If you want to kick those January blues to the curb, we've got some tips for you.
January is the worst month of the year. I'm sorry all you Capricorns and the few of you Aquarius that are born in January. It is just a fact. It can be really hard to adapt to a new year, achieve all your resolutions, and keep a smile on your face. We can all use a little help every once in a while.
1. Meet with people in whatever way you're comfortable with
It's so important to stay connected with friends and family in whatever way possible. Currently with the rise in coronavirus cases, you may not feel comfortable meeting with people indoors, or you may wish to take precautions if you do. Take whatever precautions are necessary to make you feel comfortable, and keep in touch with loved ones like that. If you can only handle zoom, then set up a link. If you want to go for walks, organise that. If you're a talker but don't want to meet inside, get on the phone. Just keep in touch.
2. Do things you like to do
This sounds basic, but it can be easy to just sit in a pity hole and refuse to cheer yourself up. If you're finding it difficult to do things you want, write down things you like to do, and simply do them. There's never much going on in January, so it's the perfect time to focus on doing things that you love.
3. Pick up a new, or old, hobby
January can feel like an eternity, and there's often very little going on. If you're a resolutions kind of person, you are probably aiming to start some new hobbies already, so do your best to focus on these. Avoid setting numerical goals, and just enjoy whatever it is you're starting. If there used to be a hobby you loved, why not use this time to see if you still love it? As adults we make way less time for ourselves; make that time back!
4. Avoid doom and gloom news
If you're someone who tends to fixate on bad news (hello, it's me) then consider removing some of the news apps from your phone. While it's important to know what's going on in the world, there is such a thing as overdoing it. Focus instead on accounts or websites that also spread good news, because as hard as things are currently, there is always some good news out there too.
5. Get out in nature
Okay, you've heard this one so many times. You're probably sick of it. But getting outside, if only for 30 minutes a day, can have such a positive impact on your mental health. There's something about fresh air that clears our minds, and can make difficult days or feelings not feel as heavy.
6. Make plans
This is a tough one, and this time last year I found it very difficult to make plans. After so many cancellations and postponements, I thought it was better to simply not make any, so I couldn't be disappointed if they didn't happen. But just because you can't do everything you want, whether that be due to government restrictions, or any number of other things, there are always activities you can do. Plan a future holiday, even if you don't officially book anything in. Organise outdoor day dates with friends and family. Look forward to the future. The good times are coming, and you want to be ready for them when they get here.
7. Declutter your space
What is it about ridding ourselves of clutter that makes us feel so good! It can actually become a little addictive. Don't go overboard and completely strip out your wardrobe or book shelf or bathroom - just get rid of what you don't need. Hell, do whatever is likely to work best for you. I'm a big fan of the Marie Kondo mantra "if it doesn't spark joy get rid of it" although some things are necessities, so don't be throwing out your toothbrush or hoover just because it doesn't "spark joy". Just declutter the non essentials, and you will feel so much better.
8. Don't compare, and don't put pressure on yourself
Comparison is the thief of joy. It's one of those sayings that is completely accurate. Please don't get sucked into the New Year, New Me hysteria that fills up Twitter and Instagram feeds as soon as January hits. I am all for New Year's Resolutions, but please take your time when it comes to achieving them. If you see someone take up running and somehow already be able to hit 5km within 20 minutes, please try to remember that everyone is different. Don't let someone else's goals and choices influence your own. This tip is incredibly hard to put into practice, but the only person you need to be competing with is yourself.
We hope these tips help. And if what you're feeling is not just the January blues, if you're really struggling to get by, then we have a list of helplines HERE that can be of assistance too.
Header image via Shutterstock