Five quick tips for beating the January blues
Ah, the post-Christmas slump. Settling in just after you try your work trousers on and realise they don’t fit anymore, only to be exacerbated by the crippling awareness that the next public holiday isn’t until March. The first thing you need to appreciate is that it’s perfectly normal to be feeling a bit run down in January, especially after the build-up to Christmas and the excitement of seeing in the New Year. Whilst there are several reasons as to how and why you feel so low, rest assured there are many positive steps you can take to improve your mood.
So as your bank account creaks and the almost constant rain adds to the level of bleakness – here’s five quick tips to help get you through until February;
Hit the dreaded treadmill
That’s right, one of the best ways to fight depression and improve wellbeing is exercise. Whilst it may conjure up images of sweaty benches and overly aggressive personal trainers, January is a great time to join a gym. Almost all the major chains will have introductory deals to get you in the door, you can even have a taster session to find the best one for you. Don’t fancy spending the money? A brisk walk to work can still do the trick and help get those lovely endorphin’s racing.
Who knew a diet of chocolate selection boxes and strong alcohol wasn’t indicative of a healthy lifestyle? Whilst you may have had a great Christmas (please see ill-fitting trousers above), it’s probably time to sort out your diet. When feeling a bit down we are far too often more likely to continue the cycle by giving into temptation and eating junk food for that quick high – only to come crashing back down to Earth in a spiral of guilt and self-loathing as the sugar rush subsides. Never fear, sorting it out with a varied diet of fruit and veg, nuts and grains can get you back on the right track – plus, preparing meals for lunch at work can also help save you money.
Not setting vague resolutions
Over 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail in the first three-months, and part of that is down to not setting realistic goals. ‘Save money, ‘be more organised’ or ‘lose weight’ are vague and almost always counter-productive, resulting in failure and guilt. Instead, set easily quantifiable goals that will challenge you in positive ways. ‘Cook a new meal each week’ or ‘turn off your phone for an hour a day’ are good examples of positive resolutions. Who do you want to be by the end of the year? Set goals that’ll ensure you get there.
Whilst you’re feeling a bit sorry for yourself and think it’d be a better option to go straight home and watch that boxset, countless studies suggest socialising regularly with friends can help curtail the blues. It doesn’t have to burn a hole in the pocket, inviting someone round for a quiet drink after work (coffee we hope), joining a club or volunteering with a local charity can help aid the fight-back against depression by meeting new people.
Get some shut-eye
Sleep and mood are closely connected. A poor evening’s snooze can result in a tired, irritable day – with even the smallest things getting to us. Over the Christmas period our sleep is broken, fragmented and frankly all over the place. Not only do you lack REM due to alcohol consumption, but sleeping on a sofa bed at a relative’s house is hardly renowned for a good night’s kip.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day and ensuring you get at least eight-hours is imperative, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your mood and performance at work.
Are there any active steps you take the placate the January Blues in the office and beyond? Let us know in the comments below