How to Beat The January Blues
The build-up to Christmas is my favourite time of year. In fact, from September onwards I get really excited for Autumn, followed by the countdown to Christmas. There are so many festive activities to look forward to before I even get to the big day itself, so I always find that January is a bit of a come-down for me. The festive excitement is gone, but the dark nights and cold weather remain and it always leaves me feeling a bit deflated. If you’re anything like me, January is probably your least favourite month of the year and is now made even worse by being in yet another lockdown, but I’m determined to get past my January blues this year and embrace it with a positive attitude! Here are my top tips that I find are working for me;
Make A List
Write a list of goals you want to achieve this year and set yourself achievable targets to help you reach them. These goals can be to do with anything; fitness, home improvements, learning a new skill, reading more books, whatever you want to do for you.
I always feel better after having a declutter, whether that be a general clear out around the house, a wardrobe declutter or even sorting files on my computer. I find it much easier to relax when my environment is clutter-free. Have a look around and I’m sure you’ll find things you can sell, recycle, give to charity or throw away. You’ll feel much better for it.
Make Time For You
Try and set aside half an hour a day just for you. Between work, looking after my toddler, housework and general life, I sometimes find it hard to make time to relax. But if I plan ahead I can make time to do something that’s just for me. This might be half an hour of exercise, having a hot bath, watching an episode of my favourite tv show or reading a couple of chapters of a book. I often have to do this once my son is in bed or even before he wakes up on a morning but it is so important to have that time that is just for you.
Block Negative Social Media
Unfollow anything negative on your social media accounts and only follow people and accounts that are positive and that you are interested in.
Get Enough Sleep
It can be tempting to stay up late, especially when you don’t get much time to yourself throughout the day, but sleep is so important for our mental health and wellbeing. Cut out the caffeine and screen time late at night, treat yourself to some comfy PJs, change your bedding regularly and keep your bedroom clutter-free to help you get a good sleep. If you need some extra help, try a sleep spray or an electronic diffuser with sleep fragrance oil. I also highly recommend the Calm app, which has loads of sleep stories to help you relax and drift off in no time at all. I used these when I was pregnant and having trouble sleeping and they worked wonders!
Watch What You Eat
I’m not saying you have to diet or do anything extreme, but making small, healthy changes to our diet and eating everything in moderation is sure to boost your mood. Try and add fruit and veg to your meals where you can, reduce your sugar and junk food intake and make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Obviously, still allow yourself to have a treat now and then, there is no joy in depriving yourself, but if you are going to have a treat, make it worth it!
Spend Time In Nature
One of the few good things about being in lockdown is that we have an excuse to go out in the fresh air and spend time in nature. Get wrapped up, pack a flask of your favourite hot drink and take a walk through your local park, beach or woodland. A lot of National Trust and English Heritage sites are also open through lockdown so check those out if you feel you need a change of scenery. Being out in the fresh air, surrounded by trees always makes me feel happy, even if the weather is bad!
Have Something To Look Forward To
We all need something to look forward to at the moment, right? Why not plan a trip or a holiday for when all of this is over? You don’t necessarily have to book it until things have returned to normal, but at least have a look at places you would like to visit and make a plan for when you are able to travel again. If you’re not comfortable with going abroad, there are loads of great places to visit in the UK, from country cottages to boutique hotels to cosy cabins. Whatever takes your fancy. Once you have decided where you’d like to go, take a look at the surrounding areas to plan some days out, or take a look at the menus at the local restaurants. Just making a plan, even if it’s just in your head, will give you something to look forward to.
Make A Playlist
Make a playlist of happy, motivational songs and listen to it whenever you can. When you’re getting ready in the morning, when you’re cooking in the kitchen, when you’re in the car or soaking in the bath. It will instantly lift your mood and put you in a happy place!