Mental health during winter
By Hannah West
With the nights’ drawing in and the weather getting colder, it is quite common for people to experience the “winter blues”.
This winter in particular, with the Coronavirus pandemic, more people may be feeling low, but there are many ways you can support your mental health this winter.
Have a routine and set short-term goals
It can be hard to keep to a routine, if you are working from home or furloughed, during the pandemic. To help you set a routine, start to set short-term goals and plan how you are going to achieve these, this will help you stay motivated.
Even though you can’t see your friends and family, make the time to stay in touch with them. Whether it’s arranging a quiz night over zoom or checking in on your loved ones, having regular communication with them will help you feel less isolated.
Taking the time to exercise regularly is a great way to relieve stress, improve your mental wellbeing and raise your self-esteem.
You don’t need to join a gym to get active, a walk in the park to get some fresh air or doing yoga are good ways to improve your wellbeing.
Make sure you get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for our wellbeing. If you are having trouble sleeping, try to relax before you go to sleep. Don’t watch TV or use tablets, phones, or laptops before bed as this delays your body’s internal clock making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Have some “me” time
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is easy to forget to make some quality time for yourself. Setting aside half an hour, a couple of times a week, to enjoy some quality “me time” could help to reduce your stress levels.
Using this time to either meditate, relax in the bath or even have a cup of tea by yourself with no distractions, can help your mind to clear and your brain reboot and unwind making you feel more focused and refreshed.
Don’t neglect your health
If you have any health issues that you are worried about, it is important that you still see your GP. Ring your GP Practice and arrange a consultation with your doctor. The NHS is still open and available if you have any physical or mental health concerns.
Ask for help as early as possible
If you are struggling to cope, there are lots of organisations and charities that offer help and support.
For more information about the different services available click here.