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Ways to keep your spirits up

This winter things may be particularly tough. With time spent away from loved ones and lots of uncertainty about the future, it may be especially difficult to keep our spirits up. 

Here are some tips to help you cope and get through this difficult time.

Get a routine going

Having a daily routine can be really helpful, especially in uncertain times. It gives our minds some certainty, and can help us build up good habits.

And if you are eating and moving at regular times this will help your physical health too.

You don’t have to map out whole days – just having regular times to get up and go to bed, eat, and a small task to do each day can make all the difference.

Do something you enjoy every day

Things have changed a lot this year, and you may not be able to get out and do the things you used to love. It is normal to feel sad or disappointed by these changes, but we can still find small pleasures.

Is there an old hobby you used to enjoy that you could pick up again? Are there any books you have been meaning to read or films which have caught your eye?

We know many people are finding it difficult to enjoy things they used to do. If you feel less motivated to do things, you aren’t alone. Try not to berate yourself and give yourself time to settle into something. You may find pleasure and motivation starts creeping back with a little time. But if you have been feeling low for some time then it is a good idea to speak to your GP about how you’re feeling.

You can find ideas for ways to keep busy at home during the pandemic here

Stay connected

If you’re feeling lonely, we’re here for you.

A regular chat with family or friends can make a huge difference to how we feel. We can share stories, catch up on the latest news and take some time to talk about how we’re feeling.

Find out about our weekly friendship calls

If you can’t visit friends or family, phone them, use email or try video call services like Skype or FaceTime. If COVID restrictions allow it and you feel comfortable to do so, why not ask if others could visit you a little more over winter? Even just for a natter at the doorstep.

Keep moving and eat well

Being active – even just a little bit – is proven to help give you a boost. A quick walk down the street, dance around the kitchen or satisfying stretch in bed or a chair are all good pick-me-ups. Our being active section can help you find an activity that suits you. 

And keep an eye on your appetite. If you are finding it difficult to cook and manage big meals, try eating what you fancy little and often. Something, even if not the healthiest treat, is better than nothing. 

If we move more and eat well we can help to reduce falls and maintain mobility. Do what you can, and if you are concerned, speak to your GP. 

Find out more about the Malnutrition Task Force

Reach out when things are tough

With everything going on and the changes to day-to-day life many of us may feel anxious and worried. Everything can feel a little overwhelming. It's natural to feel this way. 

If you’ve been feeling down for a while and it’s stopping you from doing the things that matter, making you feel listless or like you don’t have any energy, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Talk to friends or family, and if things have been this way for a while or are starting to worry yourself or those around you, speak to your GP. Healthcare services are still here for you, and it’s important to get support when you need it.

If you have been feeling low for a while have a look at our Your Mind Matters.

If you're concerned about someone's health or safety, call 111 for health advice, or in an emergency call 999 (112 from a mobile).

We're here to help

You can order printed copies of any of our guides and factsheets by calling our advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also offer support and specialist advice through the advice line and at over 130 local Age UKs.

The development of this informational webpage and video was supported by an educational grant from Seqirus.

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Last updated: Oct 08 2020

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