How to Survive the January Blues

Surviving the January Blues

After a few weeks of excitement, joy, celebrations and consuming my entire body weight in chocolatey goodness, its back to work for many of us. The decorations have been taken down and my house looks quite dull and bare, I feel sick and lethargic after eating so much and I’ve already managed to overwhelm myself with my to-do list. On a day like today, where it has been dull and rainy all day, it’s difficult not to sink into a wallowing state of mind.

It’s not a new thing – I go through the same cycle at the start of every year, but each time I have found ways to cope a little better.

I 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.

I try and 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 daily and weekly timetable in my Bullet Journal. Each task is small and easily achievable, based upon the fact that they take no time and effort at all. I adopt 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.

I tidy up and declutter.Β The Bloke and I had a huge sort out yesterday and it made me feel much better. There’s more space, it feels more organised and I know that in the next few weeks I can make some money back by selling at a local car boot sale.

I always try and 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.

I 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.

I allow myself time each day just for me, even if it’s just half-an-hour. Whether it is simply reading a book or taking a hot bubble bath, I try and reward myself a small amount of time to relax and recover from the day. Adopting a Hygge lifestyle has worked wonders.

I attempt to get more sleep. Of course, those who have children (or those, like myself who have spent the last three evenings binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix) will rarely get amount of shut-eye they will need, 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.

I organise myself and 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.

I make small changes in my 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.

How to survive the January blues

I spend time with my favourite people. I’m meeting some of my friends tonight for a post-Christmas catch-up, and I’m very much looking forward to it! I’m also off to see my family soon for my niece’s first birthday. It’s small opportunities to spend some quality time with people who will lift you up.

And most importantly, I repeatedly remind myself that this is the start of a brand new year, with endless possibilities. The idea that I can achieve anything always makes me feel better!

What about you guys? Are you experiencing the January blues? What are you doing to get yourself out of it?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page, my Pinterest page and my Instagram page

78 thoughts on “How to Survive the January Blues

  1. My January blues didn’t kick in until I read this on January 2, 2018. All chocolate lovers and/or addicts take a long, deep calming breath before reading further. Especially if you are young enough to be still around in 32 years.

    “World could RUN OUT of chocolate by 2050 as cacao plant struggle to cope with effects of climate change.”

    Sigh, and “Most of the world’s best places for coffee will be gone by 2050” because of the climate change that isn’t happening according to U.S. President and Liar-in-Chief Donald Trump.

    Imagine a world without chocolate and coffee !!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s just 32 -ears from now. Wait, I don’t think I will be around by then. I’d have to be 104 to reach 2050. Maybe I won’t have to live without chocolate and coffee during my lifetime. but I think I should start stockpiling a supply now so it lasts to my last breath even after the shortages begin and the prices skyrocket.

  2. What a perfect list, Suzie. I still have the tree to take down – a huge job with Hubs not able to help at all. Christmas zipped by, probably because I was so busy every day. I made lists of the next days chores etc each night before I fell asleep – usually didn’t even get through the list before I nodded off!

  3. I am also suffering from January blues although it is probably more to do with the miserable British weather. There is a distinct lack of natural light that is making me depressed. Reading your post made me want to shake off those blues and think more positively. There are some good ideas in here, think I’ll take your advice. Ian

  4. I was feeling very down a few days ago (mainly because of my weight) and struggled to get myself out of it, but I had to go back to work yesterday (I am on placement at the hospital at the moment), and maybe, because I am moving around a lot more, am starting to feel a bit better.
    I look forward to seeing your bullet journal, Suzie, I have neglected mine now as I haven’t found the time. I hope to try and restart it when I can!
    I am sure that 2018 is going to be another great year for you, but I don’t think that anything is going to top Dolph putting his arm around you and saying your name!!! πŸ™‚

  5. Hi! This post is just what I needed today, with some good suggestions on how to keep ticking through the January Blues. I like to make a to do list with manageable tasks to encourage a feeling of usefulness and distract myself from a low mood. Lovely post. xx

  6. No blues for me. Desperate desire to get on with things but I’m hampered by being 500 miles from home. I promised my kiddo I’d take him to see his aunt and cousins. Lol. Here I stay with so much waiting for my attention at home. Lol

  7. When I feel blah, I tend to focus on myself so your 4th suggestion really shouted out to me. Great way to start the New Year πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: An excellent read: “How to Survive the January Blues β€” Suzie Speaks” | Word Disorder

  9. We still have the decorations up. They don’t come down until Twelfth Night.

    I also have a lengthy to-do list and it’s time to start crossing some of them off. It’s also time to start planning some visits to medieval buildings and family – not necessarily in that order.

  10. There’s always a bit of a slump after all the festivities isn’t there? I’m feeling it a bit too but fortunately having things to look forward to always helps. Great post Suzie with plenty of practical survival tips. πŸ™‚

  11. I hate this time of year Suzie, the end of last year was very stressful with our middle son being so ill and the troubles with our youngest son and his wife not getting any better. We have not seen our grandchildren for months now. Hey ho! As you say this is another year. One step at a time …less chocolate, less alcohol less grief! More smiles and thank goodness for 19th May and the Bloggers Bash!πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

  12. Pingback: How to Survive the January Blues – Suzie Speaks – Tea and Striped Pyjamas

  13. I’m afraid I’ve been hit quite badly with the January blues as I have been poorly since the 28th December! Sigh. Lovely post, cheered me up and took my mind of my grotty cough for a moment!

  14. I usually get the blues as soon as the time changes here in the US. And then the holiday blues hit! I’m one that gets giddy with January 2 because I know Spring is on the way! I found your blog super helpful though as the blues can hit anytime!

  15. Oh my goodness, I needed to read this today – don’t know how I missed it earlier but clearly it was waiting in the wings until I was feeling out of sorts and needed a gentle reminder. I’ve jotted your points on a list (I do love a good list writing session!) and I’m going to work my way through it. Thanks, Suzie x

  16. Unfortunately I can only give this post a β€˜like’ when I’d rather give it a β€˜love’. What a delightfully positive post, I feel better already for reading it!

  17. Yes! I totally experience the blues! I drive home every night at 5:30…in the dark. I’ve gotten better at coping with the biggest fact I’ve realized that January and February just suck and I will get through the months as I do every year. Well, expecting a snowpocolypse in a few hours so off to work! Have a great day!

  18. These are great suggestions for less-gloomy January. I find that doing small things for others does help my blues. It can be as simple as spending a few extra minutes commenting on a blog, or texting a friend I haven’t seen in a while just to check in. I think sometimes the idea of doing something deliberately connective with other humans also speaks to the idea of spending time with our favorite people. This year so far I’ve noticed I have far more people I want to spend quality time with that I need to find time for. What that means I don’t know yet. But those relationships truly matter. Thanks for the ideas!

  19. I am so feeling the January blues. Especially this week, as it’s the first full week of of work for me since before Christmas (Wow, Christmas was only two weeks ago?! It feels like six months have passed). I love when holidays fall on weekdays because of the days off, but it is hard coming back to a normal schedule. Reading and tidying my apartment have helped me recharge and feel more in control, and we had a few days of warm temps and sunshine which have helped, too. Thank you for the tips and reminder that it’s a brand new year with brand new / endless possibilities for growth and achievement! πŸ™‚

  20. I try to do these too. I find grabbing a silent few minutes to lay still is really helpful to recharge too. I love my kids so much but really look forward to more sleep too!!

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