Thursday 7 January 2016

Beat The January Blues

January is renowned for being a time of the year where most of us will suffer from some form of post Christmas and New Year come down, also commonly known and referred to as the 'January blues'.

I know from my own experiences that the start of a New Year can often feel like a difficult time regardless of how stressful or good Christmas was for me. Despite the fact that I look forward to a fresh start and a new beginning I still feel some anxiety and apprehension about another year ahead. I've felt this even more so at the start of 2016 as last year was a difficult year at times and a huge part of me worries that this year could go the same way.

For many people returning to work after a long break can feel like an impossible challenge and attempting to get back into some kind of routine again can take its toll on you emotionally and physically. It may be the case that your finances and energy levels both took a battering over the festive season leaving you feeling as though you have little to give or look forward to this month.

Whatever the case may be it's important to be aware of how you are feeling and recognise that you're not alone. It's also worthwhile to actively think about how you can try to stay in good mental health rather than allowing yourself to sink into a pit of depression.

One of my favourite quotes of the moment is 'do something today that your future self with thank you for' and I am trying to practice this more often. If we want to feel better in ourselves then we do need to be proactive in helping the process on its way. It's also worth remembering Albert Einstein's idea that doing the same things every day but expecting different results is insanity. Ultimately we do have to try to be the change we want to see.

Here's a few ideas which can help to lift your mood and keep you in a more positive frame of mind this month. I know from my own experiences that even if I only do one of these things I will feel better for it and overall more happier. I'm not saying that they will cure your problems or completely change how you may be feeling (particularly if you suffer from long term emotional health problems) but consider it more like damage limitation. Practising some self care and making a decision to do something positive can only be a good thing right?

Spend time with friends

Try your hand at a new recipe

Play with your pets

Take a long bath and maybe light a few candles

If you have a colouring book spend a couple of hours on a page that you like

Get creative - write, draw, paint, knit, stitch, crochet, sew, make something, bake

Clean and tidy up - it may sound like a chore but afterwards you will feel better for it

Practice some meditation - find a podcast or an app which can teach you how 
(I can highly vouch for The Meditation Podcast and the Headspace app)

Exercise - gym, swim, yoga, bike riding, fitness DVD - whatever your preference go do it!

Turn off your mobile phone and read a book

Create your own self care spider diagram and include everything that you love to do and things that make you happy 

Go for a long walk either on your own, with your dogs or someone you love

Keep a journal and write down some positives from each and every day

Snuggle up with a blanket and watch one of your favourite films

Make a start on those 2016 goals or resolutions

Put the new diary to some good use and make some plans to look forward to

Surprise a friend with some happy mail, just because you want to

Write down your worries and see if it helps to come up with solutions

Make yourself a smoothie and load it with your favourite fruit and veg

Enjoy a pamper session - face mask, hair treatment, painting your nails

Go for a massage

Go shopping and treat yourself (one of my personal faves!)

Research and plan your next holiday (another fave!)

Many of these things come from my own self care list which I often refer to if I'm feeling low and lacking in inspiration. I try to do at least one of these things every day but when I have a spare day I may dedicate a whole day to things that I know will help to relax me and improve my wellbeing. It's so important to remember to take care of yourself and find the time to do the things that you enjoy. Even if it means letting down others!

What's on your self care list? 

1 comment

  1. The post-Christmas blues hit me really hard this time and I'm only just starting to feel normal again. This awful weather and the prolonged dark days doesn't help. Some great tips here! I've rekindled my love of reading recently and find a good book the best method of escapism. I also love to get outdoors, weather permitting! xxx - natural beauty, affordable fashion, everyday life


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