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Borders Winter Wellbeing Guide

As the pandemic continues and as we carry on into the winter months, it’s important that we do all we can to look after our mental health and wellbeing. It may be dark and cold outside but there’s still plenty we can do to keep ourselves, and those we care about, well.

We have worked with the NHS Borders Joint Health Improvement Team and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum to put together a Winter Wellbeing Guide with some tips and ideas about what you can do to look after your mental health. The guide also highlights where you can find more help and support if you need it.

The main message is that you don’t have to get through things all on your own. There are many places where you can find advice, help and support.

Representatives from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum who worked on the guide said: 'This is an essential guide to help people get through the difficult times of COVID-19 over the winter months so that they can try to stay positive and enjoy the festivities. Remember the Borders is a very friendly, welcoming place with beautiful countryside and there is a variety of support if you need it.

'The Mental Health Forum aims to give a voice to people with lived experience, their carers and families; it is a place where you can raise concerns and share experiences which will help to improve services and the outcomes of the people who use them. For further information visit Borders Care Voice.'

Wendy Bates, Chief Executive at Health in Mind, said: 'It has been a really tough year for everyone and we’re all trying to come to terms with a new way of life right now. We’re all facing additional pressures this festive period, whether that’s from coping with grief or thinking about what a ‘digital Christmas’ might mean for us and our loved ones. That’s why we created this guide, in partnership with NHS Borders, which will help people look after their wellbeing over the coming winter months. We all need to make a little time for our mental health and wellbeing, now more than ever.'

Fiona Doig, Head of Health Improvement at NHS Borders, said: 'This time of year can be a difficult period for many of us. It often puts extra pressure on people and can affect our mental health in various ways. With the added restrictions brought on by COVID-19, the festive season will look and feel very different for many of us.

'There are lots of ways to keep yourself well such as making time to be with friends, doing things you enjoy, learning something new, having some ‘me time’ or being more active. In addition to the Winter Wellbeing Guide, our Six Ways to be Well in the Scottish Borders Guide and Digital Wellbeing Point has further ideas, information and local contacts which some may find helpful.

'It’s also important to know that help and support is available should you need it. If you, or someone you know, are feeling down or that you don’t know how to cope, you could speak to family or friends or a confidential advice service such as Breathing Space (0800 838587) or Samaritans (116 123).'

The guide can be downloaded on the right hand side of this page. 

If you are printing, we recommend that you select the option to print as a booklet.

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