Take it easy, folks, we’re still going through tough times, and the Christmas spirit is in short supply (budget cuts, austerity etc). So stress not on all the whirlwind of consumerism and obligated gifting. This year, the well-being of family and friends is the greatest priority. A simple catch-up and blether over a wee drink is worth more than some hurriedly purchased tat online.
We’ve all had greater struggles recently, be it physical or mental health, finances or work stresses. Many are still dealing with the fallout from Covid, rocketing inflation has hit some more than others, and work is certainly not getting any easy. I wholeheartedly support those striking over crap conditions and pay. My wife has been dealing with some shocking stuff as a Nurse at the Forth Valley NHS Trust. It is just one example of tough times many people everywhere are going through, which left unchecked can severely affect health and well-being.
So check in with those close to you and especially those you haven’t heard from in a while who aren’t joining in with activities they previously enjoyed. The quiet isolation of a once close friend can be the first sign of mental health deteriorating. It affects huge numbers of us, yet is still a taboo subject less spoken of for fear of shame. Suicide rates are depressing high, with 5,583 recorded in 2021 in the UK (10.7 in every 100,00), around three-quarters were male and the highest in those aged 50 to 54 years. However, the biggest increase was in females under the age of 24, a scary trend and possibly linked to Social Media and unrealistic expectations.
Do you have a biking buddy you haven’t seen out for a while? – Now is the perfect time to check in with them and see how they’re doing.
The weather may be rubbish, daylight hours short and not much opportunity for biking – which we all know does wonders for stress, but hang in there, we’ve just crossed the winter solstice, and the countdown to better biking days has begun. Look after yourselves this Christmas and New Year, and see you on the flip side.
If you want more help on mental health, for you or someone you’re worried about, get in touch with: