While many of us appreciate the festive traditions at the end of December – and the time off work that comes with them, too – we’re also acutely aware of what January can bring. Once holiday and New Year celebrations have been completed and the decorations come down, it’s another year before you can do it all again.This is why many of us experience the winter blues.
With the evenings still long and not much in terms of special occasions in the first few months of the year, this time of year can easily be a slog, especially if you live somewhere with a harsh winter. By March or April the sun will be shining more and it will be easier to find that old enthusiasm again, so it’s important to focus on a few ways of keeping a smile on your face and your energy levels high in order to break through the fog that can cloud the early months of the year and quarantine life.
It may not be spring, but cleaning can really help with winter blues
Along with the other collateral damage Christmas can do to your wallet and waistline, it can lead to more of another W: waste. Packaging from presents, suddenly-obsolete consumer items that have been pushed out by new tech, and festive decorations can easily become clutter. In January it feels more imposing and even depressing. A clearout and a cleaning can leave the home feeling spacious and airy and boost your mood.
Adrenaline and endorphins are vital at this time
For many of us, the New Year is a time when we intend to do more exercise; it’s routinely top of mind when it comes to New Year’s resolutions and goals. However, resolutions are easily broken. There is a lot of logic in sorting out some exercise gear from Hoist Fitness or similar, and crunching through a regular workout routine. Not only will you feel fitter and have more energy, it’s also been scientifically proven that energetic exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel better mentally, too.
Shed some light on the situation
One reason we all feel a little deflated in January is the long evenings and lack of sunshine. Whether or not you have a definitive case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, most of us feel gloomier when the skies are darker. Using light is a wise choice, whether that means setting up a SAD or light-therapy lamp and setting aside time to sit in front of it, or simply adding more LED light in your living room. One word of advice here is to limit the spread of light in your home – it’s beneficial in living rooms and kitchens, but can be overstimulating and prevent you sleeping if used in the bedroom.
It really won’t be that long until we’re celebrating again and reuniting, but as January starts it certainly feels much longer. Following the tips above can help it feel less overwhelming and beat the winter blues.