As the clocks have gone back and the days are getting colder, many of us may start to feel those winter blues creeping in – especially when we’re waking up to darker mornings before a working day.

It’s very common for people to find things a little tougher in the winter months – so we’ve compiled a series of resources to help you manage your overall health and wellbeing, ensuring you feel your best throughout the run-up to Christmas – and after…

Exercise regularly

It’s said a lot, but exercise really can benefit far more than your physical health. Government guidelines recommend we achieve 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. That’s two and a half hours overall – not much when you break it up across the seven days and include walks and day-to-day activities. You can find some tips to achieve it here.

Pace yourself

While exercising is beneficial to physical and mental health, pacing yourself when you’re doing it is of the utmost importance. Struggling on if you’re in pain can actually be detrimental to your health and wellbeing – causing possible flare ups in pain or fatigue, leaving you debilitated, demotivated and possibly depressed. Pacing yourself means listening to your body and knowing your limits, adjusting things where needed and gradually increasing over time, so you can get back to the things you enjoy. 

Take some ‘me time’

Life can get incredibly busy around this time of year, whether it’s with work or family commitments, so taking some time out to recharge and relax is really important. We have created some guided mindfulness sessions, relaxation exercises and breathing routines to help with your health and wellbeing here. There are also several ways of practicing mindfulness here.

Spend time outdoors

It might be colder, but this can be one of the most beautiful times of year too. And spending time outdoors can have huge benefits on our mental health. We previously hosted a webinar to explore how nature can improve overall mental wellbeing. But don’t worry if you missed it, you can see the full presentation here. There’s also a guided walk you can try here on our Shout! Podcast Plus.

Get some vitamin D

Our bodies make vitamin D naturally when our skin is directly exposed to the sun – but when it comes to the autumn and winter months, it’s key to ensure you’re getting enough. We require a sufficient level in the blood to support many bodily processes, which are important for bone health, muscle health, immune function, mental health and many others. Therefore, supplementing the natural vitamin D we make is essential from October to April. You can find some tips here.

Feel prepared

The winter months can bring with them new pressures in our daily lives, whether financial, social or another aspect. Preparing in advance for any upcoming changes in life can help us feel more in control – whether that’s something as simple as checking your car, checking if you’re entitled to the flu jab or looking at financial assistance, should you need it. Check out some advice from our Welfare Team here on preparing for all that winter throws at us.

If something is affecting your physical or mental health, or you have a query about your social wellbeing, let us help. Call our Support Line on 0800 389 8820 or make an enquiry online.