Fairview Range Blog

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8 Ways to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy During the Darkest Time of the Year

We’re lucky to live in an area that offers plenty of good food, fresh air, and outside activities. Staying mentally and physically healthy during the colder, darker months can boost your wellbeing and your happiness. According to Dr. Susan Hoyum, a Family Medicine physician at Fairview Mesaba Clinic – Hibbing, here are a few ways you can keep up your health right now. 

Get Outside 

If you live near an open outdoor area with plenty of fresh air and space from others, utilize it as much as possible. There are so many great winter activities, from ice skating to cross country skiing to snowshoeing to simply walking around amongst the fresh snow. Fresh air will rejuvenate your mind and your body. It may be a bit cold, but with a couple more layers, it’s nothing you can’t handle. 

Find an activity partner

It can be hard to get the motivation to exercise, especially during the darkest days of the year. We recommend pairing with a friend or family member to keep each other motivated. Even if you can’t see each other in person, you can check in and encourage each other. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast you hike, run, ski, walk, or skate. Just doing something active is great. 

Keep up with people

This goes hand in hand with having an activity partner. Keep in contact with friends and family, especially the ones who are living alone or far away from loved ones. Dedicate time to video chat or call. Connecting with people will boost your spirits. 

Keep your hands clean

Washing your hands properly is so important. It keeps germs from spreading and lowers your chances of getting sick. Remember, always scrub your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. 

Make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin & minerals (especially vitamin D) 

One way to boost your health is to eat healthy. Think lots of fresh veggies and fruit and foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Darker days mean more chances of developing SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Taking vitamin D can help you combat SAD. Everybody is different so talk to your provider about which vitamins and minerals you should be concentrating on. 

Decrease your phone time

Our phones are our portal to the world these days. While it’s good to stay connected, don’t forget to disconnect and keep yourself sane. Being bombarded with news, comment sections, and memories can drag on our mental wellbeing. Try activities that take you away from your phone, like reading, board games, or outdoor activities. 

Less alcohol. More water. 

Alcohol is not something you should rely on to deal with struggles. Keep that in mind as you get through your weeks. If you’re thirsty, pivot from alcohol and sugary drinks to water. 

Don’t delay health check-ins and vaccinations 

Making time in your busy schedule to visit the doctor may seem like a hassle but it’s just a call away. The longer you put off care, the harder it may be to heal from. If nothing else, make sure to schedule your yearly check-in with your provider. We have several options, including virtual and in-person visits. 

Brighter, Longer Days Are Coming 

The short days of sun can do a number on your mental and physical health. You can keep going and stay healthy. Follow these recommendations and reach out whenever you have health questions. Together, we can keep your health on track. 

To schedule an appointment, call 218-362-6937.


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