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10 tips to give your wellbeing a boost this winter
With the festive season behind us, it’s onto the new year. We’re already almost through January, but it’s still very much cold here in the UK (if you’re reading this from warmer climes, we’re very jealous!)
Winter can bring a dreary atmosphere, both physically and mentally. Making sure you take some small steps gently improve your mental health and wellbeing is arguably more important in the colder months, with the shorter days, longer nights and reduced vitamin D. Leaving your house in the dark and returning in the dark can be depressing, so anything that can be done is surely welcome!
Here, we present our top 10 tips on things you could do to give your wellbeing a boost this winter.
Getting out there
It may be cold, dark and dingy, outside, but there is still benefit to be enjoyed from walking outdoors. The fresh, crisp air is so good for you, as is exercise, and can undoubtedly help you shake that cabin fever you may be feeling. We know that staying inside with a hot drink and chilling out can be good, but going on a walk can be even better, changing your surroundings and enjoying a different perspective, with the beautiful frost layered over the grass in the morning, or under the evening streetlights.
2. Catching up with friends & family
Even though you might have just seen them all for the holidays and the new year celebrations, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend some more time with them! Going out for drinks or a meal, popping round their house for a cuppa or even just enjoying a phone call can bring a little bit of fun into the day, as well as going a way towards helping you. You’ll also be helping them, so you can feel good about that. Don’t forget to be attentive if you can and ask them plenty of questions, so they get the most out of it also.
3. Keeping active
We can all admit to maybe not fully sticking to our diets over the festive period and the thought of seconds was too enticing to turn down! But, there’s no time like the present to try and work off a few of those extra pounds we might have put on. A simple workout to get your heart rate higher and a sweat on, or even a walk around town can do really well for both your physical and mental health.
4. Be kind to yourself
No one is perfect and so being you is the best possible thing you can be, celebrating small successes throughout the week, even if it’s just a small task – can go a long way for making you feel better about yourself. Write down the tasks you have to do and tick them off one by one. And perhaps practice some positive affirmations. You might need to Google that last one, but some do swear by the positive affirmations and their impact on wellbeing.
5. Enjoy some time to yourself
The world can be daunting and down right scary at some points, so taking an hour or even a day if you need it to relax can be a healthy solution to keeping you happy. You know you best, so if you think that you might need a bit of time away from everything, take it. And don’t feel guilty about it.
6. Say ‘no’ if you’re not up for it
Similar to the previous tip, if you think going out might make you feel not so great and could have a negative impact, then it’s okay to say no to plans. Your friends will understand and putting how you’re feeling first can make you feel better too.
7. Take it one step at a time
Problems don’t have to be taken on headfirst as that can be quite overwhelming and feel almost impossible. Taking your time with it and battling it with confidence in micro-steps can go a long way. Even talking to your friends and family about your problems can help it to get resolved, but still, one step at a time.
8. Plan it out
Making a plan for the year, or even for the next month, can help you stay focused and on top of all the different events that might be going on in your world. Keeping on top of it all can make you feel proud of yourself, helping you to better understand what lies ahead, as well as what you’ve actually achieved in a given timeframe. It’s often more than you think and give yourself credit for!
9. Jot it down
Whether it’s just a little sentence or something a little bit longer, writing down how you’re feeling can go a long way towards helping you get through it. It doesn’t have to be in a journal or anything if you don’t think you’re going to be super organised with it. It can just be on a bit of paper; something that you can look at and read over to help understand how you can overcome it.
10. Give booze a break
With the big initiative of ‘Dry January’ a lot of people are giving up alcohol for the month, or some maybe even longer! But, it can be a good release from drinking and you can open up and find different ways to have fun and enjoy the nights with friends and family, without a beer in hand.
We know that everyone is different and therefore things that might work for improving the wellbeing of some might not work as well for others; we hope that this list has provided some food for thought. Remember, shout up if you feel you may need a little help with your mental health! It’s a very strong, brave thing to do.
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