The winter months can be a challenging time for us all, and particularly for key workers. You may be feeling worried about the approach of winter due to increased stress and pressure at work, or anxious about Covid-19 and the potential of further pandemic restrictions. The holiday season may also bring up feelings of loneliness and grief.

Keeping Well is here to support key workers through the winter months. We have produced a range of self-help resources which you may find useful. If you need further support please reach out via the website live chat function or call 01908 724227 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to talk to one of our mental health professionals.

 

Look after your physical and mental health

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, our physical and emotional wellbeing can suffer. It is important to look after yourself at this time of year. Although it can be difficult to maintain an exercise routine when it gets colder, remember that physical exercise helps to boost mood, relieve stress and boost the immune system – all beneficial in the cold and dark. Also make sure to get your vaccines: the flu vaccine and Covid-19 booster jab will help protect you from illness. Read more about how to look after your physical and mental health this winter here.

The change in weather can negatively affect our mental health. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression which comes and goes in a seasonal pattern, with symptoms most commonly appearing in winter and linked to a lack of sunlight. If you experience SAD there are various things you can do to help ease the symptoms. Find out more in our article on coping with SAD.

 

Managing loneliness and grief during the holiday season

The holiday period can be a particularly challenging time for many of us, and may trigger feelings of loneliness and grief rather than joy. The past 18 months have been especially difficult for us all and these negative feelings may be increased at this time of year. You may be reminded of the loss of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship, or find yourself far away from family and friends. We have produced some advice on managing loneliness and coping with grief during the holiday season which may be helpful to read, and if you need someone to talk to Keeping Well is here to support you whatever your needs are. 

You may also be worried about restrictions over winter due to Covid-19, and the loneliness and stress this could entail. Although we don’t know if any restrictions will happen, there are things you can do to help with these worries. There are practical steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you, including by getting your vaccine or booster, and you can find more advice here. You may also find it helpful to read our guide on coping with anxious times.

 

Keeping Well is here to support key workers in the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes area. Talk to one of our wellbeing professionals via the website live chat function, phone 01908 724227 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, or email keepingwell.blmk@nhs.net. You can also complete a self-referral form or request a call back.

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