Shirley’s Mental Health Blog – January 2022

Shirley shares some tips on looking after yourself and your mental health during the winter months.

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m honestly going to say that I’m not sorry to see the back of 2021. I think it’s been a real struggle for the majority of us, with yet another year of the pandemic.

Although I particularly struggle more at this time of year, I do try to look for the positives in order to stop myself sliding down into that depressive slope, which can sometimes happen to me during the dark months.

So on that note, I was thinking that a lot of us struggle when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions.  At the start we are all very motivated to change, and are all very positive about these changes. Unfortunately, the majority of us fail miserably during the first few days or weeks because the expectations we put on ourselves are too rigid or unrealistic.

Just be careful you don’t put too much pressure on yourselves at this time. It’s important that whatever changes we want to make to ourselves, that these pressures don’t leave us feeling deflated and self-critical, especially when we don’t achieve the outcomes, we first set ourselves.

Therefore, I’ve decided that this year my New Year’s resolution is to be kinder to myself!  Yes, I’m still going to try to eat a bit healthier and try to walk outside a bit more, because this improves my mental health and makes me feel a bit better when I do this. But I’m not going to give myself a hard time if I don’t, and if I start to struggle, I’m going to get my little self-help note book out and write at least three things that I’m positive about that day.

I must admit I was greatly influenced by reading the ‘Mental Health Foundation blog’ (New year New you)

They recommend having a theme for yourself and considering the following:

  • Accept who you are
  • Nourish your body
  • Bring intention into your actions
  • Take time for yourself

They also have 101 tips to care for yourself. Here are the top nine:

  • Watch funny movies
  • Take a walk-in nature
  • Set aside 10 minutes a day to relax and collect your thoughts
  • Paint, draw or doodle
  • Unplug the phone and journal
  • Express your feelings
  • Spend time with positive people
  • Get a hot cup of something
  • Cheer up someone who is feeling down

If you want to share your stories of your own particular experience of mental health, and what has helped you, or if you would like to contribute to the blog, you can reply directly or e-mail me at

It would be great to hear from you.

Let’s look more positively on 2022.  Fingers crossed it will get better! Be kind to yourselves and take care.


About me:

I have been a mental health nurse for 28 years. I work in the Health and Wellbeing Team, and my main role is to facilitate mental health and related subjects. I also facilitate epilepsy and emergency rescue medication training. I provide support and consultations to managers and teams supporting individuals with complex needs and mental health difficulties. This blog is written to encourage people to start talking about mental health, in order to raise awareness and reduce stigma.