After the hype of all the holidays and beginning a new year, we all get a little miserable and fall into some sorta funk, the so-called January Blues. January Blues can be seen as a form of depression brought upon by a combination of factors. Most common factors include the end of the holiday season, the stress of having to come up with new resolutions, the cold weather and flu season and all the uncertainty surrounding the new year. And the worst of it all: the impending doom of returning to work and/or school.
January blues affect different people in different ways. Some start to develop feelings of mild depression, lack of motivation, feeling overall sluggish with low energy, changes in appetite, wanting to be alone and being more irritable/angry. January blues are situational-induced depression unlike other forms and can directly inhibit the way we think and feel. It is said that January is known to the saddest and gloomiest month of the year. And this is no way to start off the new year, so these are my tips to help you kick those January Blues to the curb!
I know this sounds extremely simple and lame, right? Of all the symptoms I’ve outlined above, this suggestions is literally the complete opposite of what you want to do. But, it’s precisely this reason that you should head outside. Getting fresh air is crucial to our mood as various studies show! Being inside all the time can deteriorate our immune systems so head on outside…especially if you’ve already caught the flu! Obtaining fresh air has been linked to a better digestive system, better blood pressure and heart rate and more energy which means a better mood overall for you!
Find a New Hobby
At this rate, you are probably wanting to question my tips because yet again this one contradicts the sluggish mood you’re in. But hear me out once again…if you find a new hobby, your brain is going to be more engaged. This will lead you to want to get up and about to continue on with your hobby. Maybe it’s learning to cook, sew, pottery, calligraphy, reading, painting, little DIYs, learning a new language and so much more. The list is endless, but make sure to tap into your creative bubble for this! Learning something new helps challenge your brain against the familiarity of your every day life and helps you get out of your comfort zone.
Stop Those Unrealistic Resolutions
To everyone, new year = new resolutions. And even though in the past we keep telling ourselves to stop making unrealistic goals/resolutions, year after year, we continue to make those. Of course, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t to set high goals that you will reach after hard work. I mean unrealistic in the sense that these goals just aren’t possible, whether it be the timeline or the trajectory. For instance, if someone wants to set their New Year’s Resolution to be losing 50 pounds in one month….it’s highly unlikely and it will just bring them down. If you see yourself not making any progress towards your resolution/goal even after working hard then take a moment to reformulate those goals!
Plan a Trip
Taking a trip out of your town can instantly boost your mood no matter the time of the year. What is one place you really want to go to? Set a date and start planning then. You can start thinking about how to save for it, shop for the right clothes to bring or plan something each day on what you are going to do for the trip.
Or you can plan a small weekend trip. Take a road trip and to go the next state over and see a new place! It’s all about getting outside of that comfort bubble we all create around ourselves!
Other than setting some sort of fitness goal, exercising for the sake of getting your body moving is one of the best ways to get out of the January blues. Other than the physical attributions that exercise can impact, exercise can also impact our energy levels, skin issues, our sleep patterns, regulates blood pressure and best of all, it releases endorphins! This means it directly impacts our moods! Endorphins are chemicals released in our brain that interact with certain receptors to block out pain and trigger a more positive feeling in the body. A natural way to get as happy as we can be? Yes, please!
Do a Lil’ Life Reflection
This is also the perfect time to do a lil’ self-reflection on your state. Think about the different areas in your life: finances, career, relationships, mental health and more. Are you happy with these areas and are they contributing to your January blues? If yes, find ways that you can improve. For instance, for finances, find ways to budget and save. If it’s your career, start looking for a new job if your current one isn’t the driving force that keeps you going every day. For relationships, reach out to the people in your life and have a real conversation on how you feel and encourage them to do the same; be there for each other. I know it’s easier said than done, but do more of what makes you happy and fix the issues that aren’t because it will manifest into something bigger if you leave it. Evaluating our life can prove to be beneficial in itself to understand what we need to do going forward to live the life we want to live.
I hope these tips gave you some ideas on how to beat your January blues. This time of the year is especially hard for those who are constantly battling depression or other mood disorders, so it’s also crucial that you take the time to reach out to those around you. Reach out to a friend or family member for a day out or do some of these things together. Remember, we are all in this together!
A million and one thanks for reading — until my next lil’ thought then!