January, statistically, is known as the most depressing month of the year, with Blue Monday stuck right bang in the middle.
January for most people can feel miserable, empty and cold after all the warmth and merrymaking that is Christmas. January
, statistically, is known as the most depressing month of the year, with Blue Monday
stuck bang in the middle.
is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the entire year.
Understandably, moods can dip following the excesses of the festive season, but they can be lifted again with a little know-how.
Here are our top tips to beat the January blues:
Exercise versus a box set on Netflix, I know which option may be more tempting. However, exercising instantly boosts your mood. Either a workout at a gym or a quick 15 minute walk or home workout can make ALL the difference.
Not only are we out of our normal routine in January, but our sleep pattern is also out of sync. Sleep is vital, it is vital for our overall health but also for our mood. A lack of sleep can impact on anxiety and depression symptoms. It just takes one early night to start the shift back to good sleep patterns. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep per night.
Mindfulness does not need to be complicated or long. It can be done when you are walking, washing the dishes or even in the shower. It is about being fully present in the here and now. Focusing only on what you are doing and your breathing.
S.T.O.P is a simple yet effective exercise you can do almost anywhere:
- Take a breathe
- Observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Over-indulging during Christmas can leave many of us feeling bloated, lethargic and low. What we eat plays such an important role in how we feel. Recent studies show a direct link between gut health and mental health. With studies showing 90% of our serotonin (our feel-good hormone) being produced in our gut. Again, all it takes is one day of prep to get you back on track. Take it one day at a time.
If the January blues and the lack of sun are starting to get you down, try focusing and planning on where you would like to visit once the milder, brighter days arrive. You do not have to travel far. Things to look forward too are key! So, get planning!
Know your triggers
Don't beat yourself up if you break your New Year's resolution. Instead, learn to understand your triggers. Cultivate the growth mindset which will allow you room to try new, uncomfortable and difficult challenges. Encourage failure and mindfully understand what triggered you going back to the old behaviour of reaching for that sweet, or chocolate or whatever.
Were you tired, hungry, stressed? How can you react differently next time? Use a journal and write your triggers down. Knowledge is power and noting and trying to understand your triggers is key in preventing the same trigger/behaviour loop happening over and over.
Connect with others
It's very easy to isolate yourself when you have the blues, which is why it's more important than ever to stay in regular contact with your friends and family. If you're struggling with your mental wellbeing, January can feel never-ending. If this is the case, please do ask for help. Talking to a counsellor can really help if you're feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. You're never alone.
Laura Doyle, mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.