I am currently sitting here on this damp and dreary January evening praying that we at least get just a little bit of snow tonight to put a smile on my 6 year old’s face when she wakes up in the morning. She’s convinced there will be a snow day tomorrow and even stated as we left for school this morning “Yay! Last day of the week…Snow day tomorrow!”. She is definitely going to be disappointed but a little bit of snow might help ease the pain! You see we live in this little Northamptonshire bubble…all around us people are getting a nice dumping of the white stuff but here, it’s just wet!
January is a funny month. Everyone making resolutions, staying off the drink, heading off to the gym and eating edamame bean and kale smoothies. January, for many, is like the Monday of the months. It’s a long way from the end and too far from the middle. It’s a real downer after the fun and excitement of December and just puts a lot of people in a right bad mood. I try to see the positives in January and do what I can to keep the mood up and make the ‘Monday month’ go by as smoothly as possible with a modicum of fun and happiness thrown in.
So here are my 10 tips for beating those January blues:
- Book a holiday – Having something to look forward to can make all the difference on those cold, dark Winter days. If your post-Christmas bank balance wont stretch to a holiday then maybe a weekend away or a day trip? Anything that you can put in the diary in a few months time that you can start a bit of a count down for – it will work wonders!
- Have a night out or a night in with friends – Get your mates round and have a night putting the world to rights. Ditch the healthy eating for a night and get some pizzas in and just relax and enjoy the company of friends.
- Have a pamper session – Book a treatment at a salon or treat yourself to a DIY home pampering session. Whichever it is make time for yourself – revive that tired, dry skin, put a treatment on your hair and paint your nails. You’ll feel as good as new!
- Decorate – OK it doesn’t have to be a full on house decorating session but why not pick a room and change it up a bit? Get some new bedding and some cushions for your bedroom or buy some new towels for the bathroom. The house can often feel drab and empty when all the Christmas decorations come down so a bit of freshening up can make it a much more comfortable place to live!
- Start a new exercise regime – I know, I know – it’s such a cliche…New Year New You! I have spent years convincing people to join the gym in January and deep down I know it’s a good thing to do. In reality, the gym isn’t for everyone but we know that exercise is good for us and is something we should be doing 4 or 5 times a week. If the gym doesn’t float your boat then how about a brisk walk with some friends a couple of times a week or a 20 minute work out before breakfast in your PJs? Anything is better than nothing and cannot fail to turn your frown upside down.
- Write your goals for the year – I don’t really do resolutions but goal setting is something I never fail to do at the beginning of each year. If I learnt one thing in all my years in management it was ‘Fail to plan – plan to fail’ and I have carried this with me in my personal life too. Plan your goals for the year and write them down and you’re much more likely to see them come to fruition. Read my post all about how to set goals that you will achieve here.
- Do something new – there’s nothing like the new year for starting a new hobby. Why not do something you’ve always wanted to try? Learn to tap dance or join a choir! Did you know that singing as part of a group has significant mental health benefits?
- Stop and smell the roses – We are often so busy working, running families, cleaning and doing all the other things we have to do to keep life ticking along that life can just pass us by. Have a cuppa and look out of the window, watch the children in their swimming class rather than answer those emails, flick through that magazine you’ve been meaning to read. In the wise words of Ferris Beuller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.
- Try to eat more healthily – Don’t go on a January diet, they really don’t work! It can be easy to get stuck in a rutt eating all those unhealthy treats left over from Christmas and they leave us feeling sluggish and miserable. Clear out your cupboards, donate anything you know isn’t going to help you with your new healthier lifestyle and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg. Pinterest is full of ideas for healthy dinners and breakfasts. Have a search through and make yourself some menus for the coming weeks. It won’t take long to put the colour back in your cheeks and the spring back in your step.
- Get more sunlight – The shorter days have a definite negative effect on our mental state. There is a direct link between Vitamin D and our mood, the more sunlight you get the more your Vitamin D levels are boosted which in turn lifts your mood. So get out, get some fresh air and feel great!
So there you have it, my 10 top tips for beating the January blues. Don’t feel down, Summer will be here before we know it and then we’ll have another whole world of things to worry about! At least it’s Winter here and we can cover up our post-Christmas wobbly bits with baggy jumpers and big warm jackets!
Candyfloss & Dreams