CIOB Assist partnered with Anxiety UK two years ago, and since then they have helped many of our members struggling with their mental health. In this blog Anxiety UK share some ways to help your mental health during the winter months.

January can be a particularly tough time of year as we come down from the highs of Christmas and the New Year, spending time with family and friends, and now face the bills associated with the festivities.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can also be a factor this time of year, with dark gloomy days and long nights, leaving us with a lack of energy and low mood.

It can all lead to a mental health slump and in recent years the third Monday of January has become known as “Blue Monday” due to the culmination of all these factors.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case and it’s important we take care of our mental health, especially being aware of times when things could be particularly tough.

Be sure to go back to basics and practise self-care; take some time to check in with yourself, assess how you are feeling with no self-judgement and accept what those feelings are. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but it’s true… it’s ok not to be ok.

Eat well and get some exercise! January is a month that these things become more common practise anyway but ensure you make small sustainable changes. You don’t need to go the gym for hours; a gentle walk outside can be hugely beneficial. Still enjoy your food but aim to include different types of vegetables. Making small changes to improve your diet and increase your exercise regime will positively impact your mental health. Take a look at our video on the practical ways of dealing with anxiety.

However, if you feel you need more professional help then talking therapies are some of the most effective tools for treating anxiety disorders. They can help you to learn how to manage and overcome your anxiety. The therapy services that we provide include counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or clinical hypnotherapy. For more details on our therapy services visit our website.

If you feel like you need some extra support please reach out to CIOB Assist. You can access our therapy services fully funded; you simply need to contact CIOB Assist by emailing them at [email protected]. CIOB Assist can then refer you to our therapy services team at Anxiety UK who will take care of things from there.