5 ways to beat the January Blues

Monday January 21st is known as Blue Monday – the saddest day of the year. The January Blues are real – they exist. You’ve spent a month eating, drinking, being merry, and now it’s back to reality. That can be tough for a lot of people, me included.

I look so forward to the festive time. I take time off, I get to see friends and family, and I have that real ‘oh it’s Christmas, why not!’ attitude to just about everything. Then January 2nd rolls around and suddenly the Christmas decorations are down, we’re back to work, there’s nothing to look forward to anymore and everything just suddenly seems a ‘meh’.

5 ways to beat the January Blues | lucy-cole

I know I’m likely to suffer from January Blues in one way or another, so I do my best to tackle them. Here’s how:

Get active

I know being active helps me mentally massively. Fresh air really does have so many benefits, and I think in the Winter it can be easy to avoid getting out because it’s cold and wet, but it’s important we do.

Whether it be walking the dog, a gentle stroll in the park, or a full-blown cardio session at the gym, get out there and get moving.

Write down goals and plans for 2019

January is a time for reflection and looking forward to the year ahead. It can be quiet for most people, so why not use that quiet time productively and look forward to the year ahead?

You could get yourself a fancy new notebook (new stationary makes everything better) and write down some goals for the year ahead. These don’t have to be massive, look at the smaller achievements you may want to make, like drinking so much water a day, getting out of your PJs 6 days a week. Little ways to improve you and your lifestyle are often how the big changes start.

If goals aren’t your thing, write down some plans you have, or want to make for 2019. Decide that in February you’ll go out for Valentines/Galentines, March you’ll book a night away somewhere and in June you’ll have a gathering with your friends. Knowing plans for the new year is going to hopefully get you excited and give you something to look forward to.

Avoid social media

Social media can bring a lot of negativity, so use it wisely. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to other’s lives – ones which probably aren’t 100% real or true, and are instead posed for the camera. Keep this in mind and take a step back from social media. Take January as a month to focus on yourself.

You don’t need to avoid social media completely, just take some steps away from it. For example, one of my goals for January is to read before bed every-night, rather than spend 20 minutes aimlessly scrolling.

Perhaps give yourself an hour, or half an hour a day to something, anything, other than sit on your phone or laptop.

Connect with others and see friends

I feel like December is such a busy month where you see just about anyone and everyone you know. Relatives are home for Christmas, friends have time off work and most social calendars are the busiest they’ve been. January doesn’t have to put an end to that.

I love nothing more than quality time spent with my friends and family. Regardless of how I feel before I socialise, I almost always feel better after it. So make plans! See friends, or connect with new people! Say hi to that person you’ve been admiring in the gym, compliment that persons jacket you love. Interacting even just the littlest bit, and making somebody else’s day could brighten up your own.

Identify what’s bothering you

If you’re feeling down, find out why. Some people’s January blues stem from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but others could be a cause of things going on in your personal life. Identify what is at the root of your blues, and then work your way to tackle them.

For example, if you’re not happy with your relationships – cut them off. Your career? Look into other opportunities. Figuring this stuff out is the starting point to making changes.

Of course, if you’re suffering with the January blues and are struggling to cope – speak to a professional. Get yourself down to the doctors surgery, or failing that just talk – there are plenty of resources on the Mind website here.

What are your top tips to beat the January Blues?

Lucy x

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