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As the festive season settles down and the hustle and bustle comes to an end, many people find themselves feeling low in January. The ‘January blues’ are incredibly common; each year, millions of people find themselves experiencing low moods, anxiety and lack of motivation as we head into the first month of a new year. It may be from the disappointment that Christmas is over, it may be down to the feeling that there is nothing to look forward to, or it may simply be due to the lack of sunlight we get in each day.
Either way, it’s completely normal and fortunately there are a few things you can do to ease these feelings. As we approach Blue Monday (the day that has been coined the most unhappy day of the year – this year it’s the 17th), we’ve put together a few top tips to help if you’re feeling down this January.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the January blues are normal. In fact, there are biological reasons why many people lack energy and experience lower moods during the darker months of the year – so don’t be hard on yourself for feeling unmotivated. The truth is, more people than you think will be experiencing similar feelings to yourself, so try to acknowledge and accept these feelings rather than push them away.
It can feel tempting to hide away from everything on your sofa, but it’s important to make sure you get some daylight where possible. Whether it’s a quick walk around the block on your lunch break or a coffee outside in the winter sun, make time for Vitamin D. Sunlight and Vitamin D have been proven to support and boost our overall wellbeing, so it’s crucial that we prioritise it where possible. It can also help to regulate your sleep cycle, which is important if low moods or anxiety are affecting your sleep.
New Year’s resolutions are great, but they shouldn’t be putting pressure on you or making you feel miserable. Each year, millions of people around the globe set resolutions for themselves for the year ahead – and when these aren’t fulfilled, they are left feeling low and unmotivated.
Make sure you set realistic resolutions for yourself this year (if you choose to set any at all). Try to keep everything in perspective – many resolutions take months and months to achieve, so don’t feel down if you haven’t made a dent in them by the middle of January.
Let’s be honest, we all like to over-indulge at Christmas. On top of that, it’s normal for us to crave more fatty foods during the colder months of the year – so it’s only natural to feel like stocking up on chocolate! However, eating poorly can hugely affect your mood, which is why it’s important to make sure you eat a good, varied diet with plenty of fruit and veg, vitamins and healthy fats. A healthy diet should combat cravings, boost your mood and give you more energy during the cold and dark months.
If you feel like hiding under your duvet for the duration of January, you’re not alone – but doing so won’t make you feel better. The chances are, you likely have friends and family members who are experiencing similar feelings – so why not reach out to them? Whether it’s a phone call with an old friend you haven’t caught up with in a while or a quick coffee with a family member you’ve been meaning to see, simply talking and socialising can help boost your mood and remind you of the small pleasures in life.
Remember, you don’t have to go through anything alone. This time of year is always a strange one for many people, and it’s important to remember that spring is just around the corner – the days are already getting lighter!