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Many people experience that darker days and more indoor time can be struggling for their mental health. Combined with isolation and less contact with friends and family, it is only natural that one can experience the winter months as more stressful than usual this year. Therefore, we have gathered some good advice that can help you take care of your mental health in the future - completely free from risk of being infected by corona virus!

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PS: If you experience mental illness, we recommend that you consult your GP. He or she can refer you to a professional who provides a listening ear and many good tools to combat mental illness. Remember: there is no shame in asking for help.

So, let's look at some advice:


Find something to look forward to

It is natural that the calendar is left blank now that the infection control measures are being stepped up. But you can still find something to look forward to!

Having something pleasurable waiting on the horizon can be of great help in difficult periods.

Although the "infection control" measures prevent larger gatherings (such as concerts and cinema screenings), one can seek out other pleasures in everyday life. Maybe your favorite artist is holding a live concert online, or maybe the next season of the series you love is coming out soon? Mark it in the calendar! These everyday highlights can be nice to have as small pillows to fall on the days when it gets a little tired.


Talk to someone

Everyone needs someone to talk to from time to time - and those who live alone are particularly vulnerable. Sending a message or picking up the phone to make a call does not have to be a long conversation about mental health - it can be a little talk about something you are both interested in, or a short and simple "just wanted to hear how you are doing".

You can also arrange regular digital meetings with friends and family - here you can watch a movie together or just talk about trivial things. Digital meetings will probably never be able to replace a good, old-fashioned hug - but they help you stay socially active in otherwise lonely periods.  


Stay active

Keeping fit does not necessarily mean three sessions a week at the gym. A walk is all it takes! Take a break from the home office and get some fresh air.

The next step is to plan a regular routine that is affordable for you, whether it is two trips a day or once a week. The most important thing is that you find a low-threshold and infection-proof alternative for yourself that you can maintain a routine on.

Especially important for mental health is also your diet. Therefore, eat evenly and well throughout the day, and find joy in the meals. A good tip is to replace some of the regulars on the dinner list with something new - then you get a little challenge in everyday life, and maybe a new favorite.


Give something back

One of the best ways to give to yourself is by giving to others - whether it is helping a friend paint the living room or engaging in volunteer activity. There are many organizations out there that greatly appreciate your help. It does not necessarily have to be about financial support, but practical contributions where money is not enough - for example, as a blood donor.

Here you can do as much as you can - just a friendly nod to someone you do not know is good enough.


Learn something new

A fun pastime is more than a pastime. Learning and mastering are in fact extremely important for mental health, regardless of whether you are unemployed, laid off or in full-time employment. Kyrre Dyregrov hos says that when we learn something new, the reward system in the brain secretes the neurotransmitter dopamine - a natural hormone that contributes to feelings of happiness.

In other words: you will be happy to learn new skills. This can be anything from knitting or sewing to a theoretical deep dive into an exciting field - find what suits you!

If you find it easy to sit and ponder your own feelings and thoughts, a hobby will be able to keep your head occupied with more productive activity. The feeling of mastery and the joy associated with learning a new skill will definitely give the psyche a good boost.

With these simple tips, you can brighten up some otherwise dark winter months. And remember: most of the advice in the article can be shared with others!

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