Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and EMDR 
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I was reading an article telling me how to prepare the garden for winter and it made me consider how we really should think about preparing ourselves for winter . . .  
Just like our gardens many people struggle with winter. Long, cold, dark days, wet, frost and snow encourage our gardens to become dormant, but these same conditions also impact on us as less sunlight and reduced levels of Vitamin D can affect our mood and energy levels. 
So, if we are to be good mental health gardeners how can we help ourselves during this time of year? 
1 The General Garden Tidy Up – have a look around your home and give it a tidy. Get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose. Move the furniture around for a bit of a change. Ensure your home is inviting for you. 
2 Clean out the Shed – look through your home admin draws and throw out old receipts and things that you don’t need. Go through your wardrobe – keep what you need but donate unwanted and unused clothing to charity shops or arrange a clothes swap session with friends. 
3 Protect Non-Hardy and Tender Plants – this is us! Get your home feeling as snug and as cosy as possible and consider what ‘snug and cosy’ means for you. 
The Danes have the word hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) to describe the idea of creating a warm and friendly atmosphere, of winding down and taking things slowly. This might involve candles, softer lighting, wearing a onesie or snuggling under a blanket. Be curious about what works for you. Balance time by yourself alongside time with friends. Remember, we are naturally pro-social creatures and tend not to do well if we spend long periods of time in isolation. 
4 Prune and Tie Back Shrubs to keep them looking Trim – Whilst it’s tempting to stay indoors and hibernate, we do need to look after our physical health too. For us ‘keeping trim’ might mean wrapping up and going out for walks whatever the weather, changing outdoor sports for indoor sports or finding an online fitness class. The research is out there - physical activity impacts positively on our mood. 
5 Feed the Birds - Winter is a time for slow cooked comfort food. Make soups. Explore the many types of beans and pulses that are now available to us and use these healthy ingredients in your winter warmers. Eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Just like exercise eating a healthy diet is good for us both physically and mentally. 
Whatever you do this winter, look after yourself. And if you are struggling with the winter blues then contact us to see how we might be able to you manage this difficult time of year more effectively. 
Tagged as: Winter
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