We’re halfway through January – it’s freezing outside, my bank account is in the danger zone and all I want to do is hide under a blanket on the sofa, eat junk food and watch Netflix. January should be a time for looking forward to the year ahead, but it can also be a challenging month for some of us.
The January blues are a common experience that can come as a result of many different things. They can be caused by worries about money after the post-Christmas period, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), stress, inadequate sleep, depression or other factors. The weather doesn’t help either!
In today’s blog we’re going to give you some tips on how to beat the January blues into submission so you can start to feel positive about the year ahead. It’s normal to sometimes feel down during the winter months, but if you don’t actively focus on finding ways to improve your mood, you could find yourself entrenched in negative emotions. Let’s take control and stop hiding under the blanket!
- Exercise regularly – Take some time to get outside, go for a walk, or go to an exercise class. Regular exercise helps to reduce stress and can give you more energy, whilst exposure to sunlight can help to improve your mental health during the long winter months. Plus the fresh air will do you a world of good.
- Schedule in activities and events – Having something to look forward to can make a big difference to your mood. Whether it’s seeing friends for dinner or scheduling in time for a new hobby, having something to look forward to can make a big difference to your mood and your outlook on life.
- Connect with people – Cozy up with friends and family during the winter months. If your finances are suffering, you don’t have to go out to spend time together. Invite them over for a cup of tea or simply go for a walk together.
- Eat healthy – Why not use January as a time to reset and focus on eating healthier and getting plenty of nutrients. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and pulses will help to keep your energy levels up and improve your mood and concentration.
- Stay cozy – One of the best winter activities is curling up with a good book and simply relaxing. Turn down the lights and light some candles or take a warm bubble bath and enjoy some ‘me’ time. Self care is so important for your mood and your mental health so make sure you take some time for yourself whenever you can.
- Keep a journal – Consider keeping a journal to document your emotions throughout the year. A journal can help you gain greater self-awareness and provide you with insight into your thoughts and behaviour over time. Remember, if you find yourself feeling really low, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Taking the time to address your mental wellbeing can set the foundation for a happy and healthy New Year.
- Get creative – Make winter a time for new ideas and inspiration! Find a new hobby: learn to knit, pick up a paintbrush, or write stories or poems. If you’ve ever had the desire to be creative then now is the time!
- Take control of your finances – If your spending feels like it’s gotten out of control than now is the time to take back control. Review your December finances and set a budget for the new year. Decide how much money you realistically have to spend each month, and limit yourself to that amount. Make sure you’re paying for your essential bills before you pay for anything else. If you have debts to pay, such as a credit card bill, put the priority on paying them off as soon as you can. Before you splurge on anything unnecessary, ask yourself if it’s necessary. Could you be spending that money on something more important?
At the end of the day, the start of a New Year can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Taking the steps to manage your expectations, stay active and healthy, and maintain positive mental health, can help you to stave off the January blues and start off the new year happy and healthy. Ultimately, the best advice to survive January is to take it one day at a time. Set achievable goals, nurture your emotional wellbeing, and most importantly, be kind to yourself.