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People at Work's tips for winter wellbeing...

With the dark evenings drawing in some of us may find our mood is dropping along with the temperature. This blog looks at some of the aspects of the winter season and aims to find ways to combat the winter blues and keep us feeling well when we really just feel like hibernating!

SAD (Seasonal affective disorder)

For some people this time of year can signal the onset of SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) also known as winter depression. To learn more about SAD syndrome click here

One of ways to manage SAD syndrome is to exercise regularly and get as much natural sunlight as you can but really that applies to everyone. Staying active is just as important in the winter as the summer time. Get moving to increase your circulation and soak up what little vitamin D may be out there by going for a brisk daily walk. Wrap up warm or get your waterproofs on. Being out in nature is a great way to improve your mental health. You might not feel like it when you look out of the window at the gloomy day but a 20 minute to half an hour brisk walk is guaranteed to boost your mood.


Staying warm at home

Although Energy bills are coming down, for many they are still a huge financial burden so here are a few tips to get the most from your heating.

  • Keep one room warm and turn down the heating in hallways or rooms that aren’t used often. Put the heating on in bedrooms just half an hour before bedtime.

  • Use draught excluders under doors, rolled up towels or blankets work just as well, put up a curtain in front of a draughty door. You might be able to pick one up in a charity shop or on vinted or marketplace. Allow the sun to come through during the day but close the curtains as soon as the sun goes down to trap the heat in.

  • Keep inner doors closed.

  • Wear several layers instead of one thick one, this will help to trap heat in. Style your look with a hat and fingerless gloves.

  • Similarly if you have a winter duvet get it on the bed, if not add a couple of blankets or wear pjs and bed socks.


Nourish your body.

It is easy to resort to comfort Food at this time of the year but that doesn't have to mean unhealthy stodge! – nutritious soups and stews full of fresh vegetables will warm you up and help boost your immunity.

BBC Good food has some great ideas for winter warming recipes on a budget

Hot drinks can help you stay warm, it can be costly to keep boiling the kettle so perhaps fill up a flask to drink through the day.


Out and about

  • If you are looking for things to do with the family and its too cold and wet for a picnic why not check out a museum or art gallery? There are hundreds of free places around the UK check out Money saving expert list here

  • If the cinema is more your thing then money saving expert also have a whole list of current deals here

  • Some cinemas have Weekend morning kids movies for just a few pounds for example Vue mini mornings or many cinemas offer a discount if you are over 60.


Staying in

If the darker evenings are keeping you indoors then instead of automatically reaching for the tv remote maybe snuggle up under a blanket with a good book. Get yourself along to your local library to borrow a book for free or get the borrow box app and borrow eBooks or eAudio books for free

You might like to try out a new hobby, paint, write or create something. Crochet, knitting or embroidery can be very therapeutic for some people (not everyone) and you can often find free tutorials on youTube.


Connect with other people

Finally it is really important at this time of year to stay connected, its all too easy to hide away at home during the winter time especially if you live alone. Be sure to keep in touch with friends and family either by meeting up for a walk, chatting over the phone or facetime. Maybe set up or join a supper or book club with neighbours and friends.

There are lots of organisations where you can find help for loneliness such as the red cross or Age UK. And don’t forget to check in with neighbours, friends and relatives during the darker months to make sure they are doing ok too. Lonelines doesn't just affect the elderly.

Talk to a People at Work first responder and find out how we can be part of your wellbeing support. 020 3286 1545

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