The run-up to Christmas and New Year is often fraught with excitement and positive energy. However, once these events have passed and the exhaustion of the past weeks catches up with us, it can seem almost impossible to escape the clutches of the dreaded January Blues. Did you know that the third Monday of January of every year has officially been named ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year?! With this in mind, knowing how to beat the January Blues and start the New Year on a positive note can be incredibly valuable!
8 Steps to Beat the January Blues:
#1 Take time out to do things you enjoy
Just because the festive season is over, and you’re probably now on a diet and perhaps cutting out meat and alcohol too, it doesn’t mean you can’t do other things you enjoy. Take time to read a book, listen to music, start a new hobby… whatever brings you joy, do it!
#2 Follow a Healthy Diet
Following a nutritious diet is a good way to help negate any feelings of post-Christmas guilt and help you feel great overall. A poor diet, full of junk food (probably everything we overconsumed over Christmas) consisting of saturated fats, refined sugars and carbohydrates and processed foods generally leads to bad mental health. That said, I’ve found that I still like to give myself a little treat at the weekend so that it’s not all doom and gloom!
#3 Get Active
It’s well known that being physically active helps mental wellbeing. Exercise can reduce stress, anxiety and depression through the release of endorphins which make you feel good. If you can get out into nature to do some exercise all the better. This also gives you time to be mindful and catch some Vitamin D!
#4 Work Out What’s Bothering You
The exact cause for the January Blues will vary from person to person; there’s no single cause for this condition, after all. If you’re not sure your difficulties are caused simply by the standard post-Christmas exhaustion, try to dedicate a little time for some self-reflection.
If you do discover what’s been bothering you, don’t bottle things up; your friends and loved ones will be there to help you move forwards. Or, if not, why not reach out to an anonymous professional for support instead?
People are there to help – after all, no one is ever alone, and there are always people out there who can help you find the motivation and confidence you need to start the new year happily.
#5 Plan a Holiday
The January Blues can seem incredibly oppressive, and with this in mind, finding something to look forward to can be a good option to help you find some motivation. Now could be an excellent time to begin thinking about (or even booking if the bank balance permits) your next holiday. Not only will this give you something to look forward to this year, but the process of planning a holiday is always fun and is a sure way to give your mood a boost!
#6 Visit Friends and Family
For me, the best part of the festive period is spending time with friends and family. But just because the celebrations are over, it doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your loved ones anymore! Arrange some get togethers, perhaps a walk, a meal, a movie night or even just catch ups on the phone.
#7 Book a Massage
Of course, I have to say this, but why not treat yourself to a massage or even give your baby (if you have one) a regular massage😜. Massage (even giving a massage) releases Oxytocin and Serotonin. Both Oxytocin, known as the ‘love hormone’ and Serotonin, an important chemical neurotransmitter, help you to feel good, more relaxed and able to fight off depressive feelings. Check out more of the benefits of massage on our website.
#8 Invest in a SAD Lamp
The lack of daylight definitely affects my mood in January and February. I invested in a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) lamp which I do feel makes a difference. Theoretically, a SAD lamp works by replacing the light from sunshine that you’d see in the summer. It’s believed that when the light hits the retina at the back of your eye, it tells the brain to make less melatonin, thereby improving mood. I haven’t read the science behind it, but it does make a difference for me😊 This is the one I have*: https://amzn.to/3nerDGW
Don’t let the January Blues Drag You Down!
The aftermath of Christmas and New Year are undeniably exhausting, but that doesn’t have to mean the time is any less enjoyable! After all, it’s a brand-new year with lots of new opportunities and with the right approach, you can ensure that the year starts off well. Hopefully, today’s top tips and steps will have helped with this; after all, you deserve the chance to feel your best!
Wishing you the happiest and healthiest new year!
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash