Look after your Mental Wellbeing this Winter

Many of us struggle with our mental health, especially at this time of the year with longer nights and gloomy weather giving us less to look forward to in the coming months.

While we can’t control all the that can cause us struggle, there are things we can do to protect our mental health and wellbeing.

Below are a few top tips which you can also take on board if you find yourself struggling with your mental wellbeing over the coming months.

Go outside

While fresh air and exercise is good for many reasons, a quick stroll around the park can make a huge difference to your mood. Whether you’re feeling cooped up from working remotely, have had a busy day in the office or out-and-about, try and make sure you get some peaceful time every day, even if it’s just for 10 minute stroll on your lunch break, or half an hour pottering about in the garden. Time outdoors will also increase your level of Vitamin D which is important mood-booster.

Re-Learn Relaxation

It’s important that we have time to think and reflect, away from work, our electronic devices, and all the other distractions we deal with. There are plenty of things you can do to unwind without leaving the house; some people may favour a hot bath, a good book, or a podcast, while others find refuge in a hobby.

Eat Well

It’s easy to slip into convenient, comforting eating habits during the colder months, and while these serve a purpose, they don’t always include the healthiest foods. The occasional takeaway is a great way to ring in the weekend, but you might benefit from a more balanced diet day-to-day.

Health experts have demonstrated the link between healthy food and moods. Click here to learn more: https://youtu.be/CSHO9VdVRfg.

Learn something new

They say you learn something new every day, and this is often true, but making a conscious effort to expand our understanding of the world can be very rewarding for our mental health. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn another language, to try your hand at throwing pottery, or learn a musical instrument. We feel a sense of achievement by bettering ourselves and improving our skills or increasing our knowledge are very practical ways we can do this.

Move your body

This sounds like obvious advice but making sure you get regular exercise can do wonders for your state of mind. As well as the endorphins you’ll enjoy afterward, a workout will increase your energy levels. Plus, it’s likely to help you shake off any feelings of lockdown lethargy which many of us are still experiencing.

Stay connected

The lockdowns and social distancing we’ve all experienced have made us feel distant and disconnected. We probably all have a greater understanding now of the importance of those social interactions, and how it can improve our mental health.

Speaking to people, whether face-to-face or through video calls are a great way of supporting our mental health. Find the time to keep connected, and even if your mental health is feeling good, take the time to ask others how they are. Often people won’t ask for help, but a kind enquiry can offer the opportunity to make a big difference to someone’s day.

Find time for you

We often find ourselves doing so much for other people, that we often neglect ourselves. It is important to have the headspace to focus on our own wellbeing. This could include cut-off times from mobile phones and devices, or ring-fencing time for us to focus on the things we struggle to prioritise. Even if you take pride and satisfaction from being there for others, you can only do this well when you take care of yourself too.

While we cannot control the darker nights or the weather, we can influence how we feel during it. If you ever find you are struggling, make sure you reach out to get the support you need. You aren’t alone in feeling this way and help it available.

Useful Resources

Every mind matters https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-wellbeing-tips/your-mind-plan-quiz/

Hub of Hope https://hubofhope.co.uk/

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/


Date published: 1 November 2021