With all the excitement of Christmas and New Year over, it’s safe to say we’ve all hit a bit of slump. The expenses are racking up, we’ve adopted a few unhealthy eating habits, the back to work depression… it can all get a little much.
For many of us, it’s a long, gloomy month. Plus, throw in the cold weather and constant flurry of coughs and sneezes and you’ll soon be feeling the effects of January blues in all their glory.
But rather than counting down every minute, hour, day until February, is there anything we can do now?
Write Some Notes
This may seem cliché but it’s true it actually does work. Start off with an empty jar and a pad of paper. Set yourself a New Year’s challenge whereby at the end of each day, write down one good thing that happened that day; then simply tear it off, fold and place it in the jar. The key is to continue this for 365 days, at which point, next year you can spend a day opening the notes and reading them.
So, what’s the point? Well firstly, trying to find something good when you’re miserable is hard. But, with a little perseverance, finding and making note of a good thing may help to brighten and lift your mood. After a few weeks, it won’t be so hard to pick something good – no matter how small – and you’ll soon start noticing things throughout the day and think: “Oh, I can pop that in the jar later” proving your mind is being conditioned to think positively as opposed to negatively.
Secondly, the festive season can be lonely and depressing as well with many people experience bereavements or loneliness throughout the colder months. If at any point you do feel low next winter, simply pop open the lid and read all the things that made you smile through 2017 and it could help you to feel better through nostalgia.
Get a Hobby
New year, new me. That’s how the saying goes and although it may be terribly overused, a new year signals a time when you can start over, effectively. Been worrying about starting the gym? Now is the perfect time to start!
Most people join a gym in January so you’ll be in good company and it’s an ideal way to meet people, take classes, start to take care of your fitness and lift your mood.
Exercise releases endorphins which is known to make you cheerful and with nothing else to do on these cold wintery nights, the local leisure centre has plenty of different options available. Gym not your thing? How about swimming, an aerobics class, a spot of badminton or even just a relaxing 20 minutes in the sauna?
Make Achievable Resolutions
Let’s face it – if your resolutions include climbing Mount Everest, going to the moon, learning four languages and buying a sports car – then you may be slightly disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
Instead, aim for more achievable goals and set them out in a month-to-month list. Want a holiday? Great. Give yourself two months to save and then take yourself on a city break to your favourite European destination. Don’t forget to research cheap eats before you go as well as finding out any inexpensive places to go to save yourself even more money.
Want to learn a language? OK. Firstly, pick your language of choice and do some research around where to study and how much it will cost. Then, once you’re booked on the course, invest in a free app like Duolingo that can help you practice before you even start. Give yourself a reasonable target to master the basics and then set yourself another target to ensure your conversation is down to a tee.
Remember, January doesn’t last forever and it’s completely natural to feel a little down after a good few weeks of over indulgence. Remember to look to the future and take little steps in changing or achieving something you want – you’ll be as happy as Larry in no time!