Staying Sane These Last Few Weeks Of Winter

Being trapped inside for a long stretch of time is not only detrimental to your body; it is also detrimental to your mind. Without human interaction (especially with many of us still working from home three years after the COVID-19 outbreak), we are all in danger of an atrophying mind. This problem is exacerbated by endless hours watching TV or playing video games. We all know this, but nevertheless often fall into the habits of self-imposed isolation due to the cold and gray that comes with winter.  

Luckily, spring is right around the corner. But with a few weeks of inhospitable weather potentially still to come, it is critical to take every effort you can to take care of your mind. 

Here are some steps you can take to preserve your mental acuity from inside your home. 

Acknowledge Your True Feelings

These days, we are bombarded with messaging from all over the place. The people on the news tell us one way to think. The people we follow on social media tell us another way. The people we elect to public office tell us a still different way. This signaling can be so loud as to drown out one’s actual thoughts. Take some time to unplug from what the world is telling you so you can take stock of your personal values and beliefs. This will help you develop your point of view, and it will strengthen your ability to articulate your personal views when you need to. 

Journal Your Thoughts

The natural follow-up to coming up with your own thoughts is to write them down. Dedicate 15 or 20 minutes each day (ideally either in the morning or at night before you go to bed) to write out your thoughts. Your journal does not need to be formal by any means, but the mere act of typing will allow your true feelings to come into clearer focus. 

Write a Gratitude List

What are you thankful for in your life? Put into words the things and people you are grateful for. Better yet, send personal messages to those who end up on your list, so you can let them know how much they mean to you. 

Talk to Others

Even introverts need human interaction in order to stay sane. Just because the weather is bad does not mean you should shut out the world entirely. Stay in contact with your friends and family. Furthermore, reach out to old friends who you may not have spoken with in a while. There’s no better time to catch up. 

Maintain the Regularity of Life

Keeping up a semblance of normal life is much harder when you never leave your home. That said, for the sake of your mental health, it is important to establish some form of routine. Get up at the same time each morning; eat breakfast; differentiate between work time and leisure time (as well as work areas and leisure areas of the house). The human brain was not built to lounge around in pajamas and binge-watch old shows all day, so try to do things that keep your brain active and engaged. 

Start a New Hobby

One way to keep your neurons firing is to pick up a new hobby. For example, you could learn how to cook or play an instrument. Alternatively, you could work on becoming a master at a game such as poker or chess, both of which you can practice with people over the Internet. If you are less interested in learning something new, you can just devote more time to activities you are already capable of: e.g. painting or writing. 

Enjoy a Massage to Relax

Whatever you do during these last few weeks of winter, make sure to manage emotions like anxiety and stress. It is not uncommon to go stir crazy from being restricted of motion, so do whatever you can to calm yourself down. Turn off all your distractions and treat yourself to a nice massage. If you have one of NAIPO’s massagers, you can easily add a massage to your daily routine. This will help keep your mind in good shape and even help you forget the major issues currently facing the world.