Feeling the January gloom? Emotional support for young people at Door43

Beating the winter blues

Feeling the January gloom? Emotional support for young people at Door43

Sadie White No Comment

January can be the time of year when we’re feeling a little gloomy. The effects of the weather, the difference between debt and our ability to pay, the amount of time since Christmas, low levels of motivation and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation can all contribute to this.

‘January can be a really difficult time of year for us all in terms of low mood affected by low levels of sunlight, getting back into the work routine and the post-Christmas lull however all this is compounded further for young people who are already dealing with emotional health and wellbeing issues.’ Says Sadie Charlton, Wellbeing Coach at Sheffield Futures’ youth information, advice & counselling service Door43.

At Door43 we offer an accessible drop in service which doesn’t rely on referrals and acts as an informal and safe space where Sheffield’s young people can gain confidential support and advice on a range of issues.

‘We’re aiming to provide an informal space where young people feel welcome, involved and ultimately feel that they are in an environment with their peers where they are able to discuss and access support on a range of issues if indeed they feel they want to do so.’

‘With stress, anxiety and depression on the rise for young people in Sheffield and the UK, having a safe, casual space which acts as a drop in service and that doesn’t carry the stigma a or practical considerations of a professional referral could make all the difference for a worried or distressed young person.’ She continues.

Top tips for beating the winter blues

  1. Be mindful – You may have heard of mindfulness, it’s the practice of being in the present moment right now (rather than thinking about the past, or worrying about the future). There are lots of useful mindfulness apps you can get for your smart phone. Mindfulness takes practice but you could start by trying this at one moment each day such as brushing your teeth or when you’re making a cup of tea.
  2. Keep physically active – Exercise releases the ‘feel good’ hormones dopamine. Regular exercise doesn’t have to involve hitting the gym hard 5 times a week. You could start with gentle physical activities such as yoga, swimming or walking in your favourite park. It’s important that what you choose to do is something you enjoy, that way you’re much more likely to keep doing it.
  3. Find a new hobby – Activities and hobbies we enjoy are a great way to practice self-care. Regularly engaging in hobbies can increase confidence, give you a sense of purpose and a good outlet for your physical and creative needs.
  4. Be cautious of caffeine – If you’re finding it difficult to switch off at night, or you feel a bit jittery during the day, perhaps you could have a look at how much caffeine you are consuming in your daily brews. Too much caffeine can make you feel anxious. Try to drink your last caffeinated drink no later than 4pm in order to get a good night’s sleep.
  5. Balance of work, rest & play – schedule time for you to do your favourite ‘switch off’ activities. More importantly – give yourself permission to do this! This could be reading, watching that box set you’ve been meaning to do, or having a pamper night.
  6. Seek out the sun and stretch your legs outdoors – Just 15 minutes of natural sunlight per day is known to reduce depression and anxiety levels. The vitamin D from the sun (even if you can’t always see it in Sheffield!) and all that natural sunlight helps you sleep better at night. Being outdoors is a great way to practice mindfulness.
  7. Sleep – Bedtime routines are not for babies. Getting the right amount of Zzz’s each night can make a huge difference to your tomorrows. Try avoiding tech/TV an hour before bed and look at ways you can wind down to get a restful night’s sleep. How about having a bath, reading a book, using aromatherapy oils or white noise to promote a deeper sleep.
  8. Time out from Tech – Lets go old school, take time out from insta, facebook & twitter to catch up with someone face to face. Although social media can be a good way to stay in touch, it doesn’t beat the connection you have when spending time with the people you care about.
  9. Get creative – Find your flow. When we are being creative, our brains release dopamine, which is a natural anti-depressant. Creativity usually takes concentration and it can lead to the feeling of a natural high. Participating in creative activities may even help to alleviate depression. Creative activities may be art, writing, crafts, baking and colouring.
  10. Talk about what’s on your mind – either with a friend or a loved one who is supportive of you or pop into Door43 for a brew & a chat.

New home for Door43!

Door43 will also soon have a total re-design as we have secured funding from the Department of Health to create a multi-purpose Health and Wellbeing Zone to the “back of house” area at Star House. This area will house a brand new Wellbeing café to support young people’s emotional health in a fun, friendly and relaxed space and also ensure our existing services can continue to meet the needs of our young people and adults in our bright and vibrant city-centre space. Over that past 18 months, we have undertaken an extensive amount of consultation with staff, managers, young people and visitors to Star House around what the space should look and feel like. Exciting times, watch this space for more information!

Door43 offers Sheffield’s 13 – 25 year olds support on a range of social, emotional, practical and health related issues.

Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street is staffed by youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers as well as peer supporters.

Young people can drop in at Door43, Sheffield Futures, Division Street, Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm, Tuesday until 7pm and on a Saturday 9.30am – 1pm.

You can find out more about the activities and workshops on offer on the Sheffield Futures website www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/i-need-help/door43/

For those that would rather, there is also the option to book appointments.

If you know a young person or young people that you feel may benefit from the service you can refer them to the service by calling 0114 201 2774.


How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.