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Ten steps to winter wellbeing

Ten ways to beat those winter blues and improve your wellbeing over the festive season...

Winter can be a stressful and demanding time of year no matter how you spend it. Whether you're spending time with friends and family, stuck in the office or getting through the winter season alone, there are things you can do to boost your mental wellbeing and lift your spirits.

MHF logoThe Mental Health Foundation has come up with some useful tips to help you make the most of this festive time of year.

Read on to find out more or download and share the MHF poster from the downloadable documents section to the right side of this page.

Talk about your feelings

It's that time of year again; a time for joy and excitement, but with all the stresses of shopping, celebration preparations and keeping everybody happy, the winter period can affect even the most festive of us.

Set some time aside to chat with a family member, friend or even a work colleague. Talking through your problems will help you to manage your concerns and improve your mood.

Eat well

A healthy diet is key to improving your mood and physical health no matter what time of year it is but the festive period is often when we over-indulge ourselves in sugary treats, large dinners, not to mention the left-overs.

Balance out your diet over the festive period; you don't have to limit yourself to a plate of greens - avoiding binge-eating and excessive sugar consumption are great ways to boost your mood.

Keep in touch and reach out

The festive period can be a great time for connecting with family and friends but with all the presents to be bought and cooking up the Christmas dinner and the clean up after all the festivities, it can be easy to forget about setting some time aside to spend with family and friends. 

Catching up with distant relatives or talking with someone about your/their stresses and challenges over the winter season can be a great way to share each other's views and help you to work through your problems and concerns. 

If you are alone and/or away from family this festive season, the Campaign to End Loneliness provides some helpful resources.

Take a break

The winter season is a great time of year to get away from a hectic lifestyle, even if you don't leave your front door. Giving yourself time to reflect on the past year is a positive step to boosting your mood and improving your outlook on life in the future.

Spending time with family and friends is great, but so can setting some time aside for you. Even a small amount of time to yourself can help to get you through the rest of the day with a smile on your face.

Accept who you are

We are all different and we don't all like to spend our time in the same way. Some people love to connect and share with friends and family, whereas others prefer to spend more time independently. Some of us enjoy cooking for guests whilst others dedicate their efforts to spreading good cheer and conversation amongst the party.

It doesn't matter who you are or how you like to spend the festive period, being comfortable in your own skin and ensuring that you have a good time too is important.

Keep active

It's cold, wet and windy. The duvet is quickly becoming your best friend in the mornings and the thought of physical activity sends a shiver down your back but research shows that exercise has a major effect on your mood and overall mental wellbeing.

Blue text logoTake a look at our GoDoActive webpage to find out more about staying active and healthy through the winter months.

Drink sensibly

It's that time of year again when the mulled wine is flowing and alcoholic spirits are in abundance. Whether you are a regular drinker or not, it's very easy to get carried away. 

Keeping on top of your alcohol consumption throughout the festive period will help you to pace yourself, socialise and maintain a positive mental state of mind. 

For more information about drinking responsibly, visit Drinkaware UK.

Ask for help

No matter how much planning is involved, things go wrong and sometimes it can all get too much to handle. If you are finding it difficult to cope with the challenges of winter festivities, try asking family and friends for support over the winter months. 

If you need someone to talk to, the Samaritans are available to speak to all year round. To contact the Isle of Man branch of the Samaritans, please call +44 1624 663399. 

You can also email the Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.

Do something you enjoy

The holiday season is a busy time of year which means you might have put your hobbies and interests to one side but enjoying yourself helps beat stress so setting some time aside can keep you thinking positive and get through the winter period. 

Enjoying yourself will boost your mood, even after you've finished whatever it was you were doing.

Care for others

Buying presents for each other is just one way of showing we care, but there are plenty of other things you can do to show your love. 

If you are spending the holidays with distant relatives or a family member you haven't seen in a while, try catching up with them and find out how they've been. Building new relationships or strengthening old ones can make you and the other person feel good. 

More information and advice

Looking for more top tips to get through the winter months like building a strong immune system or keeping warm? 

To find out more about a wide range of winter health and wellbeing subjects, visit the NHS Choices website; a great source of health information and advice.

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