I think we can all agree that January is the longest month of the year. There are exams for many of us, its cold, dark and the cosiness of Christmas is over. I have to say its my least favourite month of the year by a mile, and thats not even thinking about ‘Blue Monday’, which was defined as the worst day of the year. I think its so easy to start feeling down and sluggish at this time of year when the New Years resolutions wear off, and the ‘January blues’ creeps in. Thats why I thought to write a blog post on 5 ways to help beat the January blues, and simple tips that everyone can do to feel a little happier during January.
This is a very superficial post about when you are having a bad day, and simple ways to make yourself feel better and pick yourself up. I fully appreciate that mental health is a huge issue now more than ever, and that me saying ‘have a hot bath’ is in no way going to help that. If you are struggling more than just having a bad day, then please take the time tomclick hereto be redirected to mental health services that will be able to help you so much more than what I would ever be able to.
These photos were taken by the lovely Ami Ford.
Take time to look after yourself.
This is such a generic point, but I think it is so important. Taking time for yourself in this month is so important, and definitely one of my 5 ways to help beat the January blues. Feeling down is a sign that the books and the work should go down, and you should take an evening off. Here are some suggestions of what you could do:
- Have a long bath and a pamper.
- Do a ‘deep’ skincare routine with exfoliants and masks.
- Have an early night!
- Make a to do list and rationalise any stress (this always makes me feel better!)
- Facetime or call someone that you love and have a big catch up!
Have a premature spring clean.
This always makes me feel better! Often I have lots of sheets of paper that need sorting, and my room nearly always has something on the floor. Taking the time to tidy and organise your life will reflect on how calm you are feeling in general. Put on your favourite TV show, music or a podcast and get to work! Plus many people will have Christmas presents that still need to be put away, so find a home for all of your new things and have a sort out. It is such a good feeling when you have organised everything and had a good sort out, plus anything you don’t need can be donated to charity, so you are doing a good deed too.
Do something that suits you.
I can’t say to have a cosy night in or a big night out, as everyone is different and different things make you happy. So what I would say is make sure to make a plan for January that you are genuinely excited about. Love a night in? Love a night out? Love going out for a meal? Do what makes you happy. I think I’m a mixture of both, I love a good night out every once in a while but I also love a cosy night in with a takeaway. I think I’m going to make sure thats towards the end of January I make sure to go and visit one of my home friends, as I know that I will miss them when everyone goes back to uni in January after a month of being at home.
Make summer plans.
Having something to look forward to is a fab way to beat the January blues and get excited about something happening later in the year. Whether thats booking a holiday, a weekend away or planning a good day out… I think its important to make sure that you have plans for summer in place to look forward to. This year I recently booked SITC for the end of July and I am already so excited, as I loved it so much last year. I’m excited to be reunited with my online friends, and be in that atmosphere again. A fab weekend for sure!
Say No to more.
This is not me saying that you need to isolate yourself… hear me out! I am more on the introverted side and in January I almost experience ‘Christmas burnout’, where I have done lots of socialising (and drinking!) and my body needs to recover from that. Plus January is always the month of budgeting after an overindulgent December, so save your money and have the confidence to say no to anything that you don’t want to do. I do so many things because I think I have too, and January is the perfect time to say no to these things and look after yourself a bit more.
So there are my 5 ways to help beat the January blues, that help me when I am feeling lower at this time of year. I hope that my tips are useful, and if you have any others that help to pick yourself up, please let me know. Im sure it would be useful for others too! Thank you so much for reading, and I presume if you are reading this it is because you aren’t feeling your best right now, so I hope the month picks up for you and you are feeling more like yourself soon. We are all in this together!