What’s on the line this winter?

Winter is a time when we look forward to the festivities and celebrations with family and friends, but it can also be a time when life can feel particularly challenging. Perhaps you are facing an illness, or waiting for test results, maybe a loved one is ill or not expected to live past the winter season, maybe your family are facing a crisis with redundancy, or a recent bereavement. Whatever it is, winter can be a struggle. As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, daytimes and evenings can seem long and lonely, as if living in a bubble watching the world continue outside, feeling detached and separate.

Whatever it is you are facing, here are some ideas that may help.

Acknowledge the difficulties you are facing, and the effect they are having on your life. Being real about this, however painful, can be the first step to finding the pathway forwards.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help  – this is a tough one, as we are often much better at being the helper, rather than being helped. However, if we continue our struggles alone, we miss the companionship of the journey, the friend to laugh or cry with, or the joy that comes to a friend when they see the difference they have made in our lives.

Allow yourself some time out – particularly important if you are a carer. Maybe a family member or friend could be at home with a loved one whilst you pop to the shops, or walk the dog, for example. Just a little time to breathe, take stock, refresh and return. It doesn’t have to be for long, but it can make all the difference. You could treat yourself to a book or film, or a long hot bath; small steps, but all allowing a time of restoration.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. We can expect so much of ourselves, but some days we will be able to achieve more than others. Some days you will feel better, on another, the tsunami of emotions will hit with avengement. That’s ok. It’s normal to go up and down, however much you may prefer you didn’t. The old cliché of ‘time heals’ is infuriating, but often true. Be patient with yourself, kind even, as you walk through the difficulties and circumstances life has thrown at you.

Seek outside help. There are agencies who are there for you. It may seem strange to ask for help for yourself, but you’d be amazed at the difference it can make. Carer’s First and Action for Family Carer’s are two such organisations that will provide support, however we also have a huge database of specific agencies and organisations that can help.

Why not give us a ring on 0300 500 1895, drop us a text to 07712 395 398 or email [email protected], and let us see what is available in your area. You might just be surprised. Whatever you are facing this winter, we are here for you.



Information & Signposting Officer