot to be thankful for, from simply being alive and the food you ate this morning to your family and favorite hobbies! Take 5 minutes daily to think about or write down three things you are grateful for and improve your emotional and physical state. This article shows what real mental health benefits you could gain from taking time out of your day for daily gratitude.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy in Winter

Winter can be a challenging time to stay healthy and feel at your best. So how can you protect your mental and physical health at this time of year? Follow these five steps and you will be on your way.

1. Cheap ways to stay warm
Cold temperatures can put a strain on your heart, so it’s important to try to stay warm. With energy more expensive now than ever, our readers shared their cost-effective tips for how to keep warm in winter.

Layer your clothes, even inside. Get a good warm pair of slippers and wear socks with them. Get an electric blanket or hot water bottle to heat your bed before you get in. Make sure you change your duvet and blankets to winter ones and that your pajamas are warm.

When a cold spell hits, make sure you have plenty of food supplies and essentials such as toilet paper. It is also smart to cook in bulk, putting meals in the freezer. Stay in contact with friends and neighbors who could be called on in an emergency, and find someone who will order food online for you if you don’t know how.

2. How to make healthy winter meals
Eating a healthy balanced diet that includes at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day can help your immune system to work well. Many of you said that your favorite healthy winter meals are homemade soups, stews, curries and casseroles packed with lots of vegetables. Stewed or baked fruit for dessert, or warming porridge with fruit for breakfast, are other ways you get your 5-a-day in winter.

Remember that frozen or canned fruit and vegetables (if there’s no added salt or sugar) are just as healthy as fresh, and can be more affordable if they’re out of season in winter.

3. How to exercise in winter
Staying active doesn’t just benefit your long-term heart health – studies have shown moderate-intensity exercise can help strengthen your immune system. The cold, rain and shorter days can make it feel harder but you must stay motivated. It doesn’t have to be formal exercise for you to get active. Any movement is better than staying still for long stretches of time.

4. How to boost your winter mental health
Physical and mental health are linked, and this can be a tough season for many of us. Some people say it helps them to take note of things they feel grateful for. Try to notice any good things in your life when you’re feeling down, however small. It could be the sunshine in the morning, the colors of the falling leaves, a warm cup of tea, or a great book you’re enjoying.

You could write your thoughts down each day in a journal so that you can look back on it when you’re feeling low. You could also share with a family member or friend at the end of the day to end it on a positive note. It can also help to build socializing into your day, even in small ways.

If you think you might be experiencing some form of winter blues or seasonal depression, you should try and get as much natural light as possible, especially at midday and on brighter, sunnier days. This is because sunlight is thought to boost your levels of serotonin, a chemical linked with more positive moods.

5. How to avoid getting sick
Getting outside is also a good way to boost our levels of vitamin D, as it’s made through our skin when we are outdoors in daylight. There’s good evidence that doing this can support your bone and muscle health, and there’s some evidence that it could reduce your risk of respiratory infections.

Wear a mask when you are in crowded or indoor spaces. Wash your hands and makes sure to communicate with friends/loved ones when you are planning to meet to ensure they are well. If you are sick, stay home to help stop the spread of disease.

Read the full article HERE.