Fewer daylight hours during the winter can affect the way you feel, your sleep patterns and your mood. You might feel more tired in the morning, less likely to do exercise or eat more – leading to weight gain which, in turn, affects your self-esteem.
But don’t worry, help is at hand with these 5 tips to forge change in the New Year:
1. Connect with others
February 6 is Time to Talk Day. Dig out the phone number of a friend you’ve lost contact with or seek out people with common interests or views to build your network. A sense of belonging and a feeling of being understood makes us feel worthy and validates who we are.
2. Fresh air is a real tonic
Whether meandering through a woodland or across fields, wrapped up in woollen layers or bracing the winds of coastal paths, accessing wide open spaces allows us time to think and reflect. The most effective problem-solving can come from taking a new perspective, so take yourself outdoors.
3. Set yourself a challenge
This maybe setting a long-term goal, such as learning a new skill, or short-term, such as rearranging the overflowing set of drawers in your room. A challenge increases motivation and commitment to act in a certain way; it allows us to reset our purpose and direction in life.
4. Get active
Increasing your activity levels not only improves your health, but also helps your mind too. The repetitive action of tensing and releasing muscle groups tone, but also relax, muscle and can soothe your mind.
5. Focus on quality
Allow yourself time to choose well and take care of yourself. This may be the type of food you consume or how you spend time with the ones you love. It’s not the quantity that matters, but the meaning and fulfilment that it provides.
If you need to talk to someone about your own mental health or that of someone close to you there are services available for you to find help and advice such as NHS Every mind matters, Mind Charity, Samaritans or speak to a GP, this can be your own or using our GP Service.
Published on 27 January 2020