Six ways to make January more bearable

It’s fair to say that January isn’t the most popular of months…

With ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ just finishing, the start of 2018 has a hard act to follow. But instead of letting the lack of funds and cold weather get you down, you might be surprised by how you easily you can turn the blues around. All it takes is a few simple steps.

We’ve already covered how to survive a January ‘money hangover’, but here are six more ways to make January more bearable:

 

  1. Get healthy

Hands up if you ate too much over Christmas?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. With the festive season involving an excess of food, drink, and all things mulled – it’s no surprise that January can feel like an extended hangover.

But instead of getting over the cold by comfort eating (we see you leftover boxes of Quality Street), it’s time to get your body back on track.

Whether you want to go all out with a strict diet, or you just want to cut back on junk food – nutritional changes like this will make all the difference when it comes to your wellbeing.

Exercise is also a great way to boost your mood. And if the thought of going alcohol free or full-on vegan has you reaching for the elaborate excuses, don’t worry – even something as simple as a daily brisk walk is often enough to reduce post-Christmas grogginess.

It’s also much, much easier…

 

  1. Go outside

With darkness being one of the main causes of the January blues – it pays to walk in the light.

Whether you get involved in outdoor sports, go for daily jogs, or simply pick the outside table at lunch (providing you’re armed with a scarf and gloves) – your overall mood will benefit.

In fact, natural daylight is a proven serotonin (AKA happiness hormone) booster – and you won’t get much of that from staying indoors.

Of course, we know that braving the outside might be the last thing you feel like doing during one of the coldest months in the year. But trust us, it works. Just as long as you always check the forecast before heading out.

Brace yourselves: thundersnow is coming.

 

  1. Declutter your life

Newsflash: spring cleaning isn’t just for spring.

January is also the perfect time to get rid of everything you never use.

That means being ruthless with your unneeded stuff, as well as organising the things you do keep more efficiently – whether it’s in your wardrobe, kitchen cupboard, or desk. After all, you could be hoarding more than you think (we’re looking at you, those stockpiling food at the first sign of snow).

Even if you do find it tough to break away from that stacked pile of paper that’s been sat on your desk for as long as you can remember – you’ll feel much better when it’s done.

You might even have the motivation to make other areas of your house or office look nicer.

Because you know what they say – new year, new…floorplan?

 

  1. Make the most of it

OK, so the first month of the year is always going to struggle to stand out. In fact, if January was a drink, it’d be that leftover bit of cold tea that you always forget about.

But before you lose hope, think of the positives.

You only get one January a year. That’s one month to blame all your inefficiencies on a busy Christmas, one month to enjoy discount advent calendars, and one month for your novelty gifts to actually be fun.

You can also take comfort in the benefits of winter. Sure, it might feel cold and dark – but it won’t last forever. And let’s face it, summer has its flaws too.

So enjoy hot chocolates, duvet days, scarves, and impromptu ski trips while you still can.

 

  1. Try something new

January can often leave us feeling unfulfilled and disappointed – especially if the previous year wasn’t particularly eventful.

But this year doesn’t have to follow the same pattern.

To make sure you end it feeling happy, think of something you’re interested in doing, achieving, or learning this year – and plan the steps you need to take to get there.

Whether you want to learn a language, find a new job, or just finish your favourite book – giving yourself something to look forward to could give you the hope you need to pull yourself through the bluest month of the year.

And, if one of your goals is to travel somewhere new – now’s the best time to book it.

Because if there’s one thing January’s good for, it’s getting discount holiday deals…

 

  1. Focus on the negatives

Sometimes the January blues can act as a disguise for bigger problems.

If you can’t seem to shake it – ask yourself whether there are underlying issues that you need to acknowledge. Write a list of the aspects of your life that are getting you down, and try to plan solutions to any long-standing problems.

These could be that you’re unsatisfied in your career, you need a more active social life, or you’re not engaging in your hobbies as much as you’d like to.

Most importantly though – set new goals you can actually measure. New Year’s resolutions are often based on guilt, meaning they’re either totally impossible, or vague enough to slip off the radar (e.g. losing ‘a bit’ of weight or being more organised).

And if you’ve failed yours so far – don’t lose motivation. There’s still time to turn this month around…

Five ways to stick to your resolutions

 

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  • Stuart Banks

    I find a bit of d.i.y. with the planning, organizing, preparing and its physical execution engages the mind, takes you away from the negativity of the short daylight hours, provides a welcoming break from the monotony of the job search, application, everyday work and gives a physical, stamina workout for free. Over the last 3 days I have spun a couple of internal doors around so they swing against the hallway wall of my tiny studio apartment instead of into the main, studio room and shower, wet room to provide extra, free access space for 2 leather armchairs, coffee table and a tumble drier stacked on top of a washing machine respectively. Yes, most relaxing and extremely satisfying.