After a few weeks of excitement, joy, celebrations and consuming my entire body weight in chocolatey goodness on numerous occasions, I’ve hit the January blues. The decorations have been taken down and my house looks dull and bare, I feel sick and lethargic after eating so much and work starts again today for many of us.
Instead of sticking to my usual cycle of wallowing, I have decided to change my outlook this year and create a plan to help me through the next few weeks. These aren’t resolutions – I have just one goal to work towards (that I will discuss at a later date) – but they are small lifestyle changes and ideas that I am slowly going to incorporate into each day in an attempt to beat the blues.
1. Create a list of things to look forward to. I love planning things that make me happy, and I have spent some time this morning writing down all the things that I can look forward to over the next year. I have stuck it on my fridge and whenever I am feeling down it will serve as a reminder that there are lots of positive experiences waiting for me in the future.
2. Be more positive where possible. I have definitely become a ‘glass is half empty’ person over recent years and I intend to make an effort to find at least one positive thing for the day, even when things seem dull and depressing.
3. Do at least the minimum. I often get extremely excited about an idea, throw myself into it wholeheartedly, quickly burn out and lose motivation, so instead of looking at the big picture, I have given myself a set of small tasks and have put them into a weekly timetable. Each task is small and easily achievable, based upon the fact that they take no time and effort at all. I’m adopting the idea that if I can at least do the minimum, the sense of achievement will encourage me to build it up slowly over a period of time rather than overwhelming myself.
4. Smile. I am not particularly good at hiding my true feelings and when this is combined with the fact that I have a naturally resting b*tch face it has been commented upon that I often look miserable. I am determined to plaster a smile on my face, even when I don’t feel like it. I’m hoping that a seemingly positive outlook will encourage a positive response from others – essentially faking it till I make it.
5. Do something good for someone else. Whether it is making a donation to my local charity shop, contributing to a shelter, sending someone a card or inviting a friend round for lunch, I am determined to make this month, and indeed the rest of the year nicer for those around me.
6. Surround yourself with reminders of some of your favourite memories. I bought myself some new photo frames at the end of 2015, so I’m going to enjoy editing pictures from last year’s trip to Barcelona and working out where to put them in the house. I also love the idea of memory boxes, which I saw on Helen’s blog today, so I’m going to create one of my own.
7. Create a set of playlists. Music has always been the driving force behind my life, and indeed, my career, and there isn’t a single day that goes by in which I don’t listen to my favourite tracks. Some carefully crafted playlists to reflect different moods will certainly cheer me up when things are tough.
8. Allow yourself time each day just for you, even if it’s just half-an-hour. Whether it is simply reading a book or taking a hot bubble bath, I am going to try and reward myself a small amount of time to relax and recover from the day.
9. Sleep. Of course, those who have young children will rarely have a choice in the amount of shut-eye they will get, but it’s a well-known fact that a restful sleep will lighten the mood. Go to bed half-an-hour earlier than usual. Don’t get sidetracked by checking your phone or tablet – read a few pages of a book or just concentrate on relaxing the muscles and breathing deeply.
10. Do things that will make each day a little less stressful – prepare meals in bulk in and freeze them so they can be reheated later, pack lunches the night before, make a note of friends and family who have birthdays over the month, write, address and stamp cards in advance… It’s the little things that will allow more time for yourself in the long run.
11. Make small changes to your diet. A balanced diet will result in more energy, and this is something that I am working on at the minute. It’s more of a case of moderation than cutting things out completely.
12. Spend time with your favourite people. I’m meeting some of my friends tomorrow night for our half-termly catch-up, and I’m very much looking forward to it!
What about you guys? Are you experiencing the January blues? What are you doing to get yourself out of it?
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