Looking after your mental health in Winter

Feel that chill in the air? Winter is most definitely on its way. As we move into the winter months, many more of us struggle with our mental health.

With 1 in 4 people experiencing struggles with their mental health each year in England, we want to reaffirm that it’s ok not to be ok and need support, especially in the winter months.

When you are struggling, it’s important to show yourself some extra love and care, which is why we want to arm you with the best resources to look after yourself.

Eat a nutritious meal

We know that sometimes cooking or eating can seem impossible, especially when you’re not feeling great, however eating something can sometimes help to lift your mood and energy.

There are some great minimal-effort but nutritious meals you can make when you feel zapped of energy. Some of our favourites include: Greek yogurt bowl with (fresh or frozen) fruit of your choice, nuts and honey (both optional), poached egg and beans on toast (a staple winter dish), scrambled eggs with (fresh or frozen) mixed vegetables, or smoothies loaded with frozen fruits, leafy greens and Greek yogurt.

Movement

Fitting in some movement, even if it is just a 10-minute walk, can help to boost your mood and energy levels. Many people find that exercise (yes, walking counts as exercise!) helps them when they’re feeling low, which is likely to have something to do with the release of endorphins, the known feel-good chemical, that your brain produces when you get moving.

If you’re not ready to brace the cold just yet, you can get moving from the comfort of your own home. Have a look at our Youtube here to find the workout for you.

Mindfulness

On days where you feel like your brain will not be quiet, quiet your mind with some meditation or mindfulness. These relaxation techniques can help to improve your state of mind. There are plenty of free guides and advice online that can help you meditate if you’re not sure where to start.

Surround yourself with good people

If you feel up to it, make plans with supportive family members or friends that make you feel good. But remember, it’s also ok if you don’t want to and you want to be alone sometimes to navigate your feelings.

Get help when you need it

Making the decision to seek help is a sign of strength – not a weakness. Life can sometimes throw unexpected challenges our way, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and in need of some support. But it’s important to remember that you’re never alone in your struggles and there is help available.

As well as Samaritans – who you contact for free on 116 123 or email them on [email protected] – there are many other charities you can turn to for help.

Mind: Call 0300 123 3393 or https://www.mind.org.uk.

Papyrus: Call 0800 068 4141 or https://www.papyrus-uk.org.

There are no charges to phone or email.

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