How was your New Year? Lots of fizz, dancing and celebrating? And how about the first two weeks of January? Full of green veg, 6am gym trips and feelings of deprivation?
Is it any wonder that most of us get to the middle of January with broken resolutions and feelings of failure? We expect to somehow change overnight, and wake up a whole new person, and then feel disappointed when this isn’t the case.
So this year, rather than setting unrealistic expectations based around giving things up, why not think about the positive changes you could make? Make self-care a priority this January, and you will reap the rewards throughout the year.
So to get you started, here are my top 5 self-care suggestions that will have a big impact on how you feel at this often dark and dreary time of year:
1. Make time – Set aside some time just for you, to do whatever you want to do. It might involve getting up a few minutes earlier, or turning off the TV rather than watching the next episode on Netflix, but having a few minutes to yourself everyday can do wonders for how you feel. Use this time to do something just for you - whether that is a bubble bath, reading a book, taking up a new hobby, or just sitting quietly with a coffee before the day starts.
2. Reach out – When the weather is grotty, it is tempting to hibernate, but reaching out to friends and making the effort to see people is a great way to shake off the January blues. But if you feel like you need a bit more support, don’t be afraid to go and see a professional. Likewise, if you have a friend you think might need a hand at this time of year, make it a priority to check in with them on a regular basis.
3. Drink! – This January, make water your drink of choice. Being just a tiny bit dehydrated can make us feel fuzzy and under par, so grab a glass and get drinking! I'm normally not very good at drinking throughout the day but I'm trying to make it easier this year - I have a glass by your bed, one on the kitchen table, one in my bag and a bottle in the car. Making it a habit, rather than another thing to think about will soon see you hitting the recommended 2L a day.
4. Get outside – A recent study by the University of East Anglia has confirmed that being outside is good for you. Indeed “People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people's levels of salivary cortisol -- a physiological marker of stress”. So make it a goal to explore the nature around where you live – just a few minutes everyday can make a difference, as well as giving you a much needed vitamin D boost.
5. Get moving – find (or re-discover) an activity that you love that gets your blood pumping. Whether it’s dancing like crazy round your kitchen or pounding the pavements on a run, exercise releases endorphins (also known as the ‘Runners High’) that make us feel good. And we could all do with a boost on a grey day in January.
I hope you find the above useful - I’d love to hear how you make getting through the dark days of January a little bit easier. If you'd like to get in touch, then please contact me here.