January is never a fun month, unless you’ve planned ahead and are heading on holiday to escape to the sun. But for most of us we’re skint, cold, a little bit run down and it seems like it is always dark. On top of all of that we decide to kick ourselves while we’re down and set unrealistic expectations in the form of New Year Resolutions. So I’ve pulled together some of the things I do to try to help myself beat the January Blues.
1 – Set goals not resolutions
So it turns out 80% of resolutions have normally failed by the second week of February. Not exactly the most positive way to get your year started! I think one of the major reasons people fail is the set resolutions not goals. Now stick with me on this one and I’ll explain why.
When you look at the definition of resolution it is ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something’. So basically as soon as you break your resolution that’s it game over, do not pass go, it is time to give up.
But a goal is altogether different, it is about something you’re aiming to achieve. So yes you may get a little bit off course or you may not get off to a flying start but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal by the end of the year.
2- Get planning
It time to get some dates in the diary as it is important to have something to look forward to. For January I recommend looking for some cheap things to do. If you’re totally skint host a pot luck dinner or have a DVD night.
If you’ve got a little bit of money to play with going to the movies is a great option as it is award season so there tends to be a lot of good choices.
If you’re based in Edinburgh I can recommend a night at the Lantern Festival at Edinburgh Zoo to brighten up you’re January.
January is also a great time to start researching where you want to go on holiday this year. If you’re looking for somewhere really interesting and cheap I went to Krakow last March and loved it.
3 – Leave up some fairy lights
One of the reasons December doesn’t feel as bad as January (even though the days are shorter) is that everything looks so pretty. When I take down my Christmas tree I think my flat just feels a little bit less warm so for that reason I’ve got some fairy lights that I leave up till Spring.
4- Get a daylight alarm clock
I got one last year and I was shocked by how much of a difference it has made to the start of my day. It is so much better waking up naturally in a warm bright bedroom than waking up in the pitch black thinking can’t I just stay in my cosy bed.
I’ve got the Lumi Bodyclock GO 75 which works well for me as I wanted an alarm clock that also made a noise. There are cheaper models available as I know that £75 is a lot of money to spend on an alarm clock.
5 – Exercise
I’m not talking anything extreme and please don’t run out and sign yourself up to a 12 month gym contract if you’ve never used a gym regularly before. Look for simple ways to add more activity into your life and you’ll start to feel better.
Take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk to the shops instead of jumping in the car. Try a new class or get some friends together to play a sport.
If you’re looking for a little bit more of a challenge that won’t cost you anything try doing couch to 5k. I’m hoping to do this at some point this year.
6 – Get some vitamin D
Did you know it is now recommended that everyone in Scotland aged 5 and above takes a vitamin D supplement from October to March? This is because we struggle to get enough vitamin D from sunlight during the winter months.
As well as taking vitamin D, if it is a dry day I try (try being the key word) to take a walk at lunchtime just to get to be out in the daylight.
7 – Sort out your sleep patterns
Long lie ins and late nights partying means most people’s sleep patterns have been a little bit disrupted over the holidays, but now it is back to reality and the 6.45am alarm.
Try to reduce your screen time before bed and find something that helps you switch off. I use a rain sounds app on my phone, the background noise helps my mind stop running over the day and get some much needed rest.
Let me know if you’ve got a great way to beat the January blues.
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