It’s so easy to feel down this time of year and I must admit that in the last week or so I’ve been feeling rather ‘meh’ myself. To help you out, I thought I’d share these great ‘go to’ tips on how to beat the January blues every time.
Find Something Fabulous to Focus On
The end of the festive season often leaves us feeling empty so it’s nice to have something to look forward to doing when it’s 11am on Monday and you’re wondering why you got out of bed. Having something exciting to focus on is a really productive way of channeling all that negative energy. It might be something you’re saving up for, a promotion at work that you’re working towards or simply a hobby you’re enjoying expanding on such as a new Netflix series. If it’s something that you can enjoy now then great! Do just that as often as you can and if it’s something that’s coming in the future, set a countdown and even make it your phone wallpaper or pin it to a vision board so that you always remember it’s coming!
Think of 3 Things That You’re Grateful For Right Now
I’m a terrible one for forever focusing solely on the future but it’s really important to also embrace the good things that you have surrounding you right now. We all go through tough times but the sad truth is that it could always be so much worse and if you’re reading this post right now, I can guarantee you that you have something in your life to be grateful for. Whether it’s a special relationship, something nice you got for Christmas or just having a roof over your head and your eyesight. Try to remember that there’s always something to smile about.
Remember, A New Year Doesn’t Have To Mean A ‘New Start’
Sometimes the pressure of January and all of the ‘New year, New start’ mantras being banded around can actually make us want to run to bed and hide under the the duvet until December… Perhaps, like me, you’re at a stage where it’s time to make a big change in your life but you’re scared to take the first step. The truth is that it’s perfectly normal to feel frozen with fear at the idea of progression. As humans we’re hardwired to find comfort and stick with it but just remember that, ‘you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step’.
Maybe you’re not ready to change anything at all and you’re quite comfortable with where you are. That’s equally fine. Not everyone has to overhaul their entire life every January – that’s madness! In fact, if you’re genuinely happy with where you are in life then GO YOU! Don’t feel compelled to make a big move just because everyone else is. You’re already acing this.
Socialise More (Even If It’s Virtually)
I find that socialising with the people I love the most when I’m down really helps me to feel less lost. Even if I can’t arrange a face-to-face girls’ night, a WhatsApp group chat or a quick phone call to my favourite auntie just to say ‘hi’ often helps me to feel less lonely.
Embrace the Atmosphere
On dull, grey days it’s so easy to feel down so I like to combat that by embracing the atmosphere and using it to my advantage. Now is the time to do all of the things that are best enjoyed in the winter. Hot chocolates in the evenings and duvet days at the weekends. Staying in with a good book or having the girls round for wine instead of going out. I also create a really cosy atmosphere at home with fairy lights, scented candles and music to lift my mood. When it’s wet and windy outside that’s the best time to create a haven in your own home.
When you’ve made it that cosy indoors, forcing yourself to leave when you have to can be tough. I work from home so I could go days without stepping outside my door meaning that when I do finally have a meeting I’m filled with dread. Instead, I try to break that negative mental cycle but taking a short walk every day, even when I don’t have anywhere to be, just so I that I don’t ever build up anxiety about going outside.
I wrap up super warm – basically constructing the closest thing to a duvet that I can out of scarves and layers – then I make myself take a ten minute walk somewhere scenic to get some endorphin-inducing vitamin D to boost my mood. Even on a cold day, I find the cool air wakes me out of my stupor and makes me really grateful that I have a warm home to get back to when sadly others aren’t so lucky.
A daily walks also helps me to shake off any cabin fever. Often being inside in my bubble I can get lost in my thoughts. Just stepping outside and seeing other people reminds me that the world is a lot bigger than what I’m dealing with on that day. It gives me a calming, ‘this too shall pass’ feeling and reminds me that the world is full of opportunities and possibilities and I’m never ‘stuck’. If something isn’t making me happy I can just change it.
If you find that your ‘blues’ persist and you still just can’t shake them (I’ve been there) it may be worth seeking further help. Confide in someone you trust and/or have a chat with your GP. Here in the UK, the NHS has a great free therapy referral system that I know has worked well for so many people.
I want to share more ‘feel good’ post this year so if there are any problems that you struggle with or any topics that you’d like to be talked about more, leave a comment and I’ll get right on it!
Did you like this post on ‘How to Beat the January Blues’? Here’s a similar one that you’ll also find useful!