Give yourself some breathing space

Breathing Space is a free helpline for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, where callers can speak to trained advisors in confidence.
Breathing Space is a free helpline for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, where callers can speak to trained advisors in confidence.

NHS 24 is encouraging people to take some time for themselves this January to beat the winter blues.

Many people feel down after the busy festive period when the weather is bad, debt and money worries are high – and mood is low.

But the Telehealth and Telecare organisation has a number of suggestions to improve mental wellbeing.

From healthy eating to cutting down on alcohol and beginning a new fitness class – certain activities can all help in improving low mood.

However, if things are too much there is also Breathing Space, a phoneline where people who are feeling down or anxious can talk to a trained advisor in confidence.

NHS 24’s Medical Director Professor George Crooks said: “Dark mornings, winter chills, money worries, debt, bereavement, a relationship breakdown – a range of things can make someone feel down, especially at this time of the year.

“Of course, there are lots of things people can do to improve their mood. From taking up a new exercise to trying out some new healthy and nutritious recipes.

“But sometimes thoughts and feelings can overwhelm us. It’s always better to talk about your anxieties or stresses sooner rather than later. So don’t let problems get out of hand, phone Breathing Space where experienced advisors will listen and offer advice.

“The advisors come from a range of mental health, counselling and social work backgrounds and try to make it easier to talk about what you’re going through.

“That’s why we’d encourage anyone who is feeling down to pick up the phone and help banish those January blues.”

The Breathing Space helpline number is 0800 83 85 87 and is open weekdays Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 2am, and at the weekends from Friday at 6pm to Monday at 6am.

The NHS Inform website has information and tips to help beat stress and low mood.