Winter can often feel like the gloomiest period of the year once all the hustle and bustle of the festive period comes to end but there are plenty of ways you can lift your mood.
Get rid of that gloomy feeling by:
Exercising more – exercise releases endorphins that make us feel happier. Exercise also boosts energy levels and your immune system. Local leisure centres, health trainers and Wellbeing Hubs offer activities, walks and training programmes. For more information on the Wellbeing Hubs call 01724 277906, leisure centre activities call 01724 297272 and the health trainer service call 01724 292170.
Eat well – this is essential for good mental health. Good fats in oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are beneficial to good mental health.
Be sociable – being cut off from family and friends, or not having a social support group can worsen your mood. Make some plans and stick to them. Face-to-face human contact is better than chatting on social networking sites.
Start a new hobby or join a group – this is a great way to meet new people and have regular contact with people who share similar interests and hobbies. Groups and activities can be found both in the local community and at Wellbeing Hubs that are located across North Lincolnshire visit: www.northlincs.gov.uk/people-health-and-care/services-for-adults/solutions-for-you/community-wellbeing-hubs/.
Practice mindfulness – a combination of meditation, yoga and breathing techniques. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to improve your mood. Courses in mindfulness can be taken without GP referral.
Set yourself realistic goals – many people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions in January, which can demotivate them and impact on emotional wellbeing.
Get professional help – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression and affects approximately seven per cent of Britons. SAD can be severe over December, January and February. If your symptoms begin to impact your daily life, see your GP.
Take a break – going back to work after a break can be stressful. A change of scenery or change of pace is good for your mental health. Whether it’s a five minute tea break, half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new; don’t forget to give yourself some me time.
Do something you’re good at – enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem and sense of wellbeing.
Keep warm – being cold can contribute to depression. For more information on how to keep warm and access information and advice on affordable warmth, contact 01724 297000.
Get some restful sleep – poor sleep can affect negatively on your mood and mental health.
Councillr Rob Waltham, cabinet member for Health, Strategic Projects and Regeneration, said: “Winter can often feeling like the gloomiest time and can lead to people wanting to make changes that often are not necessary. The steps above are common sense but they really can help lift your mood and keep you positive. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest changes in your life.”