There are lots of things you can do to stay healthy whilst your usual activities/routine are disrupted.
During winter it is both common and normal to experience periods of low mood, low energy and feeling unmotivated. If you do begin to feel like this you may want to give yourself a break and build in more downtime than what you might usually allow. Winter can pose additional challenges in maintaining health and wellbeing such as lack of daylight and cold wetter weather. Our usual winter social activities are also made worse this year by COVID-19. Despite this there are several small steps we can take to sustain and increase wellbeing during winter months. Many of these small steps are practiced daily over winter in Scandinavian countries where they have mastered embracing winter.
- try to get into the habit of spending some time outside each day (especially if working from home or work shifts). Daylight helps with Vitamin D, benefits your eyesight and helps your body produce and regulate both serotonin and melatonin, key neurotransmitters behind mood and sleep
- wrap up warm, make a hot drink and go for a walk. Although colder, winter is still a good time to go for a quiet coastal or sheltered woodland walk and enjoy the island’s scenery
- make time to virtually socialise or speak over the phone with friends and family. Winter can be a lonely time of the year especially if you are used to seeing people in person or live alone. Consider calling people who may be lonelier than others this time of year and use the time you would normally spend face to face to talk over the phone instead
- develop a routine and set short achievable goals. Keeping busy with meaningful activities helps to pass the time, alleviate boredom and gives a sense of purpose and achievement
- find time and plan activities based on what you can do indoors together as a household (or individually). For example, DIY, art and creative projects, engaging in old or new hobbies, playing board games etc
- don’t be afraid to indulge either, and aim for balance. It’s better to deliberately plan or intentionally allow yourself a duvet day, movie night or similar to unwind guilt free by being in control rather than falling into a trap of unintentionally binging TV and films and then feeling guilty afterwards
Working from home
If you are working from home either over winter or in general there are several things you can do to ensure wellbeing.
- socialise virtually with colleagues. It can be difficult to transition to working from home, especially If you are used to a busy office environment. It’s worth scheduling in regular time during the week for “virtual coffee breaks” with colleagues to take a break from work and discuss non-work topics. Doing the same at the end of the day on a Friday can also help to transition from “work” to “leisure” and ensure a healthier work-life balance
- develop a routine to maximise work and life balance. Without balance working from home can easily overflow into other areas of life, made worse by early darkness in winter. Instead you can maximise your time by using what would normally be “commuting time” for a short walk or cycle outside, setting small “lunchtime tasks” around the house so there is more time for more enjoyable activities outside work hours.
- ensure you take regular short breaks throughout the day to rest your eyes from screenwork, for gentle exercise or to move around and if possible, get some sunshine. You may want to set several reminders throughout the day to nudge you into taking a break.
Reducing alcohol consumption
The combination of life stresses, a decline in wellbeing, and increased levels of social isolation, loneliness and boredom can contribute to drinking more alcohol than usual. This can easily go unnoticed and result in islanders drinking at a higher risk level than before.
Men and women are advised to not drink more than two or three units of alcohol a day, with a suggested maximum of 14 units a week. It is important to keep two or three days free each week free from alcohol.
More information including self-assessments and understanding units
The Alcohol & Drug Service remains open and can be contacted on 445000
The official Dry January campaign for islanders who may wish to try beginning 2021 alcohol free.
Taking part in Dry January is NOT recommended for people who are either likely dependant or have been drinking above recommended levels daily for some time due to the risks of alcohol withdrawal.
Whether you prefer structured exercise classes or more informal physical activity, such as walking, staying active can help to boost your immune system and has huge benefits for your mental and physical well-being.
There are lots of free activities available at this time, here are a few to consider:
Living on our beautiful Island, there are hundreds of scenic routes you can explore in every parish within the current guidance.
For low impact, sociable exercise, see Jersey Sports free of charge Health Walks on the
move more website . These are ideal for all age groups and are great for those who may feel less confident about doing physical activity.
If you’re looking for walking or running route inspiration,
The National Trust have produced a series of self-guided route instructions. There is also a countryside access map available, detailing local paths and their levels of difficulty.
Other fun ways to get walking, cycling and running
Jersey Sports ‘Sporteering’ is aimed at people who like walking, running and or cycling and is ‘virtual’ orienteering, more information on the
move more website.
More information on
cycling more on the move more website.
adult classes, open to all on the move more website.
Move more referral programme
The Move More Referral programme is a 12-week behavioural change programme aimed at supporting people who are currently inactive, have a medical condition, or are in poor health and need support to include physical activity into their everyday life.
Exercise videos and online classes
Lots of exercise professionals are offering online classes at the moment. Here are a few free examples:
It’s a great time to indulge in your favourite literature.
Jersey Library have over 15,000 ebooks, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks and comics available online, free of charge, 24 hours a day.
Jersey Library can also deliver books and resources to those who are self-isolating, shielding or who have no internet access. Call +44 (0) 1534 448700
Helping someone in need is a really positive way to use your time. More information about volunteering during the coronavirus outbreak can be found on our
Volunteering and looking out for others page or by contacting your Parish Hall.
Eat and drink
Nutrition is important to staying healthy. Here are our top tips for boosting your immunity and mood:
- eat a wide variety of foods with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. For further information, see the
Eat Well Guide
- keep to a meal and snack routine for the whole family. Healthy snacks include: fresh fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, cheese/crackers and nut butters. Further ideas are available on
- keep hydrated with around 8 glasses (2 litres) of water, milk or diluted squash or fruit juice per day and limit caffeine to a maximum of four cups of tea or coffee per day
- limit high sugar and processed foods such as cakes, chocolate and crisps
- limit your salt intake to 6g per day
- both men and women are
advised to not drink more than two or three units of alcohol a day, with a suggested maximum of 14 units per week. Try and have two or three alcohol free days each week
For more general nutrition information,
For information on safe alcohol consumption visit
Alcohol: the facts
It’s important to continue taking any regular medications. Home delivery of prescriptions can be arranged by calling your GP.
Meditation and mindfulness
Meditation involves quietly listening to your own thoughts and feelings; understanding and accepting them. To try a free guided meditation on
Stopping smoking has many positive benefits on mental health including lowering anxiety, depression and stress levels, increasing confidence, reducing money worries as well as improving quality of life and mood.
Help2Quit offers telephone support and we can deliver your medication to you home. For details of pharmacies offering this service or telephone 0800 735 1155.
Beware of news overload
All forms of media are full of news, updates and statistics about coronavirus. While it is important to keep updated, on a regular basis, it can also be helpful to limit the amount of time you spend reading, watching or listening to the news so as to ensure you have time to focus on other things.
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