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Get Outside, Exercise To Help Your Mental Health During Event

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Get Outside, Exercise To Help Your Mental Health During Event

Found yourself down emotionally since the cold weather and snow started? A local mental health service provider said it is natural.

Licensed Professional Counselor Christi Hassler said that people who struggle with isolation are at risk of negative effects from the severe weather forcing them to stay inside. She said you need to make an extra effort to take care of yourself. Hassler said that getting out of the house is one of the best ways to improve your mental health during this time.

“Even though it’s cold outside, you know, with the snow you can still get outside,” Hassler said. “It’s safe, you know. And getting some sunlight. And actually the reflection of the snow right now reflecting back on a person is actually good. It can increase their vitamin D and their light exposure.”

Hassler said other important tools are exercise, getting a high-quality light box in your house to combat the shorter days, and socializing with others even if only via telephone or the internet. She said people living in more rural areas have an even harder time with their mental health in this extreme weather.

“So we have a lot to do in the warmer months, but it, especially in rural Tennessee, there’s not that much to do when it’s cold, so it is good to check on your loved ones and see how they’re doing,” Hassler said. “And of course, if they are having suicidal ideations, to know how to, you know, provide support there as well.”

Hassler said there is a condition called seasonal affective disorder that can cause people to have lower energy, depressed moods, and tendencies towards isolation throughout the fall and winter.

Hassler said if someone with the disorder leans towards isolation during those seasons they will be affected even more by the forced isolation from the harsh winter.

“The days are shorter and it affects the circadian rhythm,” Hassler said. “So it’s thought that the serotonin levels are lower. And I always encourage people also to have blood work done and checking their vitamin D.”


The post Get Outside, Exercise To Help Your Mental Health During Event appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.