It is arguably safe to say that this year, more of us are feeling a bit down than ever before. Cases of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are skyrocketing across the globe as a result of the stress and fear induced by COVID-19, and many of us are simply not feeling as happy as we normally would be, which is understandable given current circumstances.
There are things we can do to give our spirits a boost, though, and there are particular tips and tricks associated with mindfulness which have been backed by science, says an article from The Good News Network, one of which being simply walking.
“Even though the thermometers are reading low, walking is not only a great way to practice mindfulness, but it gets you out of doors—which every psychologist worth their salt would explain is great for your mental health.
“During the holiday season and wintertime, it’s even more important for several reasons.
- “Reduced daylight hours lead to a reduction in the natural absorption of vitamin D from UV light. Vitamin D is one of the most important biochemicals for the immune system and fighting off viruses.
- “Exposure to cold increases the brain’s production of norepinephrine, a behavioral chemical that can make you feel elated and excited.
- “Exposure to trees, sky, the stars, and nature has been shown time and time again to help improve mental well-being.
“Walking this holiday season allows you to capture all of these benefits as well as offering a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. In Europe, it’s quite common for married couples, friends, or dog moms/dads to take a walk after a meal—particularly dinner.
“Several studies have looked at the effects of a post-dinner walk on things like nocturnal glycemia, type-2 diabetes, and gastro reflux. All found that these various symptoms were improved with even just a 20-minute moderate-intensity walk after an evening meal,” the article states.
Here’s hoping this information can help some of us out during the holiday season.