08 Feb 2022
January and February can be tough months for many of us. There are lots of reasons why you might feel a little ‘blue’ during the first few calendar months. Money worries following overspending after the festive break (and that long wait until pay day!), the cold weather, getting back to reality following the break over Christmas and New Year to name but a few. Not to mention a certain global pandemic which has caused havoc for so many, with people still not being able to see friends and family etc.
There are lots of things we can do to help us combat the new year blues, and I have focused on some examples below.
New Year Blues are normal!
Firstly, you’re definitely not alone here! So many of us feel down in the new year (for many reasons, including some of those highlighted above). Don’t worry, things will get better!
I am certainly guilty of spending far too much time on my phone before going to sleep. This makes it much harder to drift off and has a negative impact on sleep patterns. Sleep is vital for our bodies to recharge our batteries. Those sleep patterns can often be all over the place in January and going into February, as we have just come out of the festive period with lie in’s a plenty and dark mornings and afternoons. However, a consistent sleep routine is key for long term sleep health. When waking, try and get up when your alarm clock goes off and avoid the temptation of hitting the snooze button (I’m also guilty of this and will be focusing on rectifying this in 2022).
It’s fair to say that winter and comfort eating are strongly linked! Junk food can be the ‘go to’ if you haven’t planned out your meals for the week, because it’s quick and easy. By planning your meals, and shopping for the week ahead, it makes it much easier to stick to a healthy and varied diet. Another way to ignite interest in healthy eating and make it more fun could be to learn to cook new dishes. I know I have a stack of cook books at home which are gathering dust, and I’m sure many others are in the same boat!
Finding the enthusiasm to exercise in the winters is tough, but the feel good factor it gives you afterwards makes it completely worth the effort. Getting back to your gym routine or trying out one of the countless online home workouts are great ways of releasing those endorphins and improving your overall wellbeing.
When working from home (as an example), being stuck indoors all day with a lack of natural daylight can make you feel a bit trapped and low. The weather may not be great but get yourself outside to get some fresh air. It doesn’t have to be a 2 hour hike in your wellies, just a short walk locally can do wonders for your mood. If you need a few bits from the shop and it’s not too far away, why not leave the car at home and take a walk instead, a great way to get those steps and breath in some fresh air.
Do something new
With home working and not as many outings as usual, some of us have more time on our hands than we perhaps did before. Since the pandemic, I’m pretty sure I have almost completed Netflix. As fun as that has been, I would dread to know the number of hours I have dedicated/wasted on this. Find a new hobby or try something you’ve always wanted to do, and make a plan to make sure you get started and follow this through.
You don’t have to suffer alone. Arrange catch ups with family and friends. A friendly face/voice can make all the difference and if seeing them face to face is difficult for whatever reason, then it might be a good option to utilise Teams/Zoom for something other than work!