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Managing the Winter Months

During the winter months, a significant number of people struggle with their overall wellbeing. The combination of reduced daylight, cold weather, and holiday-related stress can take a toll on mental and physical health. The winter months are a time when self-care, support, and community engagement become even more crucial to help individuals navigate the unique challenges that the winter can bring to their wellbeing.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as ‘Winter depression’ affects 1 in 3 people in the UK. While seasonal affective disorder can affect people throughout the year, it’s common to see symptoms worsen in the winter months. Common symptoms related to SAD are lethargy, low mood, food cravings, and irritability amongst others. No definitive cause for seasonal affective disorder has been identified, but there are a number of potential factors such as imbalances in serotonin or melatonin, as well as interference with your body clock.


Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a proven and effective treatment for alleviating the symptoms of SAD. It involves the exposure to bright light that mimics natural sunlight, usually through a specially designed lightbox. This therapy helps regulate the body's internal clock and neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin and melatonin, which can become imbalanced in individuals with SAD. Daily sessions of light therapy, typically in the morning, can improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce the feelings of sadness and lethargy associated with SAD, making it a valuable tool in managing this condition.


Winter Holiday Loneliness


Winter loneliness is a common phenomenon experienced by many individuals during the colder months of the year. As the days grow shorter, and the weather becomes colder and less inviting, people often find themselves spending more time indoors, which often brings with it a sense of loneliness and detachment from our social circle. The holiday season, although celebrated by many, can also intensify feelings of loneliness for those who are unable to connect with loved ones due to various reasons such as geographical distance or personal circumstances.


Managing the winter months during the holiday season requires a proactive approach to nurture mental and emotional wellbeing. Many people who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder find the holidays challenging and around a quarter of them find that their conditions are much worse. The pressure to partake in festivities and the social emphasis on family gatherings can exacerbate feelings of isolation, making winter loneliness more pronounced. One effective strategy is to seek social connections, whether by planning virtual gatherings with friends and family, joining local community events, or volunteering. Engaging in activities that bring a sense of joy and purpose, such as holiday decorations, cooking, or giving to charity, can help counter feelings of isolation.


Financial Holiday Stress


Financial stress during the winter months is a prevalent concern that can cast a shadow on what should be a joyous time of the year. The pressure to buy gifts, host gatherings, and engage in various festivities often leads to overspending and mounting debt. According to Bankrate, one in four (25 percent) of holiday shoppers feel stressed over costs. The financial strain can cause feelings of anxiety, guilt, and even depression as individuals may struggle to meet their financial obligations or fear the long-term consequences of their holiday spending.


To mitigate this stress, it’s crucial to set a realistic budget, prioritise spending, and consider alternatives to expensive gifts, such as homemade presents or experiences. Open communication with loved ones about financial limitations can also reduce the burden, enabling people to focus on the true essence of the holiday season – spending quality time with family and friends.


How Can Wellity Support You with Our Winter Wellness Programmes?


As the seasons transition and winter's grip tightens, it is of upmost importance to prepare your team for the unique challenges that lie ahead.


The cold, dark days can cast a sombre veil over both physical and mental wellbeing, leaving individuals feeling isolated and drained. Economic uncertainties only exacerbate the mental strain, while the holiday season, although a time of celebration, can introduce additional stressors, intensifying feelings of pressure and, in some instances, loneliness.


In response to these formidable challenges, the Winter Wellness Webinars and Workshops have been thoughtfully curated, proving valuable guidance, effective strategies, and practical solutions to empower employees to not only endure but thrive during this demanding season. By placing a strong emphasis on the significance of both physical and mental health, the Winter Wellness program equips your team with the resilience and fortitude needed to navigate the winter season successfully.


Winter is Coming


Darker nights, rainy days and changing clocks can often make the changing seasons a tough time for our mental health. This year, such challenges have been amplified by financial anxiety, fatigue, and extensive change, leaving many people feeling more blue than usual about the coming winter months.


This session will address the challenges faced and how to tackle feelings of low energy and mood.


Objectives:

  • Understand the psychological impact of the darker months.

  • Identify ways to recognise and tackle seasonal affective disorder.

  • Establish important lifestyle changes to be made in the autumn/ winter months.

  • Learn ways to manage mood and motivation during the changing seasons.


A Survival Guide for The Holiday


The holiday season, a time typically associated with joy and festivities, can, paradoxically, introduce considerable stress and mental health challenges. The confluence of factors, such as financial pressures, time constraints, social expectations, and feelings of isolation, can make this season a trying time for many.


It's important to recognise the unique stressors that this period brings and how to take proactive steps to tackle them accordingly.


Objectives:

  • Acknowledge and address the specific stressors tied to the holiday season.

  • Educate participants on the sources and effects of loneliness during the holiday season.

  • Provide insights into the unrealistic societal expectations that often intensify holiday stress.

  • Explore the complexities of family relationships during the holiday season.

  • Equip attendees with a toolkit of coping strategies, offering practical techniques for emotional resilience and wellbeing.

  • Encourage participants to proactively seek support.


Finances and the Festive Season


Many festive seasons and holidays are associated with fun and celebration. With this can often be an expectation of increasing spending and indulgence, with a pressure to spend more, and over stretch budgets.


This session will explore the financial pressures of the holidays, and why a shift in perspective and realignment of the true meaning of the holiday season can help ease the financial stress.


Objectives:

  • Understand the consumer connection, false economy, and the psychology of marketing.

  • Discuss the common feelings and emotions experienced during the holiday season.

  • Explore parental guilt and the difference between needs and wants.

  • Establish ways to alleviate the pressure and enjoy the holidays.

For any information on these sessions, contact our team at hello@wellityglobal.com.


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