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As we reach the colder months, with the days getting both shorter and darker, this can often mean that we can no longer do the things that we might normally do to keep our mental health well. Such as maybe going for a walk after work, playing football, maybe even doing something like kayaking. Though if you do still go kayaking during these cold wintery days, we definitely admire your bravery!

That is why we at Burton and District Mind want to talk about some other things you could do to keep your mental health well, that you can do from inside the comfort of your own home.

Puzzles can often be great for your mental health! This is for a number of reasons which include;

- They can improve your problem-solving skills. Through doing puzzles you can often learn to look at a problematic situation, and work out how to solve it in a way that suits you. These problem-solving skills can then also be applied to real-life situations, where you may feel more able to sort something out without overwhelming yourself. As well as also asking for help should you need it.

- Improved Mood, when you finish a puzzle. It will often increase the brain's ability to produce dopamine. This is often associated with a sense of accomplishment and is responsible for improving our concentration, and memory it also helps us to feel more optimistic about situations.

- Managing stress levels. Puzzles can provide a good distraction from something in your life that may be causing you stress. This could help you be able to feel more relaxed and release some of the weight you may be feeling.

- A sense of being productive. Upon completing a puzzle that you may be having difficulty with, it can often bring with it a sense of pride, that you have been able to work towards completing something challenging. On days when it may be difficult to want to do anything, having something to help yourself feel accomplished/productive can be a positive boost towards mental health.

These puzzles could be anything ranging from: Wordle, a word search, a crossword or even a jigsaw! Any sort of puzzle will work. If you are interested in this kind of thing we definitely recommend keeping an eye on our social media pages, where once a week we will normally share some form of a puzzle for you to complete.

Next up is reading! In a study done by BCAP last year, 43% of people in the UK found that reading helped ease their stress levels during the third national lockdown. Reading can be a fantastic escape into a world away from anything that may be causing stress, or unhappiness. It can also be a good way to unwind after a long, busy day and can be helpful to establish good sleep if you read right before bed.

Take up a craftwork hobby, like painting, drawing or even knitting! Just something to focus on and learn as you do it. On top of this, it may give you something to talk to others about and help you to relate to them as you share a hobby!

These are just some basic ideas that could possibly help anyone who may be struggling now, as they may not be able to do their normal summertime hobbies/interests, however, if something that is not listed helps you then that is great too! As long as it works for you, that is all that matters. We also want to express that mental health can affect people all year round. The aim of this post is to suggest different ways people can stay busy during these cold months!

Here is a website that will keep your brain occupied, with a few different puzzles there to keep you entertained! Including a chimp test, to see if you are smarter than a chimpanzee! You can also test your memory with the sequence memory game and much more, enjoy! Link to the puzzles:

If you do find yourself struggling and need help, pleas take a look at some of the services we have available here ->

Contact us through the following page->


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