Beating the January Blues
Updated: Jul 29, 2019
January is indisputably one of the most difficult times of year; with Christmas having been and gone, everyone has now returned to work with less money and slightly bigger waistlines (that they may or may not be bothered about!) Not only this, but it also feels like there’s drizzle and downpour 24/7. Why would I even want to leave my bed at this point!?
Sadly, it’s also the time where you have to leave your cocoon of food and hibernation. Sad times. BUT, it doesn’t all have to doom and gloom. With a fresh year ahead, there’s a lot of adventures to be had and opportunities to be grabbed! As someone with depression, it’s especially important for me to find ways to stay positive. So, here are my methods of beating the January blues.
Pets are definitely one of the best things about life. Especially cats and dogs – THEY ARE SUCH PRECIOUS SOULS AND MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS. But, in all seriousness, they are known to be very therapeutic for those with mental health issues. Tons of articles online suggest that their ‘uncomplicated love and companionship’ in a time of isolation can help to reduce tension and improve mood. I personally love spending time with my favourite cats, and I know a lot of people find solace with their pets. They’re small, warm, and cuddly – what’s not to find comforting?
When it’s cold, wet, and grey outside, it’s so easy to crawl into your duvet and become a human-burrito hybrid that never resurfaces. Being a student, I find it pretty challenging to find the effort to cook for myself every day, but it’s always a huge boost to push myself to actually make something that I enjoy rather than relying on ready meals. I recently made some wholemeal pancakes, which genuinely made me feel great. After all, occupying my mind in creating something positive and constructive for myself is always a winner – especially if it’s delicious! Even if you suck at cooking, it’s encouraging to start off small.
January, naturally, is a time for pretty pants weather. I mean, will it ever stop raining? The answer is yes, yes it will; and that will be the perfect time to make the most of your surroundings and go for a walk! Living in Britain’s ‘Ocean City’, I have beautiful scenery right on my doorstep where I can easily go for a coastal walk, or alternatively venture to the moors to walk from tor to tor. Having these places right on my doorstep makes me insanely lucky, but no matter where you are, it’s important to make the most of nature and your surroundings. Whether you walk for friends or by yourself, walking can make you feel more connected to the place in which you live, as well as reducing anxiety, boosting endorphin release and improving sleeping patterns. It’s worth a shot!
Going on a road trip is one of my all-time favourite things to do; regardless of where I’m going, I always feel like I’m on an adventure. It’s a great opportunity to put on the perfect road trip playlist, sing your heart out and hang out with someone close to you. Plus, that means you can make a playlist to fit all types of weather. Listening to Hello in the rain will always make you reminisce on the breakup you never had.
Seeing loved ones is easily one of the most important things to do when the January blues are getting you down. At a time when it’s so easy to isolate yourself, it’s critical that you see the ones you love; you never know, they may be feeling the same way! Regardless of setting, make sure you surround yourself with positive people to get your 2017 off to a great start. It’s a chance to make some great memories and catch up on each other’s lives and festivities. Even walking to university with a friend or housemate can be enough to make you feel better about life.
You may be having a tough time of it now, but it won’t always stay like this. I find that, whilst I use little things to pre-occupy myself with in the present, it’s always a good idea to plan things for the future, too. Being the traveling enthusiast that I am, I have a few destinations in mind for 2017 – and one big plan for summer! It’s the knowledge that big and exciting things are coming up that keeps me feeling positive through the gloomy winter period.
Finally – TREAT YOURSELF. It doesn’t have to be huge; in fact, it doesn’t have to cost you anything! With a condition that makes me feel pretty crappy, I always try to find the time to make myself feel good. A good way of doing this is to make the most of your Christmas treats; eat some of that chocolate, use some of those bath products, or take a revision break to listen to that new vinyl you’ve been given. Whatever it is, go for it – you’re allowed to treat yourself!