It’s cold out, the days are short, and school is back in session. Typically, people tend to be a little down after the holiday season, and January can be a hard month for many people. Dark mornings and unrealistic resolutions can also contribute to a feeling of being down or anxious.
The point is, it’s okay not to be okay – the “January Blues” can hit anyone.
So how do we roll out of bed every morning, pretend like everything is okay, and go to school or work with a smile on our faces? The answer is: we don’t. Pretending to feel “normal” isn’t going to help, but here are some things that will help all of us accept the fact that it’s the start of another year, and maybe even start to feel optimistic about what’s ahead.
Going outside is one of the proven best methods to beat the blues. With Alberta temperatures being so unpredictable, this activity can be tough, but even ten minutes a day of sunlight can boost our Vitamin D levels and help us get a better sleep. Even if the weather feels dreary, the fresh air and physical activity is a huge plus.
And speaking of physical activity, get some! Moving your body in ways you enjoy helps boost dopamine and serotonin, the chemicals that are instrumental in making you feel happier. If you’re someone who loves the gym, get there. If you love walking, get those runners on. Crank up the tunes and dance. The point is, any type of movement or exercise is great to improve mood – just make sure it’s something you enjoy.
Fuelling your body with food that provides nourishment for the body and the mind is essential to feeling better. If you ate a little differently during the holidays, that’s completely normal. The resulting crash from eating too much of those foods can actually make us feel worse. Switching it up to add more fruits, vegetables, protein, and fibre can make a huge difference in how we perceive things, and how our body and mind feel. Eating regularly also helps to lift our moods.
Have we said it enough: sleep is important! Getting back to a regular schedule and unplugging for the evening is essential to your wellbeing. Since it’s the start of a new year, why not add something to your bedtime routine: meditation, baths, stretching, reading, or even a cup of decaf tea. Something that makes you feel relaxed and calm is best.
Doing something fun wither by yourself, or with friends, is a great way to beat those blues. Everyone has a different idea of fun. Maybe yours is going to movie, or playing video games online with friends. Or maybe you found a new hobby that you’ve been wanting to try. It doesn’t need to cost money, it just needs to make you feel good.
If how you’re feeling doesn’t lift with the change in months, or activities, or if you’re having trouble coping, please reach out for help.