5 Ways to Fight the November Blues
As the darker days begin to arrive in November, they can take a toll on the state of your mental and emotional health. It’s not always easy to shake off those depressing thoughts and feelings while being surrounded by such a grey and gloomy environment. And, having that four-week transition period between the golden fall season and the glowy, magical time of Christmas is a long stretch to endure. But rather than use it as a crutch or reason to retreat and stew at home alone, use these methods to fight the November blues and change how you feel.
When you’re feeling low, staying inside to wallow will only make you feel worse. So without thinking about it, get yourself up, put your shoes on, throw on your coat and go outside. It doesn’t matter where you go — the important part is that you get out of your place. If there’s a park nearby, go and take a walk there. Sit on a bench, take in some deep breaths, and start to focus on the environment around you. Look at the trees, look at the different colours in front of you, look at the glistening snow, and feel the cold, crisp air on your cheeks.
By focusing on what’s in front of you, you can learn to bring your mind back to the present and block out those repetitive, unhelpful thoughts. Make it a habit to get out of your home several times each week, whether it’s to a cafe, walking in the park or just getting in some sunshine.
Keep Up With Exercise
Even though it can feel next to impossible to find the motivation to get off the couch and hit the gym during the winter, its essential for your entire well-being. Both your body and mind benefit greatly from frequent exercise. When your heart rate’s pumping, your body releases endorphins which help calm you down and feel good. So find a way to incorporate more exercise during the darker months — your body and mind will thank you.
Meet Up With Friends
Another good way to help fight the November blues is by socializing more. Though it’s easy to curl up with your Netflix and popcorn each winter night, this is one of the worst traps for allowing poor emotions to flourish. With a few weeks before the holiday season arrives, now’s the perfect time to get together with friends. You could have board game nights, dinner parties, or any activity where you can surround yourself with people you like. Being in the company of others can really work wonders for shedding those blues and feeling lighter and happier.
If you don’t have a good network of friends to call up, then why not make new ones by joining a class or a group activity? Today, there are so many different classes, groups, and meetups that are based on all kinds of genres, age brackets, and hobbies. So think about what you enjoy or want to learn about and look for a workshop or group meetup online and in your area. It could be a photography class, a neighbourhood meet and greet, or even a weekly meet up for cat lovers at a local coffee shop. Whatever it is, join something so you can get out of the house and meet new people.
Speak With a Counsellor
When you’re struggling to manage your emotions on your own, speaking with someone can be very helpful. They can provide professional expertise, support, and guidance to help you overcome what you’re feeling.
Staying at home removed from the world this November will not help you feel any better. You can help yourself by forming new habits that will get you off the couch and outside, engaging with the world and others around you. If you’re ready to incite change, contact us at Ottawa Counselling. We offer a safe space where you can find the guidance and support that you need.