Man struggling with his mental health

Improving your mental health this January

If you are already struggling with your mental health, making any kind of change to improve your mental health can be a daunting prospect.

Our Helpline & Information Officer, Uschi Stickroth provides some small changes that can lift your mood and improve your mental health.

At this time of the year, we are inundated with new years resolutions, diet plans, and new exercise regimes.

New Year, new you, right? We are meant to be optimistic and enthusiastic about the new year and all the opportunities it might bring.

This might ring true for some, but January is often described as the most depressive month of the year. Lack of daylight, long nights, rainy, cold, and windy days are the perfect mood depressant!

The festive season is over, and the start of a new year can often feel overwhelming.

For many people, Christmas and New Year in itself can be a lonely, sad or stressful time exacerbating existing mental health struggles, which are carried into January.


How to improve your mental health

It feels somehow logical wanting to start the new year by making some changes. But where do you start?

If you are already struggling with your mental health, making any kind of change can be a daunting prospect.

Start small! Rather than turning your life upside down by making big changes, pick just one small achievable target and see where it takes you. Setting yourself too many or too ambitious goals can actually create more stress.

I am not saying you shouldn’t have ambitions but make them achievable.

  • Forget about gym membership, just put your shoes on and walk for half an hour every day.


  • You don’t need to follow a big diet plan, just start by adding more healthier options, and reducing your junk food intake.


  • Try going to bed earlier. If you are sleep-deprived, your physical and mental health will be affected, and it can make seizures worse. Sleep issues can be complex, so if you need help with this, ask for it.


  • Try drinking more water. Give your brain a much-needed boost, the world looks differently if you are properly hydrated.


  • Make time for yourself, especially if you are always on the go. If necessary, schedule an appointment in your diary, spend this time to do something for yourself, or do nothing.


  • Make that call to your GP and ask for help with your mental health.


Support for you

To help you through this month, and perhaps motivate you to make some changes, we have asked our training manager, Nicola Milne, to run a one-hour online session on 7 February 2022 at 6pm on mental health and self-care for anyone affected by epilepsy.

This is free, and you can sign up by emailing

You also have the option to sign up for our free Check-in Service, which gives you a weekly call from us at an agreed time/day for 10 weeks (or less) to check in on your mental and physical wellbeing.

To find out more about this free service, or to sign up, phone us on 0808 800 2200, email us at, or contact us privately on our social media channels.

Also, our helpline and information team are here to support you. If you don’t know where to start or just want to talk to someone, phone our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2200.