January is not always the perfect, resolution setting, goal kicking, motivation flowing month that's projected on us by the media.
The truth is that the pressure for perfection is never higher than in January and this can lead to self-sabotaging thoughts and a general feeling of dissatisfaction.
If we look closer it's clear to see why January can bring on the blues:
- The fun and excitement of the holidays are over
- There's a lack of routine
- We may have over-eaten and under-slept
- Images of perfect bodies and lifestyles flood social media
- It's time to go back to work / the monotony of life
- The realisation that we didn't maintain last years resolutions (no I don't exercise daily and eat only green smoothies....)
- We're studying our imperfections and thinking about all the stuff we'd like to improve about ourselves
I'm calling out January to be the most depressing month of the year, so here's 8 tips to beat the January Blues:
1. Appreciate Today
An ace way of reducing the pressure of the new year and improving emotional wellbeing is to practice being present.
January is a time when everyone is planning for the whole year - we can combat this overwhelm by thinking about today only.
Next time life seems too much try spending a minute concentrating on exactly what you're doing in this moment. If you're eating - use all your senses to experience the food. If you're walking - notice how your body feels and really take in your environment.
2. Start a New Hobby
Reduce the pressure for perfection by trying something new just for YOU.
I’ve created a board on Pinterest for inspiration of hobbies and projects to keep your mind entertained when life seems a bit blasé.
Check it out HERE.
3. Get moving
We all know the benefits of exercise (for our body and mind) and it's probably one of the most popular New Year's resolutions but how many people really keep it up?
If you struggle to keep up a fitness routine then aim for 10 minutes a day - because a 10 minute walk is better than no walk. Plus, that 10 minutes might turn into 20 or even 30 without any pressure.
4. Make a Photo Album
Christmas and New Year might seem like distant memories but I bet you've got some great photos to look back on.
Instead of keeping them on your phone or digital camera, print some out and make a photo album of good times.
Nothing beats having a physical copy of your photos.
5. Have a Laugh
When there's no one around to make you laugh - you need to find your own laughs.
Luckily these days we have access to unlimited laughs on the internet. Here's a couple of my favourites on YouTube:
Create a playlist for yourself and watch it back when you need a smile.
6. Meet Friends
Make a date with friends - it could be today, tomorrow or next week. Setting some time aside to catch up with like-minded people can really help beat the blues.
It's something to look forward to and gives some structure when we're stuck in the monotony of life.
7. Plan a Holiday
Where would your dreams take you right now? If you could go any where in the world, where would it be?
Make a plan for your next break away - it could be a night in a hotel or a weekend camping trip.
It could be a realistic holiday or just a fantasy - either way it can be great to have a goal to aim for.
8. Ask for Help & Support
If you're still feeling down after a few weeks it's worth asking family, friends or a health worker for support.
It's not brave to battle alone - we all need support and are stronger together.