how I navigate the January blues.

After a few weeks of excitement, joy, celebrations and consuming my entire body weight in chocolatey goodness, it’s back to real life for many of us. The decorations have been taken down and my house looks quite dull and bare, I feel sick and lethargic after eating so much and I’ve already managed to overwhelm myself with my ever growing to-do list. On a day like today, where it has been chilly and wet all day, it’s difficult not to sink into a wallowing state of mind.

It’s not a new thing, really – I go through the same cycle at the start of every year, but each time I have found ways to cope a little better.

I create a list of things to look forward to. I love planning things that make me happy, and I have spent some time this morning writing down all the things that I can look forward to over the next year. I have it saved into my phone and whenever I am feeling down it will serve as a reminder that there are lots of positive experiences waiting for me in the future.

I try and do at least the minimum. I often get extremely excited about an idea, throw myself into it wholeheartedly, quickly burn out and lose motivation. So, instead of looking at the big picture I have given myself a set of small tasks and have put them into a daily and weekly timetable in my Bullet Journal. Each task is small and easily achievable, based upon the fact that they take no time and effort at all. I adopt the idea that if I can at least do the minimum, the sense of achievement will encourage me to build it up slowly over a period of time rather than overwhelming myself.

I tidy up and de-clutter. Tyson and I had a huge sort out the other day while putting away the holiday decorations and it made me feel much better. There’s more space, it feels more organized and I can breathe again.

I always try and do something good for someone else. Whether it is making a donation to my favourite charity, sending someone a card or inviting a friend over for coffee. I am determined to make this month, and indeed the rest of the year nicer for those around me.

I create a set of playlists. Music has always been the driving force behind my life, and there isn’t a single day that goes by in which I don’t listen to my favourite tracks. Some carefully crafted playlists to reflect different moods will certainly cheer me up when things are tough.

I allow myself time each day just for me, even if it’s just half-an-hour before going to bed. Whether it is simply reading a book or taking a hot bubble bath, I try and reward myself a small amount of time to relax and recover from the day. Adopting a Hygge lifestyle has worked wonders.

I attempt to get more sleep. Of course, those who have children (or those, like myself who have spent the last three evenings binge watching Netflix) will rarely get amount of shut-eye they will need, but it’s a well-known fact that a restful sleep will lighten the mood. Go to bed half-an-hour earlier than usual. Don’t get sidetracked by checking your phone or tablet – read a few pages of a book or just concentrate on relaxing the muscles and breathing deeply.

I organize myself and do things that will make each day a little less stressful – prepare meals in bulk and freeze them so they can be reheated later, pack lunches the night before, make a note of friends and family who have birthdays over the month, write, address and stamp cards in advance… It’s the little things that will allow more time for yourself in the long run.

I make small changes in my diet. A balanced diet will result in more energy, and this is something that I am working on at the minute. It’s more of a case of moderation than cutting things out completely.

I spend time with my favourite people. This may look different this year unfortunately but it is something I usually do post holidays as a time to catch up and reset. It’s small opportunities to spend some quality time with people who will lift you up.

And most importantly, I repeatedly remind myself that this is the start of a brand new year, with endless possibilities. The idea that I can achieve anything always makes me feel better!

What about you guys? Are you experiencing the January blues? What are you doing to get yourself out of it?

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