Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a hot climate, January is usually a bleak month, but it’s perfectly normal to feel down in the dumps at this time of year. The weather is grim, the days are short, money is tight and most of us are still recovering from the excesses of Christmas.
Just remember you’re not alone and many of us feel exactly the same way you do. While it’s all too easy to get bogged down, there are a few ways to keep yourself feeling chipper until spring...!
It’s cold, it’s damp and you can barely get dressed, never mind go outside. But as grim as the weather may be, outdoors is the best place to be when you’re feeling blue. A dose of fresh air will clear the mind and spending time in nature has been linked to stress reduction, so layer up, hit your local park and prepare to embrace the great outdoors.
Hills provide a much needed adrenalin boost, so find the highest point in your area, clamber to the peak and look down at the world to put your worries into perspective.
Take yourself on a date
When was the last time you made yourself feel special? While we rely on our loved ones to provide affection, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Go to the cinema, visit an exhibition or take yourself for a coffee in your favourite café. It may be just a small thing, but these little acts of self-love all add up and help blast away the winter blues.
Go to bed early
If you’re tired all the time and lacking in energy, listen to your body. Animals hibernate with good reason, and maybe you need a little extra kip too. Take yourself to bed early, switch off all electronic devices (including your phone!) grab a good book and snuggle in. It will soon be spring.
Write a gratitude list
Compile a list of all the things you feel grateful for today. This doesn’t have to be a major life event; it can be anything from a perfect cup of tea to a cute dog on the tube. By committing your gratitudes to paper you will focus your mindset on the positives and in turn start to feel happier and more grateful for the simple things.
Enter a race
An effective way to beat the winter blues is to give yourself something to look forward to. Enter a running race and you’ll have a clear goal in sight, a reason to exercise and something joyful to plan for. From 5Ks to marathons and beyond, head over to our events hub and find the perfect event for you.
Ask for help
If you’re feeling particularly glum, you may be tempted to close the curtains, hunker down and get through this dark time alone. While time out can be restorative, employing the support of friends and family will actually do you the world of good, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Chatting to a familiar face, going for a run together or simply phoning your mum for a moan has been proven to positively impact mental health and provide a mood boost, so don’t try and ride this out on your own.
A recent study showed that human touch is an essential tool for communication, empathy and even pain relief, so hug your loved ones extra tightly this January. And every day, forever.
It’s an obvious one, but we couldn’t compile this list happy list without reminding you of the best mood boost out there: the simple joys of going for a run. Pull on your trainers, head out the door and run at a gentle pace. Take some time to enjoy the natural world around you without time or distance constraints.
If you need to walk a bit, that’s OK. The important thing is to keep moving. After just 30 minutes we guarantee you’ll start to see past those January blues.
Call the Samaritans
If you’re feeling blue and you don’t know who to turn to, you can pick up the phone and speak to the Samaritans any time, from any phone, for FREE, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for confidential support.