If you believe the media, January is the most difficult month for everyone. The month culminates in the most difficult day of the year, Blue Monday on January 21st. It is understandable that January can feel a little underwhelming, when it’s sandwiched between December (the most anticipated month of the year) and February (the month of love) is short and sweet. January in the northern hemisphere is also the darkest month, which can make the duvet or sofa hard to part from in the mornings.
So, rather than get caught up in all the talk of January blues here are some top-tips for surviving January:
Remember when you ate that last mince pie and said you were going to get fit and eat more healthily in 2019?
Don’t just say it, live it. You don’t need to join a gym, unless you are truly committed, but small steps can make a big difference. Take the stairs rather than the lift in the office, get off the bus/tube a stop early, take the kids for a big long walk at the weekends or if you are feeling really energetic and are a non or returning runner try couch to 5K.
As for eating more healthily. Take a packed lunch to work, try meat-free Monday, or sign up to one of the meal box schemes which helps you cook healthy meals for the whole family.
If it’s cold and wet outside take a look in ‘that drawer’. You know the one. The one you open, shove stuff in and then close it quickly. This time, open it, empty it and work out what you need and file it or keep it to hand, then throw away everything which is broken, out of date, of no use. If it’s in the wrong place, put it in the right place.
Whilst you are thinking ‘oh no, that will take ages’, it really won’t take as long as you think. And you never know, you may find that missing widget, instruction manual or correspondence you thought you’d lost. You’ll also feel incredibly pleased that you’ve been productive and achieved something.
Spend time with the kids
I am sure most of your children will have received at least one game for Christmas. Take some time out with them either at the weekend or after school and play a few rounds.
Games are great for their concentration, competitive spirit and depending on what you play can be educational too. But, most importantly, you will be giving your child your full attention and they yours.
If it is dry, go outside with them – see big long walks above – the air can be so clear and crisp in January, so take advantage by wrapping up warm and take to the parks, hills or fields nearby. You can always reward yourself with a drink in the pub afterwards or at the very least movie time at home in front of the fire.
Don’t deprive yourself!
I probably should have added at caveat to the healthy you advice above, be healthy, but don’t deprive yourself. Healthy means moderation, so avoid Dry and RED (run every day) January’s as much as you can. You are setting yourself up for a fall and it’s a sure-fire way to feel blue on blue Monday!
Finally, remember it is only a few weeks before we see the beautiful signs of Spring appearing, the winter can be fun if you make it fun, the summer is only a few months away and before you know it jingle bells will be back on the radio.
On a serious note …
If January really is a tough time for you, for whatever reason, please take this opportunity to recognise it and seek some advice and help. There are many organisations globally who are there to support you. Here is a list of some within the APAC region:
- Hong Kong – Samaritans Hong Kong
- Singapore – Samaritans of Singapore
- Malaysia – Malaysian Mental Health Association
- Australia – R U Ok?