January’s not exactly a great month. You’re broke from Christmas, it’s freezing cold and dark all the time – not to mention that summer still feels like a long time away.
And those New Year’s resolutions you made? Sure, you meant well… but you broke them five days after making them, and you just don’t have the motivation to try again.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps this January, then you’re not alone. The official most depressing day of the year is the 15th January, dubbed Blue Monday.
However, you don’t need to feel this way. Here are five things you can do to beat the dreaded January blues, and have a happy and productive month.
If you’re stressed or sad, it can be so easy to reach for a bar of chocolate or a slice of cake. Whilst you’ll get a quick boost, your energy levels will soon come crashing back down.
One of the best ways to beat those January blues is by having a healthy diet. If you need a boost of energy, snack on food that’s high in tryptophan, such as turkey, eggs and cheese.
You should also ensure you eat plenty of fruit and veg. Whilst ten portions a day is the recommended amount, if you don’t eat much in the first place then this can seem rather daunting. Instead, set yourself a target of upping your intake of fruit and veg, increasing this gradually over the year.
Don’t forget that a healthy diet also means drinking lots of water. The NHS recommends you drink approximately 2 litres every day; and this will help you to feel less tired, and clear your complexion.
When you exercise, endorphins are triggered in the brain, making you feel happy. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day will help you to feel the benefits, as you tackle those dreaded January blues.
If you don’t enjoy exercise, then you simply haven’t tried hard enough! The gym isn’t the only option, and it turns out that lots of people are put off by it – Brits waste £558 million every year with unused gym memberships.
Why not try going for a run instead? Alternatively, join an exercise class, or work out in the comfort of your own home by trying out some of these YouTube channels that will help get you into shape. From HIIT to yoga and everything in between, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
Meet with Friends
Put down the phone. WhatsApping your friend does not equate to having a real-life conversation, and you’ll feel so much better if you physically meet up with them.
In fact, if you can reduce the amount of time you spend on social media, you’ll feel so much better. Research from the University of Pittsburgh found that frequent users of social media are three times more likely to be depressed than those who log on less often.
If your bank balance is still recovering from last month, then don’t make that your excuse for not meeting with friends. Go for a coffee, or invite them over to your place – it won’t cost you much at all.
Having a laugh with the people you love will help you to have a happy January – and a social media detox won’t harm you either!
Listen to Music
Research has shown that listening to music can really help to lift your mood. Stick to upbeat, happy songs to be on the safe side; as they will trigger dopamine in your brain, making you feel more positive.
A Finnish study showed that singing along can make you feel more satisfied, less stressed, and improve your immune system.
So, if you’re feeling down, why don’t you turn off the TV (and get off social media!), and listen to some of your favourite songs instead?
Plan for the Future
Let’s face it; we’ve all been counting down to Christmas since the leaves first fell off the trees; so, whilst the weather turned colder and the days shorter, we looked past that, as we had something to look forward to.
One of the reasons why many people get the January blues, is because it feels like there isn’t anything to look forward to.
Banish those blues, and start planning for the year ahead! What have you always wanted to do? Perhaps 2018 is the year of your American road-trip, or maybe you’ll finally get to skydive?
Having something to look forward to will lift your spirits, and get you through grey, dreary January. One idea we love is setting yourself the challenge of visiting somewhere new every month. It doesn’t have to be abroad – there could be a city in the UK you’ve just not gotten round to visiting; or perhaps its your hometown’s main tourist attraction that you’ve always overlooked? Get planning all of the fun things you’re going to do this year!
January doesn’t need to be the dull, depressing month it’s made out to be. These five tips will help you to banish those blues, and see you through to spring!