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January is one of the hardest months for us all so to help you cope with the cold days and long nights, ESP’s wellbeing writer Karen Devine has more tips to ease you through…


When it’s cold we might be tempted to hibernate and neglect physical activity. However, staying active during these months is essential for our overall wellness. Get outdoors if you can, walk or take a winter hike, move your body in the ways that suit you, as much as it is hard to get your motivation when it’s colder, we all need to move that toosh!

Opt for seasonal veggies, soups, stews and drink plenty of herbal teas, not only will they help ground and nourish you, they will bring some hydration which is vital during the cold months.

Prioritise rest and time for yourself, we all have a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) and tend to keep our social life jam packed when we may need to wind down and embrace the snuggly nights indoors.


Next time you’re out walking and the sun is shining you will notice your shadow is taller than you are long, this indicates that the angle of the sun is lower and so too is the UVB rays we need to manufacture good levels of Vitamin D. Supplementing during the winter may be needed but it’s best to test not guess our levels as our needs do vary, there are many reasonably priced home testing kits now available or speak to your GP about getting your levels tested so you can dose appropriately.

Some people find that investing in a light box which emits the spectrum of light that mimics sunlight can really help lift their mood.

We can’t recharge if we don’t sleep enough, and the wintertime is the best season to catch up. Tempting as it is to get snuggled up and watch a box set, those late nights will affect your natural rhythms if you do it too often. Sleep in complete darkness, that includes getting the bedroom TV off standby mode. Oh and don’t forget that mobile phone, switch it off or place on airplane mode and move it out of the bedroom.


Whilst the winter should coincide with a slower pace of life, we tend to keep going as much as we did in the height of summer. It’s a natural time for slowing down and becoming more self-reflective. 

It’s time to embrace the coziness and channel your energy into something more creative. Crafts, writing, reading, drawing, taking an online course (not sitting at your computer doing it until the wee hours though), can all support creative expression. This can lift your mood and give you an outlet for thoughts and emotions.


Winter does not mean we should be antisocial; we need our connections in the winter especially if we live alone. It gives emotional support, helps us cope with stress, reduces the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Getting out and engaging in social activities can help with the release of feel good chemicals that can lift your mood.

This might take the form of a weekly quiz down the pub, getting to a local café with friends, organised hikes, attending local craft meetings, yoga/pilates/gym classes, having friends round for cosy dinners and games, whatever makes you feel connected – do it!

In health,


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