Mental health and the benefits of snow days

Snow makes you work out
If you’ve ever trudged through even just a foot of snow, you know how hard it is. From snowball fights and making snow angels to shoveling, snow works our bodies. Just be careful in snowy weather, and always wear warm layers of clothes and slip-proof shoes.

Snow gives us time to read
Spending the day curled up with a good book comes with its own proven health benefits. Research has linked daily reading to helping to ward off memory loss, increasing verbal expression skills, and reducing stress.

Snow days force us to take a break.
Many of us work a lot without taking much-needed physical and mental breaks from the daily grind. A report in 2019 found that 53 percent of Americans who receive paid vacation don’t actually use all of their given days off. Not taking time off can actually hurt our productivity at work. But snow days push us to take some welcome and unexpected time to ourselves, without filling the day with errands.

Snow makes us want to cook nourishing meals
Snow sometimes makes it hard to order delivery or takeout, and offers enough free time to actually cook dinner. Research suggests that home cooking leads to better food choices and a healthier overall diet. In addition, family mealtime has been shown to help children build communication, decision-making skills, self-esteem, healthy eating habits, and daily routines.

Snow may help you burn calories
Studies show that exercising in cold weather or even just shivering while on a short walk can burn extra calories. A drop in temperature to even a mild 60° revs up metabolism.

Snow can help you fight off colds/infections
When your immune system adapts to cold environments, its ability to fight off infection gets stronger.

Snow can help you get a better night’s sleep
Many studies have proven that sleeping in a cold room can improve your quality of sleep and help you get to sleep quicker. When your body temperature drops, it mimics the same process that occurs in REM sleep. Even turning your thermostat down a few notches at night can be helpful. In the winter, with less daylight and colder temperatures, the body’s natural sleep hormone, melatonin, kicks in harder.

Snow can improve your brain function
We might feel a little sluggish at times being indoors during winter, but research shows that exposure to cold weather may actually boost your brain activity and focus.

Snow is fun
Whether you’d prefer to spend the day outside or curled up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate or soothing soup, actually enjoying yourself for a day is a boon to your health. Stress can cause headaches, fatigue, anxiety, sleep problems, and even depression. Taking a day off to relieve all that can improve your mood and your health. Getting silly in the snow, with your dogs, children, family, is also great. Laughing may lower inflammation, soothe tension, boost your immune system, and reduce anxiety.

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Embolden Psychology
Embolden

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