January is often known as the month when we can feel quite blue, a little down, allegedly due to the culmination of post-Christmas blues, short hours of daylight, the financial impact of the festive period hitting our bank accounts and now we also have the impact of lockdown, not seeing our families, home working, home schooling to name a few things.
I have tried to put together a few helpful tips and hints to hopefully lift your mood and help you get through the latest Lockdown and the Winter months.
Spend Time In daylight – Make the most of daylight by opening blinds, sitting closer to the window at home or work, or even trimming back tree branches to let in more light. Get outside on your break, take a long walk, eat lunch in the park or simply sit on a bench and soak up the winter sun.
What if it’s not sunny? Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help, especially if you spend time outdoors within 2 hours of getting up in the morning.
Physical Activity – We all know that any type of exercise and other types of physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood. Just going for a walk or even getting outside and doing some gardening ready for spring is a real boost to get you moving.
Meditation – I know, it’s easier said than done when someone suggests meditation to you…… where do you start, what do you do? Nowadays there are lots of apps and online resources available giving a wide range of activities such as breathing exercises, guided meditations, mindfulness activities. Perhaps have a look at the different resources available and find something that you feel happy with and fits in with your routine……. if you can take 10, even 5 minutes a day to have some quiet time the benefit to your mood can be quite amazing.
Relaxation – Find time to relax, whether it’s doing a hobby that you enjoy or trying a new activity. From working your way through your list of books to read, to experimenting with a new recipe, there are many ways we can switch off. Try to move away from phones, tablets and computers and disconnect – have screen free time.
Gratitude and Kindness – This is a big area for me because it can be quite a simple act but developing a habit of recognising the good things in life and being grateful for them and being kind to yourself, as well as other people, can lead to positive and fulfilling feelings.
Finally try and maintain connections – Reach out if you need support, someone to talk to. Although you can’t physically be with people you can combine a walk with family member or friend or organise video calls or simply pick up the phone.
Self-care, time for you has never been as important as it is now, so make the time to take care of you.