Easy Ways to Get Rid of Your January Blues
It may be freezing outside, it may be grey and windy. Your wallet’s suffering from over-usage over Christmas. Your work is at best underwhelming, at worst soul-destroying. Your relationships (love or family) need your attention.
What can you do? Look inwards and bring out your spiritual, emotional and physical best.
Simple, if you commit even a few minutes or an hour a day to yourself. You’re worth that, at least. Right?
Keep in mind these incentives: When you’re healthier your immune system is stronger and life doesn’t get you down as easily. Opportunities show themselves easier, and love and life seem worthwhile. Spring feels like it’s just around the corner (even if it doesn’t look like it in the back of your garden or on the weather channel,) and inner, long lasting happiness is within your grasp.
I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, for which I have used a special lamp which emulates real sunlight, and so I now share many of the options I’ve used throughout my life so far, successfully, and wish you to try and adjust in your own life.
Here are some of my suggestions, and you may have some great ones of your own; allow yourself to explore:
1) Fireplace Peace – Alone or with your partner – Have an impromptu breakfast in bed, or just snuggle in front of the fire. Whether you read to your toddler or cuddle up with your pet, there’s something warming and primeval about watching the flames and feeling its heat in our bones. These days even an electric fireplace can look impressively authentic and will definitely provide the soul-nourishing warmth we need at this time of year. I live in Ontario, Canada, and although I love our home and the comforts of our life, the snow and the minus temperatures can drag on and bring us down. But I changed the mindset years ago, and look outside at the huge evergreen pines and the white wonderland and remind myself that this is nature. Spring’s around the corner, I say to myself. And then I turn on the gorgeous (gas) fireplace, which transforms the room, as well as the house as a whole, into a delightful paradise.
2) Comedy/Romantic Movies: Watch and Laugh – When my best friend and I were going through breast cancer treatments, what helped us when we couldn’t concentrate on anything like reading, etc, was watching or sharing which movies we enjoyed. The most important aspect of this for us both was that the movies had to be light, funny, fluffy, or chick-flick romance. As long as they are upbeat and uplifting. For men: do you like watching sports or programs about cars, or stand-up comedy? Go for it. We all forget how to enjoy our lives, within the drama and strife of everyday responsibilities, but with the flick of a remote control when you’re stressed and need to escape for a while, TV is still a great entertainer. Just choose comedies and let yourself laugh out loud. The cliché is a cliché because it’s a widely known truth; Laughter is the best medicine.
3) Read Books – Escape into a world of magic, luxury or fantasy, all without spending a penny more than the price of the book in your hands. Not only is it a well known fact that reading can be extremely therapeutic, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, will entertain you and teach you new things, will reduce stress and improve your mood and spirits – this goes for those who write stories, poetry and books, too, by the way. See this fun and entertaining link 12 Scientific Ways Reading Can Actually Improve Your Life. Reading also helps to get you to fall asleep and even have better quality slumber, even if you only read for five or ten minutes in bed before lights out.
4) Meditate / Yoga – Whether you’re driving, commuting or are carpooling, or need a few minutes in your day to shrug off the stress and anxiety, then two minutes of meditation (want to know how to start, click here) can completely rejuvenate you. I used to drive with a sense of urgency and inevitably ended up more stressed and tired at the destination. Even though it was against my nature, I persevered in seeing an amber light, or traffic standstill as an opportunity to relax my body, my mind and let go off the grip and nervousness of what else I had to do. Surprisingly it helped me so much, almost immediately. Whenever I forgot and felt the tightness in my chest I’d revert to taking in deep, smooth breaths in and out, until I calmed down and started enjoying my minor accomplishment every time I remembered.
5) Soothing Bath – Especially when it’s cold outside, the deep soothing warmth of the bubbly bath will give you a sense of peace. Make sure you’re not disturbed for at least thirty minutes. Ideally you can relax with soft music somewhere far from the tub, with low lights (or candles as long as it’s safe to light them). I’ve always enjoyed baths since I was a teenager, and now despite the busy schedule of life, business and family responsibilities, it’s still my haven, even if it’s more often a winter pastime. It’s not anywhere near as expensive as going to a spa, and it’s at your whim, whenever you eke time out of your week for yourself. If your partner is game, enjoy this together, but make sure you have your own me-time, as well.
Part two of easy ways to get rid of your January blues is coming next week.