Getting over your January blues is never quite as straightforward as we would like it to be. Feeling down in January is a hell of a lot more common than you think, with a good few reasons behind it. We build up Christmas for months and months, we plan, we prepare and we buy, and expectations are always high in the festive period. Followed by New Years Eve, and we’re faced with another high of the new beginning and the ability to reinvent ourselves. One week in to January though, chances are, you’ve abandoned your resolutions already and your stuck in the lull that is a dark, cold and never-ending month that follows the most wonderful time of the year. This year, I’ve found myself managing this January blues better than ever. I’ve not done anything groundbreaking, but I’ve made small changes and they’ve made the biggest difference, and they may just work for you too.
A Healthy Lifestyle. I don’t mean go vegan and live on superfoods, but I am a firm believer in exercise and healthy living being a huge factor in determining my own mood. When I am in a routine with my exercise, and I’m not bingeing on three chinese take-aways each week and I am making a conscious effort to get more sleep, I’m a significantly more positive person. This January, I’ve taken one of the best approaches to diet and exercise that I ever have done. I am losing fat, but I am not restricting myself, I am simply fueling my body with good food and working out in a consistent, manageable routine – and it’s working.
Plan A Holiday. You don’t necessarily need to book said holiday, but I’ve found throwing myself into planning our summer getaways’ gives me something to focus on, and has me looking forward to the rest of the year, rather than back at the previous one. Even the anticipation of a holiday can realease endorphins (your body’s feel good hormones) and if you do manage to find a good deal, then even better, so can you really go wrong? At the moment, I’m spending my nights scanning Ryan Air for some cheap city break flights to Lisbon and Stockholm, and trying to work out if we could tangibly make another holiday work (We can’t.)
Do A Bit Of Self Reflection. After New Year, it’s easy to feel down and a little bit lost. Everyone is on a come down from Christmas, a few of us feeling a little bit skint and in a bit of a slump as we are probably starting the new year with the same body shape we didn’t like the year before. Sometimes we need to feel down and to really evaluate where those feelings are coming from in order to pull ourselves out of it, and for that I normally turn to the Wheel Of Life. This is a pretty airy-fairy but fairly darn effective technique used by life coaches that I discovered on Pinterest. I’d highly recommend seeking that out over
there, but in short, the idea is to draw a wheel with eight spokes. Each spoke represents an area of your life that will ultimately make up your happiness (I told you this was a bit airy-fairy, but I’m telling you, stick with me). You take your health, your finances, your social life, your relationship, your career, your friends/family, your physical environment and your personal growth – and you rate them on a scale of 1-10. Any area below 5, you look at working on. It may sound redundant, but being able to focus in on the exact areas that are not quite up to scratch in order to fix them, often, you probably don’t even realise. (And it gives you an excuse to draw a big colorful wheel).
Set Some Goals (But Not Resolutions). If like me, you’ve managed to use the wheel to determine the areas that may be bringing your mood down, or failing that you just need a good kick in the right direction, setting tangible goals works wonders. I am all about that New Years Resolutions game, but lets be honest, if your already feeling down about your health or your weight, setting a goal to lose 40lbs will do absolutely nothing for your mood in the first month of the year. Small steps that could actually be achieved in the month is the way forward. I may have made some mad resolutions, but I also have small goals to help me on my way to achieving them. For example, if I wanted to meet my 40lb resolution, I might set a goal of making it to the gym twice a week for the entire month of January? I goal I can stick to, and that will help me towards the end result.
Take Some ‘Me’ Time. If there was ever an excuse for some me time, it would be this month. Everyone requires just a little bit of time to themselves to maintain sanity. As a busy mum who works full time and also for herself, I’m taking full advantage of anytime I may get to take a bath, or go to the gym solo. I don’t even have to necessarily be alone, I for one have been scouring HMV for all of the old films’ I used to love years ago, just for an excuse to put my phone down, snuggle up on the sofa with my son and just have some time to forget about everything else. We are firmly on the hygge bandwagon this year.
Declutter, Then Clutter. If you don’t need to declutter in January, then I am almost certain that we are polar opposite. If I do not declutter, I feel like I am carrying any baggage from the year before and I can’t help but feel unmotivated. If you are feeling down, choose a room, a closet, a drawer – start small. Clear out anything you don’t use, don’t need and hold no sentimental value for, I can almost guarantee you will feel even marginally better afterwards. The second part of my declutter strategy is optional, but I do feel it is one of the most effective. Buy plants. Anything green. They don’t have to be real, faux succulents work perfectly too. Fill your home with beautiful little pots of growth, and almost instantly you feel uplifted and motivated. Well maybe not instantly, but they still look cute, and they won’t break the bank in a month where we are all probably trying to save the pennies.
With that being said, although a lot of us do feel down in January and it can be completely normal, if you do think what your feeling could be more than just a case of the Winter Blues, please do visit your GP. This is no quick fix guide, unfortunately January can just be a bit of a dud month and no amount of plants nor exercise will fix that. I myself always struggle when the initial bout of motivation wears off, and this is the first year I’ve truly been able to keep myself positive and excited for the rest of the year. These are small steps, but they’ve helped me, and I really hope they can help you too.
Have you been suffering with the January blues this year?
Disclaimer: This post was a collaborative post, as always, all of the opinions are my own.