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Combating the ‘winter blues’

The partying and excesses of the festive season are over and for many it’s back to work. It is no wonder that the first few months can feel, to some, like the gloomiest month of the year. Add that to the gloomy weather and cold temperatures. Christmas debts and failed New Year’s resolutions, so it’s no surprise people can find themselves feeling miserable and low at this time of year.

What can help with overcoming the winter blues?

I’ll be perfectly honest, I am suffering with the winter blues myself and not being in control of one’s emotions can be frustrating, tedious and more importantly can make you feel like you are alone.

It’s a rather well-known fact that the winter months and the dark and dreary conditions can lower your mood. There are ways to combat this if it’s just a low mood and those are as follows:

  1. Exercise – this will increase your endorphin levels
  2. Connecting with people – book lunch dates or even a games night with friends so you have people to perhaps off load and talk to
  3. Take up a hobby – things like puzzles, or even reading a book can, help to distract your mind into not thinking
  4. Be more concrete about your decisions and thought process. Instead of looking at every hidden meaning and implication, write a list as to how and why?

Why I am feeling the blues?

I am feeling low purely due to recovery from surgery. It’s a bit of a process and my hormone levels are still not under control. I can go from laughing my head off, to feeling like I want to rip some one’s head off in one moment. This is a process for me, so I have been less active online and have restarted some of my hobbies. I have read two books in the last seven days and am having plenty of interaction and family time with board games, movies and just heading out, even if it’s shopping.

My main issue is sleeping. My brain is an overactive bugger and likes to play ‘the meaning of life’ and ‘do penguins have knees’ until the wee hours in the morning! What am I doing to help myself switch off and sleep? How am I coping with insomnia?

  1. Mobile phone and computer screens are down and not touched after 9:30pm at least three times a week.
  2. I read for an hour before bed.
  3. I use CALM the sleeping app and get lulled to sleep by someone reading me a story (Matthew McConaughey is a favourite).
  4. Going to the gym. Exercise helps me regulate my body clock and makes me happy.

What to do if it’s not just the Winter blues

Mental health is such a taboo subject. For those of you that are struggling, and you think or know it’s not just a case of the blues, then please go and see your GP. There are a few mental health charities I have listed below that have a helpline, so you can talk to an impartial person and talk over what you’ve been struggling with or bottling up.

  • Mind – 0300 123 3393 – (Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm)
  • Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm)
  • Calm – 0800 58 58 58 – For men aged 15 to 35 (Monday to Friday, 5pm – Midnight)
  • No Panic – 0844 967 4848 – (Daily 10am – 10pm)
  • OCD action – 0845 390 6232 – (Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 5pm)
  • Papyrus – 0800 068 4141 – (Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm & 7pm-10pm, Weekends 2pm-5pm)
  • Rethink mental illness – 0300 5000 927 – (Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 4pm)
  • Samaritans – 116 -123 (Free 24-hour helpline)
  • Sane – 0300 304 7000 – (Daily 4:30pm – 10:30pm)
  • Young minds – 0808 802 5544 – (Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 4pm)

Many thanks for reading,

Louise X



This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine.


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