Bitter Cold Leads to Even More Isolation for Many


With the bitterly cold temperatures, health experts recommend to stay indoors as much as you are able. But in a time when we are already spending so much time inside, it can add to the isolation so many people are experiencing.

Rick Jass, a licensed professional counselor at Charis Counseling, says it could have an impact on our mental health.

"Even though we've had a relatively mild winter so far, this week we're back into the bitterly cold temperatures, and whenever that happens, people tend to be inside more; they tend to be under the blanket more in front of the fire," Jass said. "But the more our activity becomes more stagnant, the more it can affect our mood."

He said there are other things at home on top of that, that can add to a down mood.

"You have increased stressors of increased conflict with children or with your significant other, because you're sort of in this enclosed, confined space for long periods of time, and all of that can take a toll on our mood."

Jass said without having the benefits of natural sunlight, there are ways we all can keep our mental health in check throughout the winter season. One thing he recommends is taking a vitamin D supplement. He said the supplements have proven in many people to help during the winter months. Another piece of advice he had is to pay attention to your sleep. Make sure you're getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Also, eat healthy and exercise.

"Even 20 minutes for three times a week makes a big difference. A lot of times people start exercising for their body, and they keep exercising for their brain."

(CBS - Wausau, Wisconsin)