Now the festive season is over, the dreaded January Blues have arrived with short days and cold temperatures. Typically, January Blues manifests itself as feelings of low mood, sadness, lack of motivation, tiredness and low energy. It is also the peak season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can induce serious depressive episodes during the darker months.
We’ve listed our top tips so that you can give yourself the best start to 2022.
1. Avoid unrealistic New Year’s resolutions
Generally, we tend to make unrealistic and vague resolutions and then feel worse when we can’t fulfil them such as ‘be more organised’ or ‘save money'. Avoid disappointment and make sure your resolutions are actually ones that you can actually measure and achieve.
2. Get as much daylight as possible
It’s often dark when we wake up and on our way home from work so it’s no surprise that we often become depressed in darker months due to our limited sunlight exposure. Sunlight can increase the level of serotonin to the brain and regulate our sleep cycles. Take every chance to be outside during daylight whether it’s popping out for a five-minute break or going for a walk at lunch.
3. Plan a wellness holiday
Studies show that the process of planning a holiday can increase endorphins and improve your mental wellbeing. The benefits of a well-needed trip away don’t just come into effect once the holiday has begun, but can be seen as soon as you start researching accommodation, scrolling through Instagram hashtags or booking your annual leave from work. A wellness holiday is a perfect way to invest in your wellbeing and ensure that you return home feeling healthier and happier.
Going outside may be the last thing you want to do but making the effort to exercise can make you feel much better! Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, help improve self-esteem level and relieve depressive tendencies as exercise releases endorphins which gives your body a positive feeling of happiness. The exercise can take any form, even if it is just gentle or moderate activities like jogging, yoga or even a brief lunchtime walk.
5. Eat properly
It’s normal for us to want more fatty foods and sugary treats during the cold months of winter. Apart from being very unhealthy, sugar crashes cause tiredness and make you crave food unnecessarily. A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you from putting on weight over winter. You can improve how you feel with a varied diet and balance your craving for carbohydrates with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.