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Clinicians advise on how to look after mind and body this festive season

20 December 2017

Clinicians from West London Mental Health NHS Trust are advising the public on how to stay well in body and mind this winter.

The festive season is a time when people are more likely to become run down, pick up cold and flu like bugs. It is also a stressful for many people and it is important to take time to ensure you are looking after yourself.

The Trust’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service in Ealing, which offers support for common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, has developed 10 tips for wellbeing during the busy festive season. These are:

  1. Plan your over indulgence. Give yourself permission to eat and drink what you want at specific times and events. Then go back to healthy habits.
  2. Stay hydrated, drink as much or more water than alcohol.
  3. Keep moving. Fresh air and exercise supports wellbeing. Dancing counts as well as walking.
  4. Be kind to yourself and others. No one is perfect.
  5. Make time to support others. If possible, make those calls and visits.
  6. Over the Christmas period we tend to spend more time with family than we usually would, this can bring both joyful and difficult experiences. Anticipate family arguments and support everyone to stay calm.
  7. Keep to routines for the very young and very old – routine serves a purpose for us all. Creating achievable goals over Christmas can help us with structure and purpose.
  8. Make time for you. Laugh a lot if you can.
  9. Appreciate what you have, but remember to manage your expectations. Try not to compare your experience of Christmas to that of others you see online or hear about, the reality might be much different!
  10. Ask for help if you are struggling.
    • People can self-refer online to the Trust’s IAPT services by contact the relevant services for their borough listed below:
      • Ealing IAPT – or call 02033135660
      • Hounslow IAPT –
      • Hammersmith and Fulham Back on Track IAPT – or call 0300 123 1156

Daisy Sunderalingam, Assistant Psychologist in the Ealing IAPT service said:

“The festive season can be a really challenging time for many and often involves some high pressure, stressful occasions. It’s really important take some time, look after yourself and unwind when you can.”

The Trust’s One You Ealing service, which helps people take control of their health and wellbeing and includes services like NHS health checks and stop smoking services, is urging people to be mindful of self-care during the festive season. Working with Ealing Community and Voluntary Service, people are being advised:

  • There is still time to get the flu jab from your local pharmacist or GP
  • Keep warm, keep well. Keeping your home warm will help keep you healthy. If you are concerned about the cost of heating and over 65 and or with children under the age of 5, you should contact your local authority.
  • You can treat common illnesses and injuries, such as colds and flu, at home with:
    • Paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief
    • Decongestants for cold and flu symptoms such as blocked noses or sinuses
    • Tablets or liquids to help with heartburn and other digestion problems
    • Antiseptic wipes for cuts, grazes and minor wounds
    • Antihistamine tablets for allergies and insect bites
    • Rehydration remedies
    • A thermometer
    • Plasters and sterile dressings
  • Your local pharmacist can provide professional, confidential advice and treatment for minor ailments without an appointment.

Johnny Nota, Service Manager at One You Ealing said:

“Looking after yourself at this time of year is essential and there are a number of self-care steps you can take to prevent and treat minor injuries and illnesses.”

Patients can find out more information about and self-refer to One You Ealing by calling 0300 456 0556, emailing or visiting

Support in a mental health crisis is also available 24 hours a day. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis and you are in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow, you can call our Single Point of Access helpline on 0300 1234 244 for support. The helpline is staffed by trained mental health advisors and clinicians who will work with people to enable them to manage their difficulties without having to access other services or make a referral if necessary.

In addition, GPs and nurses are now offering appointments in the evening, on weekends and bank holidays. Residents can book these additional appointments by calling their GP practice or NHS 111 when their own practice is closed. Appointments are accessible either at residents own GP practice or a nearby local health centre. For more information on the GP appointments in your area, click here.

Notes to Editors:

About West London Mental Health NHS Trust:
West London Mental Health NHS Trust is one of the most diverse mental health trusts in the country. It provides a full range of mental health and community services for children, adults and older people living in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow in addition to specialist and forensic mental health services, including high secure services at Broadmoor Hospital.

WLMHT contact details:
Dominic Benson (Head of Communications)
020 8354 2283
Follow us on Twitter @WLMHT