Six ways to beat the January blues
If you live in the northern hemisphere, you’ll probably be familiar with ‘Blue Monday’, which has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year. While the science behind it is fairly dubious, the combination of short days, gloomy weather and the warm haze of Christmas long gone, January can feel like a fairly gloomy month. Here are 6 ways you can beat the January blues and remain positive as you look forward to the year ahead.
Taking time out every day to spend with God can help to refocus on what really matters, particularly for those of us who are prone to introspection. Even just 10 mins at the start and end of each day can help to recentre and remind yourself that you are loved by the one who created you.
2. Read the Bible
January can be a good time to get reacquainted with your Bible. What are the verses that refresh and reassure you? Why not revisit some of your favourite stories, psalms or teachings. If you prefer a little more structure you could try following daily reading notes.
Life can get so busy and loaded with responsibilities, it can be hard to remember to stop and take a moment to relax. On particularly stressful days, find a space where you won’t be interrupted and take a moment to stop, breathe and ask the Holy Spirit in.
4. Get outside
It’s a well-proven fact that exposure to the natural world improves mental health. But with daylight hours being shorter at this time of year (if you live in the northern hemisphere!) it can be hard to find the time to get outside. Can you leave the house a little earlier and walk to work (at least part way), could you get out at lunchtime?
5. Practice gratitude
For each of us, there will always be things in our lives that we want to change and can be easier to focus on what we are striving for and forget what we already have. Take a moment each day to focus on something in your life that you really appreciate. It could be something as simple as a brief catch up with a friend or reminding yourself of those around you that love you.
6. Reach out to others
We know that despite the age of instant and free communication, loneliness and isolation are on the rise. Who in your life might not be having the best time at the moment? A quick message or phone call to a friend or relative can make all the difference.
If it’s more than just the January blues getting you down and you are dealing with stress, anxiety or depression then don’t suffer in silence. Remember, you are not alone and there are people who can help. Speak to a close friend, church leader or even your GP. If you can’t face that, call a helpline such as The Samaritans (116 123). Wishing you a happy and fulfilled start to the year.