How Winter Affects Your Mind & Body – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

How Winter Affects Your Mind & Body


The winter seems to last a long time, with long nights and gloomy days that leave us all craving warmth and sunshine. The cold months can take a toll on both our minds and bodies, from changing moods to dry skin and lack of motivation – but there are ways that we can get through the winter more easily. Why not warm yourself in a sauna or pamper yourself at one of the many spa hotels across the country for a boost of winter wellness? Read on to find out more about how cold weather can affect us. 

Changes in mood

With winter comes cold, and often miserable weather that can leave us feeling deflated and down – and it can seem like it goes on forever! When the cold weather starts to set in, it’s not just our bodies that feel it, but our minds too. The days get shorter which means we wake up in the dark and come home from work in the dark. The lack of sunlight paired with rain, wind, and snow can understandably leave us feeling miserable. Many of us may experience these feelings throughout the winter but if you find that you are adversely affected, you may be suffering from SAD…

Seasonal Affective Disorder 

This is a common condition that happens with the changes of the seasons. If you think you are suffering from SAD, your symptoms will begin when it starts to get gloomy in autumn and continue until spring. There are a few symptoms that you may notice if you suffer from SAD, like feeling sad almost every day, feeling low energy and having no interest in taking part in things that you usually enjoy, you may also have difficulty concentrating. There are various ways that you can try and improve your symptoms so that you can live happily even when the weather is cold – you could use light therapy lamps, take vitamin D, or talk to a therapist. If your SAD is becoming unmanageable, talking to a doctor can be helpful.

Reduced motivation 

When it’s cold and dark out, you may begin to feel like you have no motivation, or that your energy has been sucked out of you. This is normal.  If your mood is affected by the winter, you’ll likely end up in a slump – It’s dark all day, you’re tired and you have no energy – but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you are struggling to stay motivated, whether that’s with work, exercise or getting back to a hobby you loved, there are a few changes that can help bring back your enthusiasm. Make sure you’re getting plenty of natural light where you can, make a cosy environment to work in, and make sure you wrap up warm to get a bit of fresh air – moving your body can make all the difference. 

Eating habits 

When the temperature drops, we all want to feel cosy and comfortable, which can lead to us becoming irresponsible with our eating habits. Of course, comfort food is necessary once in a while, but it is more important than ever in the winter to make sure our bodies benefit from nutrient-rich foods so that we can fight infection and boost our immune systems. There are plenty of healthy recipes that are perfect for the winter, like warming soups that are filled with goodness. Be aware of what you’re eating in the colder months to ensure you’re giving your body everything it needs to function as it should. 

Dry Skin 

We’ve looked at some of the effects that winter has on the mind, but what about the body? It’s no surprise that many of us suffer from dry skin during the winter months, with freezing temperatures and harsh winds having an impact on skin, leaving it dry, and dull. There are ways that you can reduce the chance of your skin becoming dry in the winter, like choosing showers instead of baths – it may be tempting to have a long soak to warm yourself up, but this can just dry your skin out further! You might find that the skin on your hands becomes cracked and sore when exposed to the elements but using a good moisturiser on these areas means that you can restore your soft and subtle skin in no time. 

Asthma 

Did you know that asthma can be exacerbated by cold air? If you suffer from this condition, it can become a challenge to manage in the winter, but try not to worry, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of becoming affected. When temperatures drop drastically, try, and stay indoors to stay warm, and if you do have to venture out, cover your neck and mouth with a scarf to keep you from breathing in freezing air too quickly – this can result in irritation.