Tips for overcoming the Winter Blues

The cold, dark months of January are difficult under normal circumstances, but with the effects of the pandemic still being felt, you may be finding it harder to keep a positive mindset and protect your mental wellbeing than before. Many of us have had to spend periods of time in isolation and once again found ourselves unable to see our loved ones.

Unfortunately, 8 in 10 missing adults experience mental health issues and we understand first-hand the negative impact poor mental health can have. If you are suffering or feel you have nowhere to turn this January, the following tips provided by our frontline services team may help you overcome the winter blues during this uncertain time.

Remember, you are not alone and our Helpline is available 7 days a week to provide free, confidential support to people in crisis. Call or text 116 000. 

Take vitamin D

With the blue skies and glow of the summer sun still scarce, your body is not able to soak up as much sunlight as it needs to create vitamin D. Taking a simple supplement in the colder months could do wonders for your overall health.

Provided by the whole team!

Make the most of the limited daylight

While vitamin D will help to keep your body healthy, make sure you still make the most of the limited daylight available. For many with a computer-based job, this is difficult, but even a short walk in your lunch break is incredibly beneficial for your mental wellbeing. You can also buy natural daylight lightbulbs which are fantastic, especially for workspaces.

Provided by Ollie, Senior Helplines Coordinator 

Stay in the ‘now’

Mindfulness is not for everybody but if it works for you, use it. Don’t think long-term, focus instead on the very short-term, day by day or hour by hour. Anxiety lives in the gap between the present and the future. Stay in the present. It’s all you have. Cry and vent if and when you need to. It’s allowed.

Provided by Martha, Helplines Manager

Establish a support network

Reach out to your family and friends and agree who you can reach out to for support and in what circumstances. Open the conversation with those you seek to be part of your support network so that you can both set your boundaries. Sharing, caring, and honest communication are key to creating a solid support network.

Provided by Remi, Family Support Manager

Manage your relationship with social media

Social media can raise anxiety and negatively impact sleep so try setting timers for how long you spend on your accounts. Make sure that you remain in control when
using social media. If you start feeling stressed or comparing yourself to others, try taking a break and see how you feel afterwards. If you have a missing loved one, you will want to check for updates, but consider having a friend that you trust to manage this for you instead.

Provided by Remi, Family Support Manager

Manage your relationship with the news

Much like with social media, the news can be a great source of anxiety for many people. At the moment, you may find yourself checking the news frequently for updates about the pandemic but feeling more stressed as a result. Try limiting how often you check the news and turn alerts off on your phone.

Provided by Ollie, Senior Helplines Coordinator

Just because “It could be worse”, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be better

When we all know so many people are facing struggles with their health or financial security it is easy to brush off things we are going through, or think it’s not right to talk or complain about what is going on. There is no limit to how many people can be feeling in a bad place, so don’t squash your worries and feelings down. Find the space to talk about what’s going on.

Provided by Paul, Head of Helplines

Don’t be afraid to speak to your GP

If you’re not sure if you need medical support or not, have a chat with your GP rather than staying in doubt.

Provided by Martha, Helplines Manager

Get support

If nothing else seems to be helping or you feel you have nowhere to turn, reach out for support. Our free, confidential Helpline, on 116 000, is here for anyone affected by a disappearance or thinking of leaving home. Other agencies that can help are Samaritans, SANEline, CALM, SHOUT and Papyrus HOPELINEUK.

Watch the video

Watch Eshani, our Corporate Partnerships Officer, talk through the guide and explain how you can help your mental wellbeing today.

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