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Make a positive start to the New Year

4 January 2019

New Year is a time when many of us will be making resolutions to go to the gym, eat better and generally make our health a priority. Alongside this, it’s also important to think about your mental health too.

Whether you plan to make large or small resolutions in the New Year, research shows that committing to small changes, doing them consistently, and setting increasingly challenging goals are key to developing new and healthier habits. Below are a few tips and resources to help you as you prepare for the year ahead.

Mental health in the New Year and beyond

As well as being a time for family, friends and festivities, Christmas and New Year can sometimes be an anxious, stressful or lonely time for some.  New Year is often toted as the season for change and while this can be positive, it can also be overwhelming for others.

Although it may feel like it, you aren’t alone. There are helplines available, podcasts to help you through times when your mood is low or you're feeling anxious and mindfulness may also help you to appreciate the world around you and pay more attention to your thought patterns.

If you feel anxious or depressed for an extended period or your symptoms can’t be self-managed talk to your GP. The Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people who want to talk in confidence. Call 116 123 (free).

Get active

Getting regular exercise is not only good for your body but your mind too. Getting active can help lower anxiety, stress and can help you think more clearly. Remember as a Southwark resident you can take advantage of our free gym and swim offer.  For more information on how to sign up and when the offer is available, take a look at our website.

If the gym isn’t for you then there are plenty of parks across the borough with a variety of different activities on offer.

Reduce your alcohol intake

The New Year kicks off with Dry January and encourages us all to reset our relationship with alcohol by giving up alcohol for the month.

Go Fizz Free!

Fizz Free February is back for 2019 and it’s never too early to make your pledge to reduce your sugar intake by cutting out fizzy drinks.

Quit smoking for good

According to the NHS, smokers who use their local support services are up to four times more likely to stop smoking for good. In Southwark, you can contact our free stop smoking service. They can give you advice, support and encouragement to help you stop for good. If you are a Southwark resident you can book an appointment by emailing gst-tr.stopsmokingsouthwark@nhs.net or calling them on 0800 169 6002.

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for community safety and public health, said: “Christmas and New Year can be a busy and sometimes stressful time of the year so it’s important to keep a check of how you’re feeling and recognising if you aren’t coping. There are plenty of ways to look after yourself both physically and mentally, it’s just about finding the right thing for you. No matter what you want to get out of 2019, there is plenty of support available here in Southwark.”

Page last updated: 04 January 2019