January can be a dark and dreary month, but with the right mindset, it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of succumbing to the post-holidays winter blues, take charge and make January your own! You can do plenty of things to combat the foggy feeling that comes from dark days and long nights — from spending time in nature to sprucing up your home with festive decorations. Here, we will explore eight simple everyday activities to help beat those pesky January blues and start the year exactly how you’d like. Let’s get started!
Why do we get the January blues?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
For some people, the January blues are part of something larger called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression directly linked to changes in seasons or day lengths. It is believed that these seasonal shifts can interfere with our natural biological rhythms and lead to sadness, fatigue, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating. If you think you might be suffering from SAD, you must speak with your doctor as soon as possible so they can provide you with help and support.
The holidays are often associated with stress due to increased financial strain, family obligations, and disrupted routines. After the hustle and bustle of December ends, many people may experience a feeling of emptiness or sadness that lingers well into the new year. It is important to remember that these feelings are completely normal! Permit yourself to take time off if you need it—even just one day can make a huge difference in improving your mood. Take a hobby or sign up for an online class; anything that brings joy to your life will help improve your mental state.
Low Vitamin D Levels
The winter typically means fewer hours outside soaking up vitamin D from sun exposure. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, depression, loss of bone density, and poor cognitive functioning—all things that could contribute to the dreaded January blues! Fortunately, supplements are available if you feel like your levels could use some boosting—make sure you talk with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
1. Get outside as often as you can
January can be a difficult time for many of us. After the holidays end, self-care can often go by the wayside, yet it has never been more important in getting through the cold winter days. One way to practice self-care during this month is by getting outside as often as possible. Whether you take a walk around your block or explore an area you have never been to before, being surrounded by nature is known to help clear your head and help fight against those feelings of melancholia that sometimes accompany the winter months.
If you have a small garden, make the most of it and use it as an opportunity to get outside as often as you can. Even a small patch of greenery can work wonders in helping you beat the January blues. You can tend to your plants, clean up fallen leaves, and add some colorful flowers to your garden beds to brighten up the space.
In addition, this will also help you enjoy the beauty winter has to offer and provide some much-needed vitamin D! So go ahead and get outdoors – your self-care routine will thank you for it later.
2. Eat a balanced diet
The well-being of both your body and mind are intimately connected, so it is important to ensure that both are well taken care of. Eating a balanced diet can help mitigate the January blues, especially during endless grey winter days. Focus on stocking up your pantry with fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, substituting some meals for nutrient-packed smoothies and soups, and being mindful of portion control to ensure you are fueling your body with the necessary energy.
As well as refuelling with food, you can do many other things to beat the January blues – from going for long walks outdoors to reading a good book or even taking up a new hobby. A well-balanced diet provides key nutrients vital for optimal well-being and forms part of a holistic approach toward feeling brighter this season!
3. Make time to see your friends and family
With self-care as a growing trend, nourishing your relationships with friends and family can be just as important to help beat the January blues. As winter weather sets in, now are the perfect time to reconnect and make lasting memories. Snowy days are ideal for board game marathons or movie nights with hot cocoa and lots of laughter. Planning activities like these every week helps keep friendships flourishing and liven up dreary winter days. Modern technology allows you to plan virtual reunions with friends, so everyone feels included! Don’t underestimate the power of bringing friends and family together this winter – it might just be what you need to survive the months ahead feeling cheered and connected!
4. Do more of the things you love
The winter blues can be strong; many of us have felt their effects this January. It is not an easy time, especially when well-being is often hard to come by in the colder months. But that is why it is vital to find ways to make ourselves as happy as possible – and it turns out one of the best methods is simply doing things we enjoy.
Whether reading a book, taking a hot bath, or going on a long countryside walk with friends, indulging in activities we love helps us tune into ourselves, letting us forget the winter woes and reconnecting us to our well-being in a gentle way. So why not take the plunge? Do more things you love this season, and let your January blues recede.
5. Treat yourself when you can
The winter season can be tiresome, and while self-care is always important all year round, combating the January blues might require a little extra effort. Whether treating yourself to a self-care day with a long bath and self-reflection or splurging on your favourite treat or item of clothing that you would not usually buy for yourself, taking time for self-indulgence this winter can be incredibly beneficial in restoring your inner peace and confidence. You don’t have to invite over a huge crowd or go out of your way to show yourself some love – whatever puts a smile on your face is the perfect self-care tool for the remainder of this cold weather season.
6. Don’t be hard on yourself
After the holidays, January often brings on a combination of full wallets and empty spirits. Along with longer nights and colder temperatures, winter can create an atmosphere that keeps well-being from thriving. As easy as it sounds, it is much more difficult to put into practice- don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t have your life all figured out by the end of the month.
Instead, take a deep breath and focus on taking self-care steps that you can realistically manage throughout the season. By understanding that time is yours alone and anything else that may come will come within its pacing, your well-being will be well-rewarded come springtime.
7. Learn a new hobby or skill
January can often bring the winter blues, but self-care is a great way to beat those feelings. Why not challenge yourself by learning a new hobby or skill this month? Taking the time to learn something new is an excellent way to distract from negative feelings and focus your energy on something productive.
From knitting to calligraphy, you will find activities that have been proven to increase self-esteem and self-compassion. Learning a new skill can also offer a sense of accomplishment during the short days of winter. So, this January, invest in yourself and invest in self-care practices like picking up a new hobby or skill!
8. Start planning your summer
January is a time when winter can drag on, and the festive season’s joy has worn off. However, this does not have to be something you dread every year, as planning your summer could be the perfect antidote to beat any blues you feel during the colder months. Taking some time out of your well-being routine can give you something to look forward to and make January much more manageable when thinking about how great it will be during the next few months when the weather is hotter and days are longer. Plus, having a well-thought-out plan of activities for when summer arrives will ensure boredom never makes an appearance either.
January can be a tough month for many people. The holiday rush is over, and the cold weather has set in. If you are feeling down, there are ways to beat the January blues. From getting outside to trying something new, these eight tips will help you get through the month feeling refreshed and invigorated. So don’t let the winter blues get you down – try one of these activities and start enjoying your January!