The January Blues
After the excesses of the festive period, January tends to be a time when everyone is exhausted both physically and emotionally, whether it's from binge eating, drinking or having shopped till you've dropped in the sales. The gloomy weather can dampen our spirits too. The New Year signals a time for new hope and new beginnings and yet it can also be a worrying and stressful time, especially if relationships and finances have been feeling the strain.
Here are 7 tips to help you beat the January blues:
- Acknowledge that you are feeling blue. Once you accept that you are in the grip of the January blues it will lessen its hold on you.
- Reach Out. The greatest step you can make is to reach out and socialise, whether it’s talking to a friend or family member either on the phone or arranging to meet up for coffee. Remember that we tend to isolate when we are depressed and so engaging with others, even if we don’t feel like it, stops our minds ruminating so much. If you have no-one to turn to and your feelings are over-whelming you might consider getting some professional help, whether it’s from your GP or a registered counsellor. Many GP practices have their own in-house counsellors who can offer you anything from 6 – 12 sessions for free. Unfortunately, there is often a long waiting list. Counselling need not be as expensive as you think. Some private counsellors have a few spaces they can offer to clients at a concessionary rate, according to your income. Finding the right therapist could kick start your year in a positive way and turn out to be a wise investment.
- If you have some spare time, consider doing some voluntary work. There are many local charities who are looking for people to help out in lots of ways. Having a sense of doing good for others in your local community will help you to feel worthwhile and good about yourself.
- Wrap up warm and go for a brisk walk. Re-acquaint yourself with nature and take a stroll through your local park.
- If you don't already, do some form of exercise. Your mood will lift in no time at all. Choose a class or activity that allows you to work at your own pace. Make a commitment to attend at least 6 sessions. The more often you go, the easier it gets.
- Eat healthily. Make sure your diet is varied and consists of mainly fresh ingredients and not processed foods. Don’t forget your 5 per day portions of fruit and vegetables. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and pilchards are particularly known to be beneficial to people suffering from mild depression. A daily dose of Vitamin D will help too.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and find at least one thing every day to feel grateful for in your life, no matter how small it may be. Write it down on a post it note and stick it in a jar. At the end of the year tip the jar out and start reading. By the time you reach the last I guarantee you'll be glowing with happiness.
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