It’s the 1st January, and you’re stuck inside picking up strewn celebrity masks from the party the night before. You’re already feeling blue, and it’s only a few hours since the revelry ended.
Post-Christmas and New Year though, you find yourself with less money than normal, and stuck inside because of the weather. But wait, there’s hope. Here we look at great ways to have fun on a budget, and to wash away those blues. Interested? Then read on...
Periods of inactivity mean that the body’s serotonin levels decrease, and you start to actually feel blue. It’s not just January that this happens though. However, January is quite common for the blues, simply because we become less active following the festive period. All that sitting around and eating together with the drinking (alcohol is a depressant) add up and hit us hardest when we least need it, i.e. January.
Look to engage in some meaningful activity therefore to boost your serotonin and give your brain the little kick-start that it needs. This doesn’t have to mean joining the gym, as everyone seems to do in January, just sitting less and moving more and…
Four wall syndrome, or cabin fever is real too. Being cooped up for longer periods than normal deprives us not only of activity, and its associated benefits, but also of socialisation, and interaction with the world around us.
So brave the cold, it can truly be invigorating, and get outside. You’ll help your body combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and also feel much better about yourself upon your return.
Today, Tomorrow, But Not Yesterday
Learn to mindfully focus on today, on the here and now. Engage in every process that you undertake, feel the cold, taste the food. At the same time look forward to the year ahead, make plans, diary dates and keep timeslots free for simply having fun.
Also, whilst looking back can at times be positive, do not dwell on the past, it has gone and cannot be changed. Instead choose to improve your todays and tomorrows.
January 1st is not the time to diet, at least not mentally. If you’re already feeling blue, restricting your food intake will feel like another punishment being heaped upon you. Why not therefore take a new approach to food instead. Eat healthier, but also become more engaged in everything food. Learn to cook, or improve your skills. Read and understand food labels better. Think of it as a lifestyle change and not a diet, the words alone will be good for you.
Try and do things to make you happy, and things with others that make you both happy. Spending time together is great, but if you already live together, then go to different and new places – it doesn’t have to cost the earth to explore new areas. Remember to laugh as well, as laughter truly is a great medicine. Laugh at yourselves (perhaps wearing one of our celebrity masks), and situations you come across. Making others laugh is good for you too.
January is only one of 12 months, but for some it is the hardest. Having perhaps overindulged at Christmas or little money to spare won’t help your frame of mind true, but there is hope. Just have faith in yourself and your loved ones to overcome these January blues, use these great tips as a start, and you’ll soon be smiling again. Here’s to a Happy New Year and happy new you!