1Life Blog

Three tips for enhancing your mental health and wellbeing during winter

Posted by Paul Rayner on 18-Jan-2021 15:59:07
Paul Rayner

With another period of lockdown restrictions currently in place and the coldest winter months on the horizon, it’s vital we look at how we can not only support our physical health in the coming months but also our mental health.

So, what can we do to ensure our mental wellbeing is healthy during winter?

Tip 1: Take part in regular exercise

As the days get colder and the nights get darker, summer seems like a distant memory. But did you know that one of the best things for beating those winter blues is to get active?

Apart from all the well-known physical health benefits of exercise, another big motivator for people is the sense of wellbeing you get from being active.

These benefits include feeling more energetic throughout the day, having better self-esteem, feeling more relaxed and sleeping better at night.

The feel-good factor is thanks to chemicals called ‘endorphins’ which are released during and after exercise and trigger a positive feeling in your body.

Although our centres remain temporarily closed for now due to Coronavirus restrictions in England, there are still many ways that you can keep active until you can get back into your local club to take part in the gym sessions or classes you enjoy.

For starters, 1Life members can access over 500 unique online classes over 22 different platforms with Wellbeats; giving you the opportunity to get involved in one of your favourite classes from home or even try out something new.

Also, think about what you can do outside - perhaps a workout in your garden or a run, walk or cycle around your local area.

If you’re working from home, this can also be a great way to take some time away from your desk or the chance to spend your lunch break enjoying the fresh air and many benefits of getting outdoors.

Tip 2: Remember to keep talking

According to figures released by the men’s health charity Movember, as part of a global study carried out by the Social Research Centre, nearly half of British men (46 per cent) said no-one asked how they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study also revealed that 22 per cent said their mental health had worsened in the first six weeks of the pandemic, with 29 per cent noting increased feelings of loneliness.

Older men are the group most likely to have experienced poorer social connection, with 62 per cent of men aged 45 and over reporting they feel less connected to their friends since the outbreak.

Inspired by the work of Movember, the Mental Health Foundation is marking Men’s Mental Health month throughout November.

So even though you may not be able to physically spend time with friends or family members at the moment, now is the perfect opportunity to find other ways to check in and see how they are doing.

Whether it’s a catch up online, a call or a text, having a chat with a loved one could be just the thing to brighten someone’s day - and it’s sure to give you a boost too.

Tip 3: Take care of your body AND mind

Taking care of both your body and mind is so important through the current COVID-19 situation; especially with lockdown restrictions impacting on all of our everyday lives.

The NHS Every Mind Matters website has some useful tips to help if you’re worried about Coronavirus and also advice on how to maintain your mental wellbeing while staying at home.

You can read more here - https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips/

Other places online where you can find support include mental health charity Mind’s website - https://www.mind.org.uk - or www.samaritans.org

If you need someone to talk to, you can also call Samaritans free on 116 123 at any time – and, of course, the 1Life team is always here to support you with your physical and mental wellbeing.

Topics: wellbeing, mental health, winter