The ongoing pandemic is challenging the best of us when it comes to keeping our spirits up, but even without this, the darker days and nights caused by the shorter daylight hours of winter can have a huge effect on how we feel. Remember, each day will be getting a few minutes lighter after the 21st December so there is – literally – light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to take action.

Do Get Out of the House

A break from your usual environment, even if it’s just a walk to the postbox, will lift your spirits for several hours afterwards.

Do Speak Up

Speaking to other people is so important. Speak to your friends and family. Ask the supermarket cashier about their day or smile at a stranger to remind yourself you aren’t alone.

Do Look to the Light

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real disorder. A lightbox or even sitting by a window could help with this.

Do Read All About It

Search on the internet for user forums where others talk about their feelings. “A problem shared is a problem halved” as the saying goes.

Do Eat Well

Junk food will make you feel sluggish and guilty so make just a bit more of an effort to shop, cook and eat healthily.

Don’t Read All About It

Social media sometimes makes you feel like everyone else is living their best life and there can be a lot of negativity too. Switch it off!

Don’t Drift

Particularly if you aren’t working, the days might seem like one long blur so start each week with a plan. Even if it’s as mundane as sorting a cupboard it’ll be an achievement to mark the day.

Don’t Skimp on your Sleep

However negative, bored or anxious you feel when you go to bed, it won’t seem as bad the next morning provided you’ve had a full night’s rest.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If you have a day where you really haven’t managed to do anything to cheer yourself up, just remind yourself that you are human, and sometimes it’s OK not to be OK.

Don’t Ignore It

If none of the ideas above work for you and you are feeling really down, don’t assume it’ll just disappear. Reach out to your doctor or a mental health charity.