Surviving January

January can be a tricky month. Christmas is over and we have a few months of winter left. Cold weather, shorter days and belt tightening after the excesses of the festive season can be depressing. Surviving January can be tough. Last week I found myself sinking into negativity, I recognised that I needed cheering up and to find ideas to keep January from becoming a total bust.

Tips for surviving January;

Be kind to yourself; A quick scan of social media and I’m being told to diet, stop drinking, go to a gym and generally deprive myself. Why would you decide to make the coldest, greyest month the time to make things extra hard?

I declare January the time to nurture yourself. To cuddle up on the sofa with a fleecy blanket, a nice cup of tea and a packet of biscuits. To indulge in long, warm baths. The month to enjoy that novel you’ve been meaning to read, or to crack open a jigsaw (if that’s your thing). Whatever makes you feel content do it, embrace self care and look after yourself.

Make time for your family and friends; One of the reasons that winter can be depressing is that we tend to socialise less. It’s cold, often wet, we’re skint after Christmas and motivating ourselves to socialise can be difficult. Conversely it’s also a time when we need to feel connected. So make some dates with your family or friends.

If finances are tight then plan a board game evening, or throw a dinner party where each guest brings something to share. Get together with your closest friends and have a movie marathon, or pamper evening. Spending time with your loved ones will definitely lift your mood, so make the effort and feel better.

Eat well; I’m not saying diet or #eatclean, just make mood boosting food choices. Avoid too much sugar and in doing so avoid energy crashes. Eat wholegrain, lots of fruit and veg and enjoy sustained energy levels and a better mood.

It’s ok to have a salad for lunch and a slice of cake as an afternoon snack if that cake is going to brighten your afternoon. It’s all about moderation, make good choices most of the time and supplement with your favourite treats to brighten your days.

Move; Be realistic, don’t start January berating yourself for not making the most of a shiny new gym membership, instead just focus on moving every day. Go for a walk, turn on the radio and dance, visit one of the newly popular trampoline parks or choose a 15 minute exercise session on You Tube.

Whatever you do it should be fun and obtainable. Moving will get your endorphins flowing and you will feel better, guaranteed.

Set goals; I’m not a fan of resolutions, they set us up for failure if we don’t manage to stick to them. Instead think about what you would like from your year. Whether that’s a family holiday in the summer, home improvements or something work related.

Make a list of the things you would like to happen this year. Stick it on your fridge to keep you focussed and look forward. It doesn’t matter if you don’t tick everything off by the end of 2017. Think of it a wish list and use it to remind yourself of how great this year is going to be.

January is a tough month, there’s no getting around it, but I hope that with these ideas and a positive attitude we can feel good regardless of the season. Have a good one!