It’s January and the fun holiday festivities are over. Grey skies, biting cold, sluggishness and failed new year’s resolutions all want to make you hibernate until Spring. What you are feeling is normal and is a common occurrence called the January Blues. You could tough it out or worse, let it get you down. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can apply these simple tips to help combat the January slump and feel better.
1. Get Rest
I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but getting adequate rest so important. You might think you get enough rest, but too little or too much sleep can mess with your energy levels and your mood. It can also disrupt a good routine and affect productivity. For me, it can take only one night of bad sleep to throw me off the next day. A consistent sleep schedule can make a big difference.
Get on track with a good sleep schedule by committing to a time to go to bed and wake up every day. Start an evening wind down routine to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. For example, you can start by turning off screens by 8pm, read a book or do some light cleaning.
You choose whatever evening wind down activity relaxes you the most. Listen to your body. No one can function at their best when they’re not rested. A good sleep schedule that works for both you and your family will make a big difference.
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2. Bring on the Light
During the winter months it can be hard to get the amount of sunlight we need to keep the blues at bay. It’s typical to get less Vitamin D in the winter and it can affect mood and energy levels. That is the last thing you need right?
It seems too simple a solution, but it works. If you are unable to get outside (I get it, it’s darn cold!) get a light box for some light therapy. It’s a lamp that mimics daylight which can help boost your mood and energy.
If you can brave the outdoors, you’ll get more Vitamin D as well as getting the necessary exercise to improve your mood and keep you energized.
3. Think Positive and Schedule it!
It might not seem like there’s not much left to get excited about now that the holiday festivities have ended. Life is what you make of it and you can make it as exciting as you want. What is Positive Activities Scheduling? It is what it sounds like. You schedule events or activities you find enjoyable. It’s simple and it gives you something to look forward to.
Go ahead and fill your calendar with things to do that are enjoyable but be mindful of your time. It can be overwhelming if you schedule too much. Need some ideas? Example, scheduling a daily walk with a friend/family member or an online class that teaches you a new skill.
A fun activity I enjoy during the Winter is planning for the Spring and Summer. The winter can be a great time to plan. Would you agree that thinking that about how you’ll enjoy warm sunny days is a great way to add some positivity during a long cold winter?
If you haven’t started a positive activity schedule yet, now is no better time!
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4. Get Organizing
I make it a tradition to organize and declutter every January. It can take time so January can be a perfect to take on this task. If organizing or decluttering at home is on your mind, now is the time to tackle it. Start with a small project and complete it. It will build momentum and give you the motivation to continue other projects.
If you are a mom that can’t stand the thought of decluttering or organizing, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a big or complicated project. Start with the smallest task and go from there. Small wins make for big progress.
Want to get started? Read HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
5. It's Okay to Not be Okay
January can be a rough time for many, and it is especially true during a pandemic. Many of us are isolated and normalcy is disrupted. This can intensify negative feelings making it harder to break away from the slump.
It’s normal to feel a bit down this time of year. Accepting this can help you move on and focus on other things. For some people, the struggle is harder to manage. If you’re struggling, there is no shame in talking to your doctor or someone you can trust to help you get through it.
Making health a priority is essential especially this time of year. Start with getting enough rest, sunlight, and exercise.
Don’t forget to plan activities and events that are enjoyable to you. It will give you a positive boost as well as a sense of accomplishment.
That said, start small and go from there. Remember, small wins make for big progress. Always be proud of what you do no matter how small!