As winter approaches, it is important to focus on the positivity and cheer that surrounds the holiday season. However, it is vital that we also take the time to acknowledge the seasonal depression and anxiety that frequently develop at this time of year for so many people. While winter break may seem like a paradise to some, to others it can be extremely difficult, especially for those who struggle with depression, eating disorders, social anxiety, trauma, loss, family drama, or even just the feeling of loneliness. No matter what you are experiencing, no matter how severe you consider it, prioritizing your mental and physical health is necessary.
It may seem ridiculous, but one of the most effective and simplest ways to aid your mental and physical health is by getting outside. A breath of fresh air is good for the soul and can help reset and refocus the mind. It can be very helpful if you’re looking for a moment of escape or mental clarity. Spending time outdoors in nature, in any season, is a great way to bring joy by grounding and reconnecting with yourself. While getting outside in the winter months may seem nearly impossible, it is actually much easier than seems! Here’s a list of ideas that will hopefully inspire you to get outside this season:
Go sledding with friends! Lockport, Frankfort, and Orland Park all have parks with great hills for sledding!
Bundle up and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood while listening to a podcast (I recommend the “Moments Podcast” by Lexi Hidalgo).
Shovel your driveway or a neighbor’s. This is a perfect way to give back, stay active, and get some fresh air.
Build a snow man with a sibling!
Go to outdoor ice-skating rink. This is such a fun way to get outside, and there’s always the bonus of hot chocolate afterwards. There is ice skating at the Christmas in the Commons here in New Lenox, and the Orland Park Ice Skating Rink is a great local option as well.
These are all just simple suggestions. There are a myriad of methods for improving your mental state and taking time out for yourself. In the end, it doesn’t matter what method you prefer, as long as you are taking the time to prioritize yourself. Remember to be kind to not only others, but yourself as well this holiday season! Hope you get some fresh air!