Winter Impacts Mental Health in Many Ways


Noelle Wigren, Reporter

Winter brings many good things and many bad. The snow falls, it gets colder, and it’s the time of the year to get in touch and spend time with loved ones. But also winter and most of the time of the year, our mental health is always there. There will be times where we are helping or times where we are harming our mental health. Most of the time we don’t bother to think about our mental health. But mental health is just as important as your physical and emotional health. We need to learn to take care of our mental health. Because of the time of year, many are stressed with school. Especially here at Farmington with school going back to 4 days a week and everyone is back. In the winter we all start to stay inside because of the cold. Many start to develop anxiety and seasonal depression. It’s just what happens and we have found ways to help you, so you can start to help boost your mental health.

We first must learn exactly what mental health is. Mental health is described as a state of mind that is how we behave, connect with others, how we feel with emotions, how we react to certain situations, and much more. If you think that when someone has a mental illness it is just in the mind, absolutely not. Mental health is way beyond just your mental state; it can affect your physical health and emotional state. We need to take care of our bodies so we can do the things we love to do, to spend time doing what we need to do. Ways you might identify a mental illness is stress, which is an emotional strain and pressure that is put onto us and our body will respond the way it needs to with anxiety, depression, etc.

Stress and anxiety are very present in these past few generations. In the past few years doctors have found that people are starting to get stressed more and have more severe anxiety and stress, which could lead to permanent illness that could affect us for our entire life. We need to learn what can cause our stress, and we need to figure ways to control it so that it doesn’t get out of control and in the end will be something that will help us grow, not hurt us. And the same goes for anxiety also. It’s hard to learn how to control it. When we get into a state of anxiety a hormone is released a hormone called Adrenaline. Our mind might not know what is going on so it causes someone to tremor, have muscle tension, chest discomfort, numbness or tingling in hand, and or someone might feel dizzy and uneased.  The same goes for stress and depression, but just a little bit different. Once we can recognize what is going on then we can find ways to deal with it.

“When anxiety comes, accept it.” an article from psychology said about stress and anxiety. 

I’m not saying that all anxiety and stress is bad. It’s not. It’s part of life to have a little bit of stress. It will help us when we are making decisions, it can trigger fight or flight instinct. And that can help us immensely. We need it, but too much can be bad. Two students here at Farmington High have decided to take a challenge and try ways to help with their stress and anxiety. We came up with different ways to cope with it. 

“I found that breathing exercise worked really well for me! I was able to concentrate on my breathing and it helped me clean my head and feel so much better. There were a few instances where I had to just do it cause I had a ton of anxiety and it worked wonders!” senior, Kassidy Johnson said

Being able to recognize what is going on is very important. It will help immensely. Ideas to help boost and control it are breathing exercises/ meditation. When practiced daily for more than a minute it can relax the mind and clear it so you can better focus. There is meditation where you scan your body, where you feel every spot in your body starting at the feet going up till you reach the crown of your head. Being outside for a least an hour will boost how you feel. Even having plants in your room has been found to boost how you feel. Keeping a gratitude journal, Yoga has also been proven to clear your mind and focus inward. 

As we learn what our mental illness is and how it feels we will learn how to take care of our bodies and our mental state. Once we start to improve our quality in life improves, we focus and we are bound for success in life.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” Martin Luther King Jr. said.

Take that first step and it may look like a lot but it will lead you to greatness when you learn self love and how you handle things, and how you react to certain situations.  We need to bring mental awareness to those around us, so we can care for the ones we love the most.