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Tips for staying well over winter

winter

Winter can be great fun, preparing for the holidays, maybe seeing family not seen for a while, enjoying shopping for gifts for people, bracing walks on crisp winter days. It can also be a time of stress, worrying about how you will afford Christmas, who you will spend it with, if anyone, what impact the cold weather is having on health as you worry about heating bills, maybe even finding your mood has dipped as you experience what is known as seasonal affective disorder, a form of winter depression.

Sometimes there aren't easy answers, but maybe wee changes can make a difference. COPE Scotland put together this wee booklet of winter wellness, it offers some ideas on staying warm and well in winter as well as some useful contact numbers. Sometimes the festive season can be overwhelming, some wee ideas to manage festive stress:

  • Recognise we all experience stress at some time, however, too much stress is not good for us and leads to distress
  • Learning how to manage stress can improve our wellbeing and reduce the risk of distress
  • We are all unique, so what stresses one person may not stress another and vice versa, learning what impacts on your stress levels, makes it easier to manage them
  • Sometimes there are things beyond our control e.g. job insecurity, which cause us stress, however, how we respond to this stress can impact on how we deal with the challenge e.g. wait and worry about what may happen, or, decide to start looking for something which is more secure, or maybe even start your own business or social enterprise with others in the same boat
  • Worrying about money for expensive gifts at Christmas can be a stressor, and this is hard when you have children too, however, maybe we all need to think about what gifts are the most precious and how we can learn to appreciate them
  • If you are alone at Christmas this can feel very hard if you don't like to be alone. There are many places opening now on Christmas day to offer a chance for people to get out and meet others, check out local venues near you, there is often more happening than we realise
  • Volunteering on Christmas day is a way of being with others and feeling good too. A lot of research now shows, being kind to others is also good for our wellbeing
  • Don't force it! Sometimes we think we need to 'BE HAPPY' and we really don't feel like it, for some people this is a sad time of year which reminds people of someone close who they have lost. Forcing ourselves to be happy is a challenge, accepting we may feel sad at points allows us to work through that so we can then maybe feel better naturally, rather than feel forced to be happy
  • It's tempting at this time of year to indulge, as with all things balance, and watch the alcohol, especially if feeling low as this won't make you feel better
  • Ditch the myth of the perfect family Christmas, the stress of trying to achieve this will melt away. Enjoy each other's company and it could be beans on toast to eat and a new board game, or film everyone has been looking forward to that you all watch together……. maybe with a bowl of popcorn! Sometimes the most precious gifts are the simplest to achieve
  • Be kind to you and use a kinder inner voice. You are an amazing person, your ability to be kind and considerate to others are your most precious gifts. This is a holiday season so use it to relax, unwind and make time for what and who is important to you


None of us alone have all the answers, and sometimes some of the questions and situations don't have any easy answers, but, if we work together and care about each other, then perhaps we can find a way where each of us suffers less.

If things do become overwhelming at Christmas and you need to talk to someone, you may even be thinking about suicide, these contacts may be useful.

Useful Numbers

Chris's House

W: www.chrisshouse.org

T: 01236 766755

Crisis Text Line
W: www.crisistextline.uk/
Text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained
Crisis Volunteer

The Samaritans free phone number is 116 123
Breathing Space
T: 0800 83 85 87 (free phone)
Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am
Weekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
for men

T: 0800 58 58 58 (freephone)
5 pm -midnight daily
Webchat page
W: www.thecalmzone.net/help/webchat/

Childline for children and young people under 19
T: 0800 1111 (free phone)

Hopeline UK is a confidential support and advice
service for young people under 35, or anyone
concerned about a young person
T: 0800 068 41 41 (free phone)
Text: 07786209697
Weekdays: 10am-10pm
Weekends: 2pm-10pm
Bank Holidays: 2pm-10pm

The LGBT Helpline is open every Tuesday and
Wednesday between 12-9pm on 0300 123 2523.
Calls are charged at local rates, no extra charges.
You can also email the helpline confidentially
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
W: www.lgbthealth.org.uk/services-support/
helpline/


Parentline
W: www.children1st.org.uk/help-for-families/
parentline-scotland/

T: 08000 28 22 33 (free phone)

Silverline for older people
T: 0800 4 70 80 90 (free phone)

You matter, your life matters, from the beginning till the end of time, there will only ever be one of you, please be kind and look after yourself

Wellbeing wishes to all now and for 2020 -From everyone at COPE Scotland
Taking the time to think about what matters to you
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
 

Useful/Emergency Contacts

  • Silverline 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Childeline 0800 1111
  • ParentLine 08000 28 22 33
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87
  • NHS 111
  • Gamblers anonymous 0370 050 8881
  • Narcotics anonymous 0300 999 1212
  • Alcoholics anonymous 0800 9177 6506
  • CALM 0800 58 58 58
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