10 top tips to beat the winter blues

Winter can be a challenging time for many people, Somerset County Council are sharing some top tips to help support people through these challenges.

As the days get shorter and the weather wintery it is easy for people to become more isolated as they leave their homes less often. This can lead to loneliness, anxiety and even depression – and having covid still in circulation has added to this pressure.

Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council member for health and wellbeing, said: “We all have a role to play in helping to tackle loneliness in our community.

“Loneliness can affect anyone but, particularly this time of year, it can impact older people who live alone, as they find it more difficult to be out and about during the winter months. Just a simple phone call to someone living on their own can make a huge difference to their day.”

Top tips to fight winter loneliness:

  1. Connect and spend time with the people around you. Your relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours can support your mental wellbeing and make you feel better.
  2. Call up a friend or a family member for a chat? Spending time with the people around you, even if it is just over the phone or online, can make you feel better.
  3. Keeping active is a great way to improve your mental wellbeing, but this doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. Take a walk, a stroll in the garden or just dance around the living room to your favourite music. There are lots of great ideas to get outside at https://getoutsideinsomerset.co.uk/  to help you.
  4. Make sure you are up to date with your winter vaccinations – catching Flu or Covid would mean isolating, making you cut off from your friends and family.
  5. Take some time to be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
  6. Learn a new skill – why not learn to cook a favourite dish that you’ve never eaten at home? Or sign up for that course you’ve always wanted to do?
  7. Rediscovering an old hobby can improve your wellbeing? Whether it is model making, knitting, singing or writing stories.
  8. The smallest act of giving can make a huge difference, whether it’s a kind word, a thank you or even just a smile.
  9. Become more mindful, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/
  10. Volunteering within your local community can help improve your wellbeing as well as making a difference to others. To discover local volunteering opportunities that are right for you –  visit https://volunteering.somerset.gov.uk/ or www.sparkachange.org.uk.

The smallest act of giving can make a huge difference, whether it’s a kind word, a thank you or even just a smile – and it will make you feel better.

Everyone’s mental wellbeing changes throughout their life, but it’s important not to just put up with poor mental health. If you’re concerned about how you are feeling, please speak to your GP or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

Mindline is a confidential listening service that is open twenty-four hours a day – 01823 334906. They can give emotional support and provide access to mental health services if required.

For information on other local organisations that can help visit Somerset Choices http://www.somersetchoices.org.uk and search ‘loneliness’.

If you are, or know someone, older who needs support it can be found at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/