Beating the January blues
If you’re feeling down, it’s hardly surprising – these are some of the longest, darkest, coldest, dampest days. Many of us experience a slump in January because it comes hot on the heels of so much celebrating and merry making over Christmas. And let’s not forget Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during winter’s shorter days.
Here’s some tips on how to boost your happiness in January…
Find things to celebrate
• Hold a party with friends and neighbours to celebrate January; people usually have left over bottles of wine and food they can bring, so it doesn’t have to be expensive.
• Celebrate the fact that as each day goes by, you’re a day nearer to the clocks going forward and summer arriving.
Enjoy unexpected moments
• Frosty mornings may be cold, but they also bring unexpected gifts like frozen cobwebs – stop and enjoy their unique intricacy.
• The robin redbreast stands out crisp and clear in the January snow, so encourage it into your space by leaving tasty food bits out.
• Winter sunrise and sunset can offer some of the most amazing scenes with beautiful red orange glows; notice when they begin and make time to go out and enjoy them.
Frame things positively
• The language we use often reflects the mood we are in; so notice when you start using negative words and change to more positive wording.
• Choose a day a week to have when you only have positive thoughts; about yourself, the people you meet and what you personally can achieve. You never know, you might get into the habit and do it more than once a week!
• Make a list of all the things you are good at and look for ways to use these skills or attributes to help others.
Be more sociable
We are highly sociable creatures, but we often tend to close the door and nestle down in winter. Find ways to break that habit in January:
• Invite friends round for dinner mid-week (maybe followed by games).
• Plan a long walk for the weekend and invite company to join you.
• Call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while, or pay a visit to an elderly neighbour who’ll enjoy the company
Make this YOUR year
• Spend an evening planning what you want to achieve during the year, putting in place a plan on how you are going to achieve it and by when.
• Write yourself a sentence to say, in no more than twenty words, what you are going to achieve and why you deserve it.
• Choose someone to share you vision and plan with and ask them to monitor you. Allow them to challenge you if you slacken in your commitment.
• Dedicate one night a week to sit down and assess how you are doing with your plan and making adjustments to ensure you get there.