Feeling overwhelmed?

The next few months are going to be difficult for everyone as we all have to adjust to rising costs of living and having to alter our lifestyles accordingly. This can be stressful particularly if you feel you are unable to meet the basic needs of yourself and your family. If you find that you’re struggling to cope like you normally would, you’re not alone - help is available.

  • You should speak to your GP if worries are beginning to affect your daily life or causing your distress
  • Our Mental Health pages offer advice on how to look after your mental health and where to get support.
  • Unhappy Place lists support available locally and nationally for a number of issues from general mental health and wellbeing and domestic abuse, to drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Healthy Routes offer FREE 1-2-1 local support if you need support with your mental wellbeing. You can complete a Healthy Routes self-referral form and an advisor will contact you.

Free fun activities

While it’s important to ensure that you are warm, have enough to eat and have a home it’s also vital for your mental wellbeing to ensure that you still find moments of life to enjoy. You may be used to spending money to treat yourself and your family, but there’s lots of ways you can give everyone something to look forward to without spending a penny.

Here’s some ideas of free or minimal cost activities:

  • Get Outdoors - We’re lucky in our borough to have a wide choice of great outdoor spaces, visit our parks pages to find somewhere to visit near you. If you’re feeling sociable you might want to join one of Be Well’s organised walks to get you out and about in new places and make new friends. If you have children, parks with playgrounds, den building trips, and simple homemade treasure hunts are great ways to capture their enthusiasm
  • Visit Wigan - Be a tourist in your own borough and visit one of our outstanding FREE arts and cultural venues. There’s lots of changing exhibitions and workshops on offer, so even if you’ve been before there’s always something new to experience
  • Look out for FREE local events - Wigan Council and local organisations put on a number of free events each year. To find out what’s on over the next few months check out Visit Wigan or follow Wigan Council and Visit Wigan on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Joining local Facebook groups is also a good way to find out about smaller community run events
  • Check out your library - Libraries have changed a lot over the years, but they’re still free to join! As well as books you can also borrow audio books, e-books, e-magazines and comics and access computers and free Wifi. Libraries are a great place to spend time and there’s lots of free events and social groups that take place regularly. You can get more information in the libraries section of the website or by following Wigan Libraries on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Have fun at home - Don’t underestimate how much fun you can have in your own four walls. Have a home cinema night with cosy blankets, your favourite family film and homemade popcorn. Have a date night where you take it in turns to cook for each other. Bake homemade treats to share. Play a board game. Teach yourself a new skill using YouTube videos. Invite a neighbour round for a chat and a brew. Times may be challenging but learning to take pleasure in the simple things can help you stay afloat.

Helping others

One of the best ways to boost your own mental health is to help others and now is a great time to offer support to others that may be struggling. Here are some ideas:

  • Start up a friendly chat with a neighbour
  • Invite someone round to share a simple meal with you and your family
  • Visit older friends and relatives who aren’t able to get out much - they’ll be feeling the pinch too
  • Leave a small surprise gift or letter to let someone know that you’re thinking about them
  • Volunteer with a local community group or food pantry
  • If you think someone is unable to heat their home, invite them round for a brew and a chat
  • Make an effort to say thank you to someone who has helped you.

© Wigan Council