January is here, a new year and as the festivities fade into memories. We can be left with the January hangover. The weather is glum, clothes don’t feel as comfortable as they did before Christmas, the bank balance can be severely depleted and generally it can feel with the shorter days and the cold, rainy weather, we are stuck in January glumness. No wonder the most depressing day of the year (Blue Monday) falls in January.
It can be one of the hardest months to get through in the year and with summer’s warm nights and lighter days a way off, the dark days can really impact how we feel.
If you’re feeling the January blues, here are some ways to lift you above the cloud.
Focus on what’s going well - creating a gratitude diary or focusing on the good that happens in each day, helps change our thoughts from focusing on negative to more positive. If you feel there isn’t much to be positive about, start small. Perhaps you got a good night’s sleep, or got a seat on the train into work. Whatever there is to be grateful for, start focusing on it and appreciating it. Hard as it can be, it can start us back on an upward spiral again.
Find the benefits - it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s January. Yes, it is glum, but what can this month and start of the year give you? The Danish created hygge for this time of year. Snuggling up and hibernating, reflecting and regrouping all give us a chance to regenerate for the rest of the year. How can you make the most of this time of year? Perhaps it’s watching your favourite boxset or reading your favourite books, perhaps it gives you a chance for that well needed recharge or quiet time after the year before.
Use scent and colour - it’s grey everywhere we look. Bringing colour into your clothes, your home or work place can help bring brightness and colour to your day. Scent and wearing a perfume that lifts you can also impact how you feel. What’s your favourite colour? Perhaps today start wearing it and wearing a scent that lifts you through the month.
Bring in moments to savour - enjoying life and the present moment is something we often forget to do in the rush to get to the next step in life. Creating moments to savour can really lift our mood and bring about a feeling of wellbeing. They don’t need to be big things - enjoying a candle lit bubble bath or yummy home cooked meal and savouring each moment can really help us feel more uplifted.
Recharge - how do you recharge? We often don’t think of what we need to do to recharge. We know we’re running on empty and we are catching every bug going, but reflecting on how you recharge helps bring awareness of what is missing and what you need. Perhaps it’s regular time on your own, or time with a certain group of friends who lift you up. Perhaps it’s nourishing food, or exercise or meditation. Whatever ways you’ve identified that help you recharge, start bringing them through today.
Be kind to you - Often we identify we don’t feel great, but we plough on through the feelings. Our inner chatterbox can judge us and make us feel bad for having these feelings, but feelings are information – we have a choice what we do with that information. What can you do today to be kind to you?
January is a glum month there is no escaping the darkness but bringing moments of enjoyment and nourishment through into your January can help give you the foundations to flourish in the year ahead.