January is a funny old month. You're back to work after the Christmas and New Year's celebrations or back to the routine of school runs and housework (eugh) and there is often so much month left at the end of the money after the excesses of Christmas. And right now the weather is COLD... really cold, like layering a pair of woolly socks and a jumper over your pyjamas in bed type cold. It can make you want to hibernate until Spring. And round about the middle to end of January you may be re-assessing your New Year's resolutions and feeling that they have been a little over ambitious now that you haven't managed a daily gym session or to cook dinner from scratch every day since the New Year. Feeling the January blues is completely natural after the buzz of Christmas and it's good to know that we are all feeling the same. Here are our top tips for battling the blues and feeling more positive and energised in the last few weeks of Winter.
Set a small goal to keep moving even when it's tempting to curl up with a onesie and your favourite box set and never leave your house again ! Even if it's just 15 minutes of stretching, yoga, a walk with your dog to your local park - exercise gives your mind a rest and helps you re-focus. Instead of setting a hard to reach goal like a daily gym session, keep it short, simple and do something you enjoy and you are more likely to stick with it.
Taking some time out to make something is a great way to beat the dull Winter months. Whether it's a craft such as knitting a scarf or making a new bracelet or just trying out a new recipe - tapping into your creativity is a great way to blast through boredom and stress. We love scouring pinterest for craft projects and inspiration. Or use an online resource like Skillshare to find the perfect creative class that you can do right from the comfort of your kitchen table. The main thing is to enjoy the process of making itself and not to judge the result.
Hygge Your Home
Make a super cosy space in your home to relax and enjoy the Winter evenings. While it may be unrealistic to turn your entire house in a cosy Winter retreat, pick one spot that you love to relax and focus on making this the perfect chill out nest. Make your space an inviting retreat with your favourite candles, cushions and even a lovely plant or two. Challenge yourself to 'unplug' and spend some time completely offline with an good book or tea and chats with a loved one. For some inspiration, check out two of our favourite Irish candle makers who have mastered the art of hygge Tinnock Farm and Clean Slate.
Having regular meet ups with your friends and family is a great way to shorten the Winter evenings. Make it stress-free by organising a pot-luck lunch and having everybody bring a dish for the meet up. Or have a have a fun 'skill share' evening with a group of friends - one person shares a skill like knitting, baking, card making - it doesn't matter what it is but it's a chance to have fun and do something together while catching up. Or if your intention this year is to meet more like minded people use an online resource such as Meetup.ie to find groups with similar interests for meet ups in your locally.
January is a great month for making plans and having something to look forward to helps you through the hump days. So whether it's a trip you want to take or even a new direction for your career or new study plans - use time to research and make plans so that you are excited and are looking forward to the future.
Start the Day with Gratitude
This one is simple and is a great habit for life. First thing when you wake in the morning, make a mental note of something you are grateful for in your life. You could even keep a notebook by your bedside and jot it down. This helps you to start the day in a positive frame of mind. If you want to expand on this idea, you could start a 'happiness jar' where you write down the things you are grateful for or the little things that brought you happiness each day of the year and then open the jar at the end of the year to be reminded of all the good things that have happened in the year.
Check out pinterest for happiness jar ideas.
Go Easy on Yourself
If you are having a hump day, be gentle with yourself and take some time out. Have a list on hand of things that will help you change your mood.... like making your favourite meal or treating yourself to a bunch of flowers !
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