How to stay positive and beat the January blues this winter
The festive season has come and gone, leaving behind a sense of nostalgia and, for many, the January blues. As the merriment of Christmas fades away and the cold winter nights feel never-ending, it’s not uncommon to feel a little down in the dumps as the new year begins. However, there are numerous strategies you can employ to boost your spirits and make the most of this fresh start. Here we explore some tips to help you beat the January blues and set a positive tone for the year ahead.
Try to set yourself a routine and wake up at around the same time each morning. This will help to set your body clock into a rhythm. Avoid the snooze button when your alarm goes off and get up as soon as you stir. Start the day well with a healthy breakfast of yoghurt, fruit and granola or eggs on toast, washed down with antioxidant-packed herbal tea.
One of the main reasons for the January blues is the lack of daylight. The days are shorter, and the nights are longer. To combat this, spend time outdoors during daylight hours, even if it's just a short walk. Get outside, increase your daily step count and get some fresh air too. Natural light exposure can do wonders for your mood and clear your head if you have been feeling low or anxious. Not only will you be in a better mood, but you’ll also get the health benefits from the exercise, too!
Set Realistic Goals
January often brings the pressure of New Year's resolutions, and while it's great to set goals for self-improvement, it's important to make them realistic. Break your goals into smaller, achievable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. This can help you maintain a sense of accomplishment and reduce feelings of disappointment.
Set an hour a day to have some time to yourself. Watch something on TV, read a book, soak in the bath or head out for a run. Our Ultimate Wellbeing Letterbox features a wellbeing journal, bath salts and Spacemask, encouraging you to embark in a wellbeing ritual of relaxing and journaling. However you choose to relax, make sure you plan time to do it.
January blues can be amplified by feelings of isolation. Adverse weather conditions often result in people going out less. Make an effort to connect with family and friends, through coffee dates, hosting dinners or even through video calls or messages. Socialising can have a profound impact on your emotional well-being and help alleviate feelings of loneliness.
Spending time outdoors in nature can put you in a good mood. But that is easier said than done in the middle of winter. Get out when you can, and bring the outside in for the days that you can’t. Houseplants are known to have a positive impact on your mental health. Not only are they visually appealing, they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide – leaving you free to breathe fresh air.
A happy list
At the end of each day write down three things that made you smile. It can be as simple as enjoying a walk in your lunch break because the sun was shining, waking up after a particularly good night’s sleep or finishing a project that you’ve been working on for a few weeks. Taking a minute to do this everyday will make you realise that even on a bad or more challenging day, there is something that makes you feel happier!
Remember, it's entirely normal to experience a dip in your mood after the holidays. The key to beating the January blues is to acknowledge your feelings and take proactive steps to improve your well-being. By embracing light, setting realistic goals, staying active and practising self-care, you can navigate the post-holiday season with a positive outlook and start the year on a high note.