Published 13th November 2023 by

If you are looking after someone winter and Christmas can bring a real mix of practical situations and emotions.

It is important that you are aware we are here year-round, and you can contact us to get the support you need with your caring role.

Coming into the winter we shared some advice on support you may want to have in place, and this is worth looking through to check that you have these in place where they are appropriate to you.

Here we have also put together some other advice to help with your wellbeing through this period:

  • Create a list of small but helpful actions – texting a family member or friend, watching something you enjoy on television, listening to music you like,… – and look to do one each day.
  • Make plans so you can spend time with friends – this can be difficult and you may feel you are not in the mood to do so, but it is often a worthwhile investment.
  • Do try to leave the house and go outside each day. This might be a short walk or to do a short task, but getting out does make a difference, and do so during daylight if possible. If you are concerned about leaving the person you care for please do get in touch, there are ways that we can potentially help you with this.
  • Choose some goals for yourself – whether small ones for the day or week, or bigger ones for 2024.
  • Be mindful of how long you spend scrolling on social media. It may mean you are making false comparisons to what other people seem to be showing, or mean you are seeing lots of news which is negative and / or unhelpful. Choose how much, where and when to look at news to stay in touch with current affairs in a way that isn’t overwhelming.
  • Thinking of five things that you are grateful for – this can lift your mood.
  • Be alert to any self-critical thoughts you are having – would they be something you would say to (or even think of) someone who was in your situation? Think what you might say to be kind and helpful to someone in your situation feeling the way you do – this can be a helpful habit to get into.
  • Be measured in your time with other people – it can be really helpful, but at times you need ‘you’ time. Have an approach that avoids isolation but don’t feel you have to accept every invitation. Take time to consider and work out what is helpful to you – and remember you can change your mind.
  • It is good to have fun – make the most of opportunities to enjoy yourself, and there is no reason to feel guilt at having the chance to do enjoyable and good things.

Other things to remember through Christmas and New Year

At Christmas and New Year we can be around family and friends.

You may find it helpful to talk to people about your situation and how the person you are caring for is. But also remember people may be processing this, or coping with this in different ways, and at different stages. There is not a ‘right way’. Recognise with each other that you can and will feel differently – including at different times – and this is right and normal.

Keeping warm and well in winter

It’s important you and the person you look after to stay healthy and warm in winter. Remember that some services and activities may be affected by the Christmas and New Year period.

The NHS website has advice and information on keeping well during winter.