It’s a new year with all the connotations of optimism, renewal and fresh beginnings.

But actually, many individuals find themselves grappling with the notorious ‘winter blues’.

Colder temperatures and reduced sunlight can contribute to feelings of lethargy, sadness, and isolation.

However, through mindful strategies and by supporting one another, it's possible to create a sense of warmth and connection.

Rather than resisting the big chill, why not embrace the season even if it’s only taking a leisurely walk in the fresh air and natural light as I do on a regular basis with my pet cockapoo.

Taking care of one's mental and physical wellbeing is crucial during the winter months. That includes keeping active, maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.

Loneliness and isolation can intensify over winter, making social connections more vital than ever.

And if you notice someone in your life experiencing loneliness or isolation, reach out and check in on them. A simple phone call, text message, or even a handwritten note can make a real difference. Let them know you're thinking of them.

There are social networks already active in our community with groups that hold regular meet-ups and community events. Collective efforts to combat loneliness can have a profound impact on individuals' well-being.

Live Well Cheshire West, a website produced by the council, is a useful source of information about local services, support, activities, and events for everyone across a broad range of subjects including health and wellbeing, social care, education, employment, support for carers and much more.

Visit the Live Well page - - and put in your postcode or area, along with the type of support you are looking for, to find services near you.

The charity Mind says research has shown that a one-hour walk in the middle of the day is an effective way to beat the winter blues.

Ramblers - - offers a Festival of Winter Walks each year, with routes ranging from three to 10 miles. They’re a great way to enjoy some moderate, daylight activity.

While the winter blues may cast a temporary shadow, proactive steps can transform the season into one filled with positive experiences and shared moments.

However, if your symptoms are so bad you can’t live a normal life, contact your GP for medical help. In a crisis, call Samaritans on 116 123.