January can seem like a long, grey and gloomy month – while many see the new year as a fresh start with new beginnings and opportunities, many others struggle until those first signs of spring appear.
To top it all off, we’re just coming up to the third Monday of the year – this year January 15 – which was labelled ‘Blue Monday’ by life coach Dr Cliff Arnall back in 2005, and is supposedly the most depressing day of the year.
But if you’re reaching for the Vitamin D to help you get through the grey months, fear not – here’s a set of 10 tips to help you get through.
Coach and holistic health therapist Rebecca Kelly, who founded Haelan Therapy in Hitchin’s Bucklersbury, has five tips to help lift your mood and emotional well-being.
1. Get involved in some sort of exercise and get your body moving. This can be sweating it out at the gym, pilates, yoga or something as simple as a daily walk to get fresh air into your lungs. Whatever it is, exercise elevates mood and will help you start the day in a positive way.
2. Look at something you have in your life that you appreciate, or feel grateful for, and remind yourself of it – we often forget things we have achieved or received which mean a lot.
3. Dance! Stick your favourite music on loudly at home and sing and dance – it’s a great way to elevate your mood.
4. Create a positive mantra for yourself and then repeat it throughout the day – for example, ‘I am strong’ or ‘I am good enough’. Encourage others around you to do the same.
5. Surround yourself with bright colours! Try wearing something colourful, or buy a new bright accessory for the home or office to inject some colour into your life – it may make you feel more bright.
Anisha Joshi from the Woodside Clinic in Hermitage Road also has five points on how to take better physical care of yourself during the winter months.
1. Don’t spend too much time on your phone and tablets, with your head in a flexed position. It predisposes you to neck pain and headaches.
2. If you’re on a January health-kick then be conscious of your form in the gym. Don’t overdo things and cause yourself an injury before you’ve begun your detox.
3. Try some gentle stretches every morning to help loosen up your spine – touching your toes gently, rotating your shoulders forwards and backwards, or bringing your knees to your chest while lying on your back.
4. Sleep with a pillow between your knees if you lie on your side, or a pillow under both your legs if on your back. Try not to sleep on your front. These will all help with your posture.
5. Keep moving – don’t spend too much time sitting at your desk or watching TV indoors – and get up and move about, it will help you both physically and mentally.