How Can I Beat The January Blues?
by Rose Bobby
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”– Emily Dickinson (poet)
This month there will be major reform of the Mental Health Act with the objective to empower individuals to have more control over their treatment and place patients’ views at the centre of their care. This plan will tackle mental health inequalities including the disproportionate detention of people from BAME communities, learning disabilities and autism and improve care for patients within the criminal justice system. Please click here to access the government website for further updates on this.
As Covid fatigue merges with the winter blues this month, the aforementioned reform provides us all with some hope. It is vital to try and find some light amongst all this darkness. In this article, I will offer some gentle tips to help tackle the January blues.
Spend Time in Nature –
Novelist, Paulo Coelho once said, “If you only walk on sunny days, you’ll never reach your destination”.
Although he may have meant this in a metaphorical sense, we can apply it literally also.
This is particularly vital for people that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a type of depression that is characterised by its pattern of seasonal recurrence.
If you are suffering from low moods, try and get up a little earlier and take advantage of the natural light. A 10-minute walk can do wonders for your mood. Please click here for some tips by the BBC on how to exercise safely. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins which in turn lifts your mood. Dr Brendon Stubbs of Kings College London tells the BBC that: “Anything that leaves you slightly out of breath, like a brisk walk, or something like gardening, or a cycle ride, will do.”
Set Goals – Although our moods are somewhat amorphous in nature, it is important to take small steps towards creating a routine.
Make a list! Write down the goals you want to achieve this year.
It may feel difficult to find the motivation and drive during these difficult times but try and start by setting small goals each day.
This may be to learn how to cook something new, read a book, learn a new skill, or do some DIY! Whatever it may be, make sure it is right for you and your personal growth. Get creative and follow your intuition.
My personal goal has been attempting veganism this year! Eating healthy meals and keeping hydrated is also key to uplifting your mood. Remember to strive for progress, not perfection.
Meditation & visualisation –
It is important to just chill and schedule time to relax.
10 minutes of meditation and self-reflection can do wonders to your mood.
The headspace app is great if you need some guidance.
Positive affirmations are also a wonderful way to start your day, for example:
“I take time every day to become aware of how I feel. I accept every emotion. I do not resist. I allow myself to feel and let go.” Do not forget to just breathe deeply in and out, this can offer a sense of inner calmness and serenity.
Practice gratitude –
It is vital to be grateful.
It may be easier to focus on the bad right now however we must remember that there are things to be thankful for.
Good food, friends or family supporting you, your job, animals and just waking up every day!
Write down 3 things you are thankful for each day and notice the positive impact it has to your mood.
Keep talking; stay connected –
One of the most effective ways to help your mental health is to connect with your loved ones.
Even though the circumstances make this difficult, keep doing the quizzes on Zoom, the FaceTime calls, Skype etc. This pandemic has caused more isolation, leaving us feeling lonely and anxious. Make sure you check up on your loved ones and reach out if you are struggling.
January can be a very difficult time for any of us. Please know, if you are struggling, you are not on your own.
Here are some contacts that offer great help and support during these times:
Sane – 0300 304 7000
Text ‘Shout’ to 85258 (24/7 text support in the UK)
Call Samaritans – 116 123 (for free any day 24/7 Samaritans.org)
CALM – dedicated to preventing male suicide. Call: 0800 58 58 58 / thecalmzone.net
Mind – call 0300 123 2292 text: 86483 / www.mind.org.uk
Headspace & Calm apps – to help reduce anxiety and stress (new series on a guide to meditation on Netflix – https://www.headspace.com/netflix)
At Lennons Solicitors, we are committed to creating a fair and inclusive culture where everyone feels that they belong and are comfortable being themselves. To learn more about our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Commitee, please click here.