Apparently, we are told that January is the most depressing month of the year. With the festivities of the holidays over and nothing but dark skies, snow, rain and cold weather to look forward to as well as the credit card bills reminding us of the excessive spending we are all prone to do in December, it’s easy to see why. However, January doesn’t have to be a depressing month and it doesn’t have to mean we have to hide ourselves under the covers until February arrives.
There are a number of great ways to make yourself feel a bit brighter even when the sun refuses to show over this month. Here are just a few ways to beat the January blues.
Give Yourself a Treat Day
If you were lucky enough to receive an ‘experience’ type of present over the holidays, January is a great time to cash them in. While it wasn’t a Christmas gift, in the autumn I won a free night’s stay at a lovely hotel along with a free dinner and breakfast in their restaurant. What better time to redeem the coupon than during the month when nothing is happening anyway? If you can squeeze in a pamper session at the spa or treat yourself to a nice dinner somewhere, book it in and get ready to look forward to being nice to yourself.
Failing that, consider creating a little ‘spa day’ at home. Run a bath with some candles, put on your favourite relaxing music, pour yourself a glass of wine and give yourself an evening of pampering yourself. Give yourself permission to use those fancy lotions and potions you don’t have to time to use on a day to day basis or simply take the time to paint your nails or apply a nourishing mask to hydrate dry skin. You will feel so much better when you are kind to yourself no matter what you choose to do.
Get Your Body Moving
While we may have the inclination to hole ourselves up for the rest of winter, it’s a great time to get moving and get some fresh air into our lungs. The excesses of eating at Christmas may have taken its toll so get some friends together for a bracing walk (bonus? it’s free!) or grab the dog’s leash and go for a nature hike. The winter landscape can be a thing of wonder and getting outdoors to appreciate it can lift our spirits and our minds.
Even if you haven’t written a haiku since 4th grade or you haven’t put paint to canvas since you were in college, there’s something about the creative process that can be incredibly relaxing as well as exciting. Taking up a creative hobby at this time of year can be a great way to exercise your mind and let those creative juices flow. Whether you try your hand at knitting, pottery or simply trying your hand at a cute DIY you saw on Pinterest, let January be the month you start a new hobby or revive one you haven’t considered in years.
No, I’m not talking about a diet that means you’re starving yourself or having to turn your nose up at food that tastes nice. Seek out recipes that taste great as well as providing that ‘comfort’ factor like this Pad Thai recipe using spiralized Zucchini, chicken and broccoli to create a warming meal that fills you up and gives you energy.
Laugh It Up
There’s truth in the saying that laughter is the best medicine. It can raise our heart rate, release serotonins (the feel-good hormones) and connect us to our family and friends. Why not get together with those friends who never fail to make us smile with their humor or plan a day with family where laughter flows easily like an adventure park, roller or ice skating, a day out at the bowling alley or another activity that’s sure to end in fits of giggles?
What will you be doing to beat the January blues?