Sometimes I feel sorry for January as it only ever has negativity associated with it- restricted eating, tightening the purse strings and staying in. What does this mean for our mental health though? It’s inevitable that if we stay in and suck the joy out of everything we do, we’re going to feel those January blues. So what can we do I hear you ask? Well buckle in…..
Connect with the present moment
Often when we’re in our heads thinking about how terrible the month is going to be, it fuels further anxiety and low mood and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we connect with the present moment we’re able to enjoy the small things in life that might otherwise go missed; that beautiful crisp winter’s morning, seeing our child smile, being fully engaged with our partner. Mindfulness can help to strengthen present moment awareness and is something we offer at Turning Tides Psychology.
Make a plan for managing debt
Ok let’s not hide under a rock if this is the case. It’s normal to overspend at Christmas but in January it’s time to take action on what you can do to sort it. Avoiding a problem won’t make it go away. Instead try some of the following:
- Come up with a budget for the month and stick to it
- Cut back on luxuries. Do you really need that takeout coffee everyday or can you make your own and put it in a reusable cup?
- Be honest with a friend if you’re in debit. A problem shared is a problem halved
- Try to fill your time with things that are free- go for a walk, invite a friend over to watch a film or learn a new language using a free app
- If you’re really struggling seek out professional help
Wanting to hibernate in the winter comes naturally to us. We are animals after all but when we’re not outside we miss out on Vitamin D, which helps us to feel better. Not only does natural sunlight help with our mood but it also helps to improve our sleep as it regulates the sleep hormone melatonin. It’s a win win!
When we exercise we release hormones such as dopamine and endorphins. This is like accessing the body’s own medicine cabinet. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive either. Get to a park run, or use YouTube to do an exercise video from home.
Get what now? Hygee is actually a Danish concept, which focuses on the feelings of cosiness and contentment. It is a word Danes use on how they survive winter. So often we struggle with the dark, cold and wind…. but what would happen if we embraced it? Hygee promotes combating this feeling with warm foods, cosy blankets and candlelight. So why not get Hygee by lighting your favourite scented candles, getting a hot water bottle and cosying up with a good book. Sounds good to me!