It’s that time of year again! The busy chaos and merriment of Christmas is behind us, and the temperature is dropping even further. Add that to the seemingly never-ending dark evenings and it’s no wonder lots of us end up feeling a little miserable in January. The January blues are real! But it’s not all doom and gloom, honestly. The good news? Blue Monday is firmly behind us too, and spring is only around the corner- we promise!
Oh, and we have some fab little tips to help you through this month too. Read on to find out how to re-ignite your spark and battle the January blues.
Honour your feelings
One thing we’re all taught as we grow up is to focus on the good in life. To smile more. To think positive. And these are all great strategies for lifting your mood! But it’s also hugely beneficial now and then to acknowledge your feelings – negative and all – and then just sit with them for a while.
Don’t be ashamed or afraid of negative thoughts. We all have them. And we can’t process them or eliminate them until we deal with them. Honouring your feelings is a really powerful way to regain control when your mood is low and you just want to crawl under a duvet and hibernate for a while. And by the way, duvet days are definitely ok too!
Honouring your feelings means that you acknowledge how you feel, you’re able to be true yourself and you’re able to be honest about how you feel and what you need. For now, know that it’s ok to feel the January blues, and you’re definitely not alone either.
Sometimes all it takes is a few deep breaths and a moment to clear your mind. Or it might take a dedicated meditation session to help lift your worries and ease your anxiety. Either way, being able to stop and just focus on the breath can be extremely powerful.
The next time you feel your mood dropping or your temper fraying, allow yourself some time to stop. Breathe in slowly for the count of four, then out for the count of four. Keep doing this until your mind slows – and know that whenever you feel overwhelmed or anxious, this is an instant tool you can pull out and use to combat the January blues, no matter where you are.
Make self care a priority
We say it all the time, but self care is a must. And if you’ve been honest with yourself and you acknowledge the fact that you’re not feeling wonderful right now, then the natural next step must be to prioritise self care.
This can look different for us all. It can be a long and luxurious bubble bath at the end of the day. It can be five minutes longer in the shower. It can be reading a good book, talking a walk outdoors or just turning off your phone for a moment. Whatever you need, take it.
Get outside every day
Cold? Raining? Welcome to January. But before you close the curtains and bid farewell until spring, hear us out- because just five minutes outside can do wonders for the soul. Here are just three reasons how being outdoors will help you tackle the January blues:
Making the most of the daylight– exposure to natural light will help to boost serotonin levels in the brain, elevating your mood as a result. Make a gentle walk part of your morning routine, or take a pledge to spend your lunch break outside instead. Once you set the habit, it will become part of your routine.
Moving your body– exercise releases endorphins and helps to boost your mood, so even if it’s a gentle stroll around the block, you will feel better for it. Exercise can help also with a multitude of symptoms that tend to affect our mood- period cramps, sleep disturbances to name but just two.
Being with friends– persuade a friend to join you, and the benefits of being outside will double. Never underestimate the power of being with people who make you happy. Being able to talk through your worries or concerns can make a huge difference, and chances are you’ll be a huge support to others too.
Yes it’s cold – so layer up, grab a coffee to go and get the blood pumping. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Sleep well, eat well
What you choose to fuel your body with will not only affect your physical health, but it will impact directly on your emotional health too. Now is the time to really focus on eating a wide variety of healthy and nourishing meals – and spending time preparing them can be a wonderful mindful activity too.
Sleep is just as vital right now for physical and emotional wellbeing. The longer evenings make us want to cuddle up a little earlier than usual, so make the most of that and invest in some early nights. Making sleep a priority will have a hugely positive impact on your mood overall, trust us!
What are your top tips for battling the January blues?