Winter's longer nights and shorter, colder days can be a challenge but there are things we can all do to take extra special care of ourselves:
- Take a wintry stroll – being out and about in nature is great for your mental health. Why not rug up warm, go for a walk, and take some time to admire something beautiful on the way.
- Head indoors (with friends) – winter is the perfect time to have some friends over to share some baking, have a potluck tea, or play a game of cards. Catching up with mates is one of the best things you do for your mental health.
- Have a good boogie - In a 2013 study, researchers showed that listening to upbeat or cheery music significantly improved participant’s mood.
- Keep discovering - Whether it’s finding a new favourite author, learning a new instrument, or mastering your te reo, learning something new stimulates your mind.
- Share some kindness - Even the little things we do can make a big difference to someone’s day. Doing something nice for a friend, or a stranger, doesn’t just benefit them - being kind produces serotonin and oxytocin, two ‘feel good’ chemicals that help you feel happier, calmer, and more energetic.
- Celebrate Matariki - Each winter the stars of Matariki and Puanga (Rigel) signal the end of one year and the beginning of the next. There are lots of ways you can celebrate Matariki.
"What makes me happy is bundling up in warm clothes and setting off in search of waves and beautiful places to sit by a fire." :)
Sarah Gallagher (2014 All Right? Winter Wellbeing Photo Competition Winner)