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Fighting the winter blues during a pandemic

The cold, dark and dreary weather throughout the winter can have a huge effect on our mood. Many people feel low when the days get shorter because the lack of access to daylight affects neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate our moods. Mental health specialists call this the “winter blues”.

This winter many are feeling more distressed, disconnected, worried and isolated than ever before because of the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic.
Research conducted by mental health charity, Mind in Mid Herts shows that more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people say their mental health has become worse since lockdown.

It also states that 72% of young people said loneliness made their mental health worse and 42% of people aged 65+ said loneliness made their mental health worse.

The pandemic has meant that many of our normal coping mechanisms are not as freely available this winter.

Physical touch, going out and doing fun things, going to dinner or the movies provide enjoyment and release from tension. However financial difficulties, lockdown restrictions and being stuck indoors more can lead to the winter blues feeling more intense this year.

Whilst we cannot change the weather and we continue to face great uncertainty as the pandemic continues, there is help available.
One such way is for local business to support their employee’s wellness by ensuring that each employee knows where to find the help they need when it comes to managing their own resilience during this time.

Hertfordshire Growth Hub in partnership with the Behaviour Change Unit, Public Health, Hertfordshire County Council has created a new Wellbeing and Resilience programme. Hosted by local charity Hertfordshire Community Foundation local businesses can access a programme of support for their employees.

On Monday 18 January (also known as Blue Monday, claimed to be the most depressing day of the year) local business leaders can join a free webinar titled ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing- Local support services for you and your workforce’, which will have a focus on Productivity: Managing Stress and Anxiety. The webinar introduces four different Hertfordshire voluntary and community organisations that can provide mental health support not only for workplace stress, but also to help with several personal issues that may be causing anxiety, including debt management.

To find out more email louise.marron@hertscf.org.uk or click below to register.

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