How to Beat January Blues

Under the spotlight of Christmas it can feel like both our hopes and despairs get mixed together and magnified.  While festivities help to keep us distracted and our spirits running high, there can be underlying stress due to the financial pressure of presents and parties, disagreements over family obligations and disappointment of unmet expectations. After the New Year bells have rung and it’s time for the decorations to come down our most deeply resisted emotions often bubble to the surface, hence the January blues!

Many people experience a sense of sadness with the anti-climax of the fun and games ending after Christmas.  The come down is compounded by the fact that friends and family have gone, our purse is empty, we’ve gone up a dress size and our body feels tired and lethargic.  We can beat ourselves up by creating a list of things we should have done differently like ‘I should have done hand made-cards, I should have behaved differently at the office party, I should bought cheaper/more expensive presents, I should not have eaten so many chocolates’.  This can make people feel guilty and depressed resulting in mood-swings and irritability.  We then experience a desire to shift the blame (and unwanted emotion) onto others, so there is the tendency to take things out on partners, kids, the dog – anyone around!

Prioritise self-care and give yourself permission to make time for a little extra pampering. During the winter there is less sunlight, which causes our bodies to naturally want to go into hibernation mode.  We can try and trick ourselves with artificial light and force ourselves to continue working, but some of us are more sensitive to seasonal changes and find it much harder than others to get going in the winter. Rather than trying to fight natural slowing during the winter, view it as an opportunity to discover more about yourself. It can be a powerful time for going within and germinating new ideas.

Spend some time each day outside in the sunlight.  Get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air!   Make the most of your lunch hour by going for a walk or jog – you’ll feel much better for it.  If you work at a desk most of the day, position yourself as close as possible to a window and open it at least once per day for a few minutes.

5 Ways to Beat January Blues

  1. Explore Your Emotions – Rather than suppressing unwanted feelings as they surface in the new year, allow yourself to connect with them. The problem with cutting ourselves off from our emotions is that we end up feeling stuck, frustrated and disempowered as a result.  Instead if we make contact with what’s going on for us inside we keep our energy flowing and enable our emotions to wash over us more naturally.  Try writing them down, have a good cry, draw a picture, put on some music that corresponds with how you feel and get up and dance, knead some dough or sing a song about them.  Silly as this may seem, it works!
  2. Release Resentment and Regrets -Give yourself permission to release disappointments, frustrations and any sense of things you wished you’d done differently over the Christmas season or recent year.   This may mean forgiving yourself and others for not living up to expectations you’ve held for each other.  Imagine all of your regrets in a box in front of you with a cord connecting it to your body.  See the box being surrounded by a bright light and send thoughts of love and forgiveness to it.  Feel yourself being surrounded by the same bright light. Then, take a deep breath and cut the cord.  Notice how the box moves away from you and becomes smaller and smaller until it has completely vanished.  In doing this you will sense an energetic shift and feel lighter, brighter.
  3. Prioritise Self-Care – Eat well, get outdoors during daylight, exercise and pamper!  Use the quieter months at the beginning of the year to reflect and recharge your batteries.  Nurture and nourish your mind, body and soul in preparation for the spring.
  4. Express Gratitude to Feel Good – Make a list of all the things you enjoyed over the holidays and all the things that you feel grateful for in your life.  What you focus on expands, so turn your attention to all the good things in your life so that you can start the new year attracting more of what you want to come towards you.
  5. Create an Inspiring Vision for The New Year - Resolutions don’t work because they are often made based on things we think we should do, rather than from our heartfelt desires. Try something new this year by digging deep and unlocking your true passions for what you’d really like to be, do and have during the year ahead.  Flick through some magazines and tear out any pictures, words or phrases that inspire you.  Gather them together and create a collage of images by sticking them down on a poster board.  Hang your board somewhere so that you can see it every day.  Look at it to help inspire you to take action towards making 2011 your best year yet.

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