January is a tough month, it’s cold, we’ve just had all the fun and frolics of Christmas and the New Year and then we get hit with the shock of having to go back to work and it seems a million years until pay day! No wonder many of us get those January Blues. There are low and no cost ways of helping to improve your mood in January and the darker, colder months and we will cover some of those in this article.
Many of us like to keep certain things back for “best” or that “special occasion” so we tend to keep those gorgeous shoes in their box or try to hold off on wearing that killer new dress but why not wear them now? When you’re feeling a little blue there is no better pick me up than looking fabulous and feeling confident. Whatever it was that you were saving for tomorrow, do today!
Life is hectic and we can start to feel overwhelmed with the pace of life and with information hitting us from almost every angle. Why not have a little clear out? This isn’t about getting rid of extra items that we own by clearing out the wardrobe of clothes we no longer wear (although that too can be cathartic) rather this is a time declutter, it is about claiming back your time. Try unsubscribing to all those nuisance e-mails that you never read that we all tend to get daily. We all know that feeling we get when our phones or smart watches are constantly vibrating with junk messages. Spend some time getting rid of them and you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes.
In the winter we often suffer from aches and pains which does nothing to help us feel good. Some of these aches and pains are actually caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital to help us absorb calcium, which is a key ingredient for healthy and strong bones. Typically, we get our Vitamin D from exposure to the sun in the summer months, but in the winter, there is not enough sun to help us make our own Vitamin D. To increase your levels of Vitamin D eat foods like salmon, mushrooms, eggs or tuna and drink milk or orange juice.
We all know that exercise is good for us, but it has been shown that even a light workout or some gentle exercise like going for a walk can raise our mood. Often in the colder months we are less likely to want to go outside and we prefer to snuggle up on the sofa. A study in 2017 showed that just 1 hour of exercise a week could help us feel happier. So, getting out for a 20 minute walk as often as you can will make you feel much better. Get your coat and boots on and go for a walk through the countryside. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful the landscape can be in the Winter.
Quite often we reach for carbohydrate rich comfort foods to help us through the worst of the cold, dark months, but this has the effect of making us feel sluggish and lethargic and negatively affects our mood according to Mind. The way to beat this is to make some changes to your diet to improve your intake of mood enhancing foods. Go Think Big have a great article describing some of the dietary tactics that you can use.
By making a few small changes in January you can really make a difference to your mood so try to get more Vitamin D, wear your “Sunday best”, clear out your life clutter, eat less starchy foods and go for a walk and see what a difference it can make.