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Tips to stay mentally healthy this festive season

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is offering mental health support and guidance to its residents over the festive period in order to help people who may be in need.

Maintaining good mental health has been a struggle for many of us in recent times, and the winter period especially presents difficult challenges for our wellbeing.

Money worries, dark nights and anxiety about the coming year can make us feel stressed, unhappy, and isolated.

Small changes in our everyday life can make an enormous difference to overall mood.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your mind healthy and active during the colder months:

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that you are not alone; mental health conditions affect more than 25% of people at any time and no other health condition matches this in terms of prevalence, persistence, and breadth of impact.

Every week, one in six of us faces a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety. If it’s not ourselves, it’s our children, parents, siblings, colleagues or neighbours.

Also remember to take time for yourself. Individuals are often inclined to put others first, often at their own expense, but this doesn’t mean that little breaks can’t be taken to relax and unwind (if COVID guidance allows). Activities such as reading are great for stress. Reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.

Exercise is another brilliant way to keep your mind and body healthy. Exercising releases endorphins which make you feel good and has plenty of other benefits too – improving sleep, energy levels and thinking patterns.

East Riding Leisure’s YouTube channel is full of workouts, vlogs and short exercises, and East Riding Libraries also offer free audio books, eBooks, online magazines and library of health and wellbeing books - all free to download or borrow.

It is also important to reach out to friends, loved ones, and even colleagues. Just talking about feelings can help to override a bad mood and help people feel more optimistic.

If you are struggling during the pandemic, there is help and support available. The website below provides many useful resources and information on various organisations that can offer support.

For more information visit https://eastridinghealthandwellbeing.co.uk/healthy-minds/

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