The January Blues Are A Real Thing And Here's How You Can Banish Them
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Health and Wellness

The January Blues Are A Real Thing And Here's How You Can Banish Them

5 tips for getting out of that mid-January rut

The January Blues Are A Real Thing And Here's How You Can Banish Them

So, the excitement of a new year has come and gone and what looms before us is another 300-something days of the same old problems and anxieties that we swore we would shuck off with the coming of a new year. If you're anything like me, you've probably started feeling a bit blue by now, not to mention a certain unshakable sense of dread. A couple of days ago, I realized that I go through this phase every year, so I went Googling to see if January Blues was really a thing. Turns out, it totally is a thing!

According to Business Insider, this mood disorder affects many people and usually strikes during or immediately after the end of year holiday season. It can be caused by any number of things such as concerns over holiday spending, the family and friends you only get to see during the holidays are no longer around, or even having trouble sticking to your new year's resolutions. The list goes on and on.

Thankfully, the January Blues usually lasts a few weeks, at the most. Still upon realizing that I was stuck in a rut, I immediately wanted to do something to shake things up a bit. There are many things you can do to improve your mood. They are pretty standard, but you know how it is. When you're stuck in a rut, you might need a reminder or two to help you get started. I certainly did.

5 Ways to Banish the January Blues

1. Get active

If you're lazy like me, this is easier said than done but it's worth the effort to get up, get out of the house and do something physical. Go for a walk or run or go to the gym and workout. As a couch potato, I recommend those walks. They don't take much effort and if you go to a park or nature reserve, getting out into nature also does wonders for your mood.

2. Eat well

During the holiday season, we often break our diets and eat whatever we want, and it can be hard to get back on track during the new year. I've never been a very healthy eater. In fact, one of my new year goals was to eat healthier and try to lose weight for the sake of my health. One thing that I've noticed is that eating healthy meals feels good and that good feeling lasts. Whenever I eat unhealthy foods, the pleasure is momentary, but I usually wind up feeling bad, whether it's due to food guilt or my body simply not responding well to the nutritional imbalance that I've created.

3. Make plans

Planning something like a holiday or new pet project helps you to shift mental gears. This strategy worked for me quite recently. I've always noticed that planning new writing projects tends to elevate my mood. Brainstorming new projects is fun and it serves as a great distraction from the problems that are causing me to feel down.

4. Revisit your resolutions

Remember those resolutions that you're having such a hard time sticking to? Perhaps it's time to review them from a more realistic perspective. The euphoria of the holidays sometimes causes us to set unrealistic goals for ourselves then we tend to get depressed when we can't achieve those goals. Now would be a good time to go over those goals and make they are both achievable and worthwhile.

5. Try something new

Now, this may require getting out of your comfort zone. My something new for 2018 is a new job and the learning curve is steep so goodbye, comfort zone. I've had to learn some confusing stuff quickly and learn from my mistakes. I've been there a few weeks and I'm still learning, and the curve is still steep, but you know what? I really like that job. Once I get a proper handle on it, I'll like it even more. The important thing is that I put myself out there and looked for something new once I realized I was too dissatisfied with my old job to keep working there. Your “something new” doesn't have to be a job. It can be anything. A new outfit. A new makeup. A new hobby. You name it.

More than just the blues?

I would also like to suggest that if your mood persists or seems to be more intense than a simple case of January Blues, it might be a good idea to talk to someone, a therapist, for example. There's no shame in seeking professional help when things get out of hand. That's what therapists/counselors are there for, to listen and help us to work out difficult problems that bog us down.

In any case, I do hope the January Blues aren't getting you down but if they are, just know that there are many ways to combat them. I'm sure my suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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