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Health Matters: January Blues
Health Matters: January Blues



Dr Ian Hulme, GP with Meadowside Medical Centre, Congleton and clinical lead for mental health at NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Beating the January Blues

As the celebrations and excitement of the festive season give way to the cold, dark days of January, it’s not unusual for many of us to feel somewhat low..

Most people feel low from time to time but if it’s having a significant effect on your life there are things that you can do to help. Support is also available if you’re finding it hard to cope.

Symptoms of a low mood include feeling:

  • Sad
  • Anxious
  • More tired than usual
  • Angry
  • Frustrated
  • Low in confidence or self-esteem

While these will usually get better on their own after a few days or weeks, it’s possible to improve low mood by making small changes.


When you’re feeling low, you should

  • Talk to a loved one about your feelings
  • Try to find ways to feel happier, for example go for a walk or a run, find time for your favourite hobby or read a book
  • Finding out how to raise your self-esteem
  • Listening to free mental wellbeing audio guides 



  • Do everything at once
  • Focus on things you can’t change
  • Tell yourself you’re alone
  • Use alcohol/ cigarettes/ gambling or drugs to relieve a low mood


If your mood hasn’t improved after two weeks it could be a sign of depression. Symptoms would then include:

  • Getting no enjoyment out of life
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Having suicidal thoughts


When you’re feeling low you can refer yourself for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) by visiting or calling 01625 469955. You can get a GP to refer you if you’d prefer. Alternatively call 111 if it’s urgent but not an emergency or 999 or go straight to A&E if you need immediate help.

More information can be found here:

Remember you are not alone!

21 January 2020
Health Matters: Help us Help you
Health Matters: Help us Help you

The NHS runs a Help Us Help You campaign each winter to help us stay well, look after ourselves when we suffer a minor ailment and seek the right medical support when we’re not getting better on our own. The campaign includes flu vaccinations, NHS 111, seeking advice at the first sign of illness, and using evening and weekend GP appointments.

The winter months can be very challenging for urgent care services, which is why we should all do all we can to look after our own health and not use stretched NHS services unless we really need them.

16 January 2020
HPV stigma must end, says leading nurse

The organisations that plan and buy Cheshire’s healthcare are supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to tackle the myths and stigma around the common virus, HPV, and to get the facts out.

14 January 2020
First Town Council in Cheshire to achieve NHS Self Care Award

On Friday 10 January Poynton Town Council received an NHS Bronze Self Care Award at a celebration ceremony held at Poynton Civic Hall.

10 January 2020
Health Matters: Dry January

Lots of us may have drank a little bit too much over the past few weeks, after all it’s important you celebrate Christmas and New Year, but a month off alcohol is a great way to start the year and a perfect way to reset your relationship with alcohol.

08 January 2020
Do you suffer with lower back pain?

Get back into exercise and Join Everybody Sport and Recreation’s free, brand new six-week programme, ESCAPE-pain for backs.We commissioned the programme with the Health Innovation Network.

06 January 2020
Health Matters: Enjoying the Christmas Period

You may have taken some time off over this festive period, so it’s imperative that you enjoy spending that time with loved ones.

Whilst it may be cold a great way to spend some of your time would be to go for a walk, whilst it’s not only great to spend some time outside you get to view the gorgeous Cheshire countryside. Some of the walks I enjoy are going to Tegg’s nose, walking on the Edge and Lyme Park.

31 December 2019
Health Matters: NHS Services at Christmas

The last thing anyone wants is to be ill over the festive period but sometimes it’s unavoidable. If you do get poorly this Christmas, the NHS is here to help . But the good news is that most winter ailments get better on their own, and it’s possible for you to manage the symptoms effectively by following our self-care tips.

24 December 2019
Help us Help you: You are not alone this Christmas

As you deck the halls, hang your stockings and are busy preparing for festivities, it can be easy to forget that the Christmas period can be the hardest time of year for some.

The NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are encouraging local people to remember that, while for many the Christmas period can be a time of joy and celebration, it can also be an especially challenging time of year for some people. In particular, this could be the case for people who may feel increasingly isolated or who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

20 December 2019
Help us Help you: Stay Well This Winter

Winter is a very busy time for the NHS and health services in general, the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are encouraging local people to prepare to ensure that we Stay Well This Winter.

Winter conditions can put a strain on our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as bronchitis, asthmas, diabetes or heart disease.

18 December 2019
Health Matters: Financial Capability

You may have heard about the draft Cheshire East Place Five Year Plan written by health and social care partners to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in the local authority area.

Reflecting the findings of public engagement in August, the plan recognises the many non-medical factors that have a major impact on physical and mental health. Called the wider determinants of health, these factors include financial wellbeing.

17 December 2019
Will the doctor’s surgery be open this Christmas and New Year?

People in Cheshire are advised to be prepared as GP practice and pharmacy opening times may vary over the Christmas period.

Like most public services, GP practices and pharmacies have different opening times over the Christmas and New Year period.

13 December 2019
Health Matters: Anger Awareness Week

There’s much evidence that we’re becoming increasingly stressed as a nation. Reasons for this include the struggle to balance work demands with family commitments. Effective stress management is a subject deserving several health columns of its own.

11 December 2019
Health Matters: Cheshire Care Record

The Cheshire Care Record (CCR) is an electronic health and social care record. It pulls key information from several different health and social care records and stores it in one combined record. This enables health and social care professionals involved in your care to find key information in one place.

02 December 2019
Local NHS healthcare partnership takes part in Chester charitable Christmas tree festival

Staff from the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are working with partners, patients and carers to sponsor a Christmas tree and to decorate it as part of the Christmas Tree-cycled Festival at Chester Cathedral this year. This year’s theme is sustainability, which fits with the Transforming Care group motto, ‘sustainable homes not hospitals.”

29 November 2019
Cheshire Care Record will improve health and social care for all, say CCGs

NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are today highlighting the benefits of the Cheshire Care Record to their patients by highlighting why everyone in Cheshire should have one.

26 November 2019
Health Matters: Anti-Microbial Resistance

Although World Antibiotic Week was last week, the fight against inappropriate prescribing and use of antibiotics never ends. Here in Eastern Cheshire we are below national average for antibiotic prescribing, in April 2019 we we’re in the 29th percentile for it but we can always do more.

25 November 2019