Everyone’s familiar with the ‘January blues’, that let-down feeling you get after the Christmas and New Year festivities have ended and when the days become cold and grey. Here are some techniques help you to feel better over the next few months.
Many share the same experience as you at the beginning of the year and it’s natural to feel down. Just deciding to take positive action can successfully reframe your point-of-view. From making sure you make your bed in the morning to making healthy eating choices, small, manageable steps can make a huge difference to your mood.
You don’t have to join an expensive gym to feel the benefits of regular exercise. Try walking instead of catching the bus or buy yourself a second-hand bike and start cycling. Off-peak tickets for the local swimming pool aren’t expensive either – and if you take the stairs instead of using the lift, you’ll soon feel those exercise-related endorphins kicking in.
If you overspent over the holiday period, start to take control of your finances again by putting some cash aside every week so you can pay off credit card and other bills.
When it gets dark early and it’s cold and wet, there’s a temptation to stay indoors – but there’s nothing guaranteed to lift the spirits more than good company. It doesn’t have to be expensive – just meet with a few friends on a Zoom call for a games evening and you’ll feel your mood begin to brighten. Remember to check in with friends that might be struggling too.
All that celebrating can take it out of you, so it’s important to get back into a regular evening pattern. Lack of sleep can affect your concentration and your mood. The National Sleep Foundation suggests young adults need between 7 and 9 hours rest a night to function properly.
It’s important to have something to look forward to; one idea is to schedule an event or two for the end of February or beginning of March. They don’t need to be expensive (hosting a small dinner party for instance) but the very act of forward-planning will help lift your spirits.
Light therapy has been proven to help those who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by mimicking sunlight indoors and delivering a much-needed supply of vitamin D. A blue light box or SAD lamp is inexpensive, portable and a great way to feel the benefits of artificial daylight.