The arrival of January can be a little underwhelming after the frivolities of the festive period. It is the month famous for depleted bank accounts, cold and flu viruses and the post-Christmas guilt about our expanded waistlines. The third Monday in January has been officially dubbed the most depressing day of the year. But we don’t want to give into this month’s gloomy reputation. Instead, we’re looking for ways to make it better and brighter. Here are some top tips for combating the January blues.
As the NHS states ‘evidence shows there’s a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing’. Exercise can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost confidence and improve sleep. There are a number of reasons why exercise can improve both physical and mental health. Firstly, exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that reduce perception of pain and emit a positive feeling throughout the body. It also gives you the head-space to be mindful, giving your full attention to your breath and body rather than any negative thought patterns. So sign up for the gym, go to a yoga class or simply pop your trainers on and go for a jog – the options are endless!
Eating a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals is not just important for your waistline post-Christmas. A recent study found that ‘a poor diet (with high levels of saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and processed food products) is linked to poorer mental health’. So to ditch the January blues, why not incorporate more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats into your meals? There are loads of healthy eating plans out there, so think about which one will suit your body and lifestyle before you commit to one.
Reach Out to Friends
We all love spending loads of time with friends and family at Christmas time. So January can feel a little lonely for some, as they go back to their normal day to day routine. Make time to show your friends that you’re still there by organising a movie night or a winter walk. If they live far away, why not make a care pack for them? Pack lots of fun treats such as face masks, their favourite nibbles, a mini bottle of booze, or anything else you know they love! Box it up and get a delivery service such as DHL to deliver it to their door.
Plan a Holiday
What better way to kick those January blues to the curb than by booking a getaway? Distract yourself from the misery of busy work schedules and dieting by researching your next holiday. Even if your bank account is a little worse for wear this month, many companies allow you to pay deposits as little as £50 and set up monthly payments to cover the cost. You can already picture yourself lying on a sun lounger with a cocktail in hand, can’t you?