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A Salford counselor is trying to change people’s attitudes towards winter.

Natalie Rossiter, a professional counselor based in Salford, will be hosting an online Winter Wellbeing Workshop to tackle mental health issues during the winter months.

Natalie said: ‘’I used to really struggle with mental health in winter. I’d notice my mood dropping’’

She managed to turn that around by changing her attitude toward the cold season. Natalie began researching how winter can cause a decline in mental health and from there began looking into ways to help combat it.

‘’The number one thing is about embracing the season, it’s an attitude shift.

‘’You write off a huge chunk of your life waiting for winter to be over because it’s hard to have a good time when we’re telling ourselves it’s awful’’

After her own experience with worsening mental health during winter, Natalie wants to help others with their own mental health problems as a professional counselor.

‘’I want to help people in Salford which is why I have workshops like this, if people can’t afford therapy I want to be able to help them in other ways which is why I only ask for a small donation.

‘’I feel hopeful for the people of Salford because I see proactivity around mental health and people engaging with it.

‘’People want to help themselves’’

The workshop will cover a range of topics around mental health and wellbeing during winter, such as the wellbeing challenges of winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), mindfulness, and practical tips on how to cope.

Many people experience a decline in mental health around wintertime. SAD is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions people can be faced with. It affects 3% of the uk population and the risk of developing it may be related to how your body responds to changes in daylight during the autumn and winter. Cold temperatures mean people stay indoors more and this reduces the amount of natural light they are exposed which can exacerbate symptoms of depression.

Natalie also says external factors are a major contributor to poor mental health

‘’if you work 9 to 5 in this country you’re not gonna see any daylight which is appalling’’

Natalie takes inspiration from other countries methods of combatting seasonal related mental health issues.

‘’I looked at Scandinavian countries and the changes they make during the winter months to improve their mental health. They try to stay active and spend time outside, they even make changes inside like rearranging furniture to help them feel more energized’’

Natalie continues her work helping people to improve their mental health throughout the year. Her next course on mindfulness and modern life will take place in January.

The workshop takes place on Monday, 29th November 2021, 19:00 – 20:15 GMT. Natalie asks for a donation of £15 but people can give whatever they feel they are able to.

Tickets are available click here

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