10 Ways to Overcome the January Blues
10 Ways to Overcome the January Blues
Lawyers have nick-named 8th January ‘Divorce Day’ as it’s usually the busiest day for being contacted by couples wanting to end their marriage. As the sparkle of Christmas and New Year start to fade, any strained relationships may have deteriorated further in the boiling pot of the festive season, when tensions in the family can become magnified under the pressure of trying to create and enjoy a perfect time. Cracks can appear in family relationships as partners and siblings are cooped up together for a longer than normal time.
And it’s not long until Blue Monday, the third one in January, this year falling on 20th. This is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year when reality hits, most people are back at work, and many complain about their job/boss/partner/weight gain/overdraught/ill-health, or just the weather. Christmas starts to seem a long time ago and the next one a long time ahead, as does Summer.
In addition, one in three people in the UK suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD syndrome, which is a form of depression brought on by the onset of the dark nights and cold weather during the Winter months. Added to this there is a ‘Loneliness Epidemic’ and ‘Mental Health Crisis’ with the LSF reporting that 12.8 million days were lost in 2018-2019 due to work-related Stress, depression, or anxiety.
But enough of the gloom and doom! The first daffodils are almost out and Spring really isn’t that far off. So how can you banish the January blues? Usually by taking some basic, common sense action:
1. Decide what you want or need to change in 2020 and what you want to have achieved by next Christmas, so that you can start working on improvements, whether at work or at home.
2. Stamp out the Negative Voice or Inner Critic when it starts nagging you for putting on so much weight, or spending too much money over the past few weeks. You wouldn’t criticise someone else as much as you do yourself.
3. Unplug your phone, give social media a rest, wrap up warm, and get out in to nature, as fresh air and exercise are proven mood boosters.
4. If walking in the frost doesn’t work for you, then get swimming or working out in the gym. And if you don’t like the gym, download an exercise app, or work out at home to an exercise DVD. The key is to find something that works for you and that you can fit in to your schedule.
5. Stop stressing about the FOMO. Chances are that no one is as happy as they may appear in their exotic holiday photos. If you unplug from Facebook and concentrate on your own plans, rather than wishing you were someone else or somewhere else, you’re more likely to achieve your aims and be more satisfied and happier.
6. Arrange to spend more time with your real friends. It doesn’t matter how many ‘friends’ you have on social media, you can normally count the true ones you can trust on one hand, you know, the ones who will come round with chicken soup when you’ve got full-blown ‘flu! So contact them and arrange to do something fun and different. Even if their hobby isn’t your favourite one, just try it!
7. Find out how much leave you have, divide the year up in to chunks to use up your leave, allowing a couple of days for emergencies, then book a holiday/staycation/mini break every few months to avoid burnout.
8. Remember that nothing lasts forever, so no matter how bad things seem now, chances are they will improve. Talking to a trustworthy friend, and taking little steps to solve problems makes you feel like you are achieving something and you can start to become more positive.
9. If your bank balance looks unhealthy, work out a plan to get back on track, or contact a financial adviser to help out.
10. Focus on a new project, whether it’s moving house, changing job, learning a new language, or just taking up yoga again.
So, as the daffodil symbolizes hope, rebirth and new beginnings, do something positive to change your attitude. The more committed you are to make changes, the more you will accomplish, and by Spring you’ll be proud of what you’ve achieved.
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