Self care for darker days

Spring will be here before you know it,  but for some of us, January can feel like an especially long winter month. Long dark nights, poor weather, and the cost of living  can all  take their toil on our emotional wellbeing.

Here, Our Just ‘B’ emotional wellbeing team look at some simple ways which may help us feel brighter.

  • During winter, we see less natural sunlight and this can affect your body clock, leading to depression and tiredness. Spend some time each day outside if you can, and open your curtains to let as much light in as possible. Avoid sitting in dark or dimly lit rooms. Use lamps & mirrors to brighten up anywhere that is particularly dark.
  • Exercise and spending time outside in nature are helpful for everyone’s mental health. Physical activity can help you concentrate, sleep and feel better  – even if it’s just a walk each day.
  • Reach out to a friend or family member who you know is finding things difficult right now. You could order a pack of our free Just ‘B’ there postcards and pop one in the post to someone you care about. Your pack includes helpful ways to let someone know you are thinking of them. It also provides details of our Hear to Help telephone line, where our friendly team is here to listen to children, young people and adults who want to talk. Order yours here.
  • Plan for difficult days. For example, you could stock up the freezer with meals for nights when you don’t have the energy to cook, or make sure you have time to relax or get an early night.
  • Thinking differently about winter may help. Research shows that reframing how we think about stressful events can help us deal much better with them. Think about the things you enjoy about winter: Curling up under a blanket, walking through crunchy leaves or taking advantage of quieter weekends to rest, or declutter for example.
  • While it’s natural to crave comfort food, this doesn’t have to be unhealthy – veg-packed stews and soups are rich in vitamins and nutrients that will help your brain to function well, boost immunity and protect your ability to cope with daily life.
  • Practice mindfulness, which means simply being in the here and now. Taking just a few minutes each day to do something like listening to the sound of nature will help you keep focused in the present.
  • Stock up on mindful activities for bad weather days – jigsaws, arts and crafts, books or music can keep you feeling calmer and content if you can’t get outside. If money is tight, see if you can swap with friends or visit a local charity shop for bargains.
  •  Remember, our caring Just ‘B’  team are ‘hear to help’ from 8am to 8pm every day, if you want to talk through any worries, low mood or anxieties or just need a friendly ear. T: (01423) 856 799