Today, the Met Office issued a ‘Level 3 – Cold Weather Alert’ to warn of freezing temperatures and icy conditions heading across the UK from the east. In late November, the forecast of a few days of ‘wintery’ weather was only to be expected, but this particular cold-spell is likely to have a much greater impact than usual, coming so soon after the torrential rains that caused widespread flooding in large areas of the country.
No matter what the season, the weather can have a powerful impact on our lives and our health, influencing what we wear, what we eat, our physical activity and our sense of personal wellbeing. This is especially so in winter, when travel is often disrupted, colds and flu are rife and there’s nothing worth watching on TV! So it’s no wonder that during the short winter days and long hours of darkness we experience the ‘winter blues’- but it doesn’t all have to be doom-and-gloom!
The Met office has teamed up with the Government to provide information about coping with the bad weather (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/get-ready-for-winter) and NHS Direct has plenty of tips for those suffering from the sniffles and even a symptom checker at https://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/CheckSymptoms. Validium customers can access resources, downloads and easy to use podcasts which have been designed to enhance positive mental health and counteract the winter blues. The winter Solstice on 21st December marks the gradual change to longer days and shorter nights and heralds a positive reminder that there are brighter days to come. I can’t wait!