January can be a difficult time. Once the festive season is over, there are still two solid months left of dark, cold days to endure. For many of us, January is also a time where we feel our worst, and are left struggling to pay off Christmas debt, but it doesn’t have to be like this.
Here are some tips to help you overcome the January blues and start 2020 off on a positive note.
Set achievable New Year Resolutions
Think realistically when looking at your goals for the New Year. How much weight do you think you can really lose? Can you commit to the gym and exercising when you have a stressful job and a family?
If you set high expectations like losing a stone in a month, you may be more likely to fail and give up when you don’t reach your target. Instead, set smaller, bite-sized and achievable goals to help you feel great when you achieve them.
Being outdoors is so great for your mental health and well-being, so try and get some fresh air as much as possible in January. Aim to walk to work or park further away from your office and walk the rest of the way.
You could also attempt to leave your home or desk every day, taking a walk on lunch, or looking at long walks on nature trails if possible during the weekend.
Eat a healthy diet
Christmas is a time when lots of us are likely to splurge and eat not-so-healthy food, which can make us feel down and bloated. This January, fill your diet with brain-boosting food such as nuts, fruit and veg, dairy, fish, pulses and grains to help improve your mood.
Try a digital detox
These days, a lot of us spend a lot of time on our phones, on social media, watching tv, sitting on our laptops, especially around Christmas. January is the perfect time to cut down on tech time and spend more quality time doing more non-digital activities with our loved ones. Find out more about how to start a digital detox.
Start a diary
Writing down how you feel can be very therapeutic and it can really show you patterns in your mood and how to identify your triggers when you start to feel low.
This means you can recognise when you start to feel low and do something positive to help you feel better. It can also change your mindset and outlook if you jot down a few things you’re grateful for or nice things that happened/you did for someone at the end of each day.
Do a good deed
Christmas is a common time for people to volunteer and help people in their community, but January can actually be a worse time for people who are struggling. Perhaps you could offer to visit someone who is feeling lonely or invite them round to dinner?
Or maybe you could volunteer at your local food bank or at church events? Doing a good deed from someone can really help you feel better during January, and keep that Christmas spirit alive a little longer!
Try something new
Have you been thinking about joining a new exercise class or a book club? Perhaps you’ve been considering going back into education or starting a blog? January is the perfect time to try a new hobby, as it keeps you occupied and can take your mind off feeling blue.
Understand your feelings are normal
Everyone feels down in January and it’s important to know that you are not alone. Try speaking to a friend or loved one and see how you can support each other throughout the month.
Speak to your doctor
If your feelings aren’t changing and last longer than January, you might be feeling depressed or anxious. If this is the case, it’s best to speak to your GP, who can help support you and look into options to work towards changing your mindset.
We also have a free online well-being support programme, which is packed full of tips to help offer guidance and support on a range of health topics, including mental well-being.