The holiday season tends to be the high point of the year for a lot of people, multiple weeks of festivities, travelling, excess food, alcohol, and spending time with loved ones. With any high there is the dreaded comedown which happens to land in the month of January.
The "January blues" is a colloquial term used to describe feelings of sadness, depression, or low energy that some people experience during the month of January. These feelings may be caused by a variety of factors, including the post-holiday let-down after the festivities of December, the return to work or school after a break, and the short, dark days of winter. The January blues can also be exacerbated by financial stress related to holiday spending or the high expectations many people have for the new year. Some people may be more prone to experiencing the January blues, such as those with a history of mood disorders or seasonal affective disorder.
Here are some tips to help you bounce back from the January Blues:
Try to get outside for at least a few minutes each day, even if the weather is not great. Daylight and fresh air can help boost your mood and energy levels. Lack of daylight is partly why people suffer from The January Blues.
Decreased sun exposure can lead to a deficiency in Vitamin D, which has been shown to decrease our happiness and leaves us feeling down in the dumps. Sunlight can make you feel better and help to regulate your sleep cycles properly. Exposure to natural light can release certain endorphins that are associated with improved mood. So, try your best to make the most of the sun for the few hours it is out in the sky.
Regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to combat feelings of sadness and depression. Even a short walk or jog can help to release feel-good chemicals in the brain. Anything that increases your heart rate will do and find some type of exercise that you will enjoy so there is less of a barrier for you to start the activity.
Reach out to friends, family, and other loved ones for support. If there are feelings you are bottling up inside, vent and get them out, is there something you are stressed about? Talking about your feelings can help you to feel less alone and more understood.
Plan Fun Activities
Make plans to do things you enjoy, whether that is seeing a movie, going to a concert, or trying a new hobby. Having something to look forward to can help to boost your mood. It does not have to be extravagant; you can plan a group gym session with your friends, or a day to stay at home and play your favourite video game. Take the time to ease your mind and have fun doing something that brings you happiness and joy.
Make sure to take care of your physical and emotional well-being by getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, engaging in stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation. Eating healthy is a plus, but do not stretch yourself beyond your means, stick to the basics; ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs and not starving yourself/compulsively overeating. Self-care includes your environment, the process of cleaning your home and taking care of your home can be very therapeutic.
Seek Professional Help
If the January blues is affecting your daily life and you find yourself feeling down beyond January and for prolonged periods, it may be a sign to talk to a medical professional or a therapist. They can help you identify the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. There is no shame in reaching out for professional help. When one suffers a physical injury, they reach out to a medical professional, which will apply any remedial action that is required and then help in the process of rehabilitation. There are many organisations that can provide help and point you in the right direction for professional help.
We hope you found these tips useful. It is important to remember that the January blues is a common and normal phenomenon and is not something that you should be ashamed of, a lot of people experience this, and it is part of the human experience. Be present and patient, allow yourself to feel everything and work through your emotions, understand you are not going to feel better overnight. But give it time and this will pass, and hopefully you will get back to smashing your 2023 goals.