We’re all familiar with the January blues. That low feeling that hits hard following the chaotic excitement of our Christmas and New Year celebrations. The wintery weather somehow feels a lot less festive once the family has gone home and the decorations have been taken down. Suddenly it’s 2019 and it’s all back to normal.
With the world being as it is at the moment, whether it’s world politics, work, family or personal circumstances, it can be easy for pessimism to overwhelm us. That’s why it’s so important to put measures in place to boost your mood and get you looking forward to the year ahead. Here are some easy ways to set yourself up and make your January that little bit less blue.
1. Set clear, achievable goals
New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but much harder to keep. Often we lose momentum because we have no concrete, specific plan to stick to. This January, how about setting some practical targets that you can clearly hold yourself accountable for? For example, instead of aiming to ‘lose weight’, resolve to go for a 30-minute run once a week. Or instead of saying you want to ‘get a job’, set a goal of applying for one job each day, at a set time that works for you.
2. Save some cash, achieve some dreams
Here’s an idea: save just £1 a day for the next 365 days. Whether you’re saving up for a holiday or a future project, having something to look forward to (and knowing that you’ll have gathered the money for it by the time it comes around) is one way to keep your mind focused on the future and stay positive. If there’s nothing specific you’d like to save towards, why not put a pot aside with a target goal to give to charity at the end of the year, or start a ‘rainy day’ savings pot?
3. Change someone’s world
It’s impossible to not feel good when we see the positive impact of our actions on somebody else’s life, right? That’s because doing something charitable releases endorphins in our brain, which has a similar effect on our body to morphine! Have a think about what you could do to help and support those around you. Something as simple as offering a listening ear or some words of affirmation can bring hope to a person’s day and in doing so bring hope to yours too.
If you want to stretch even further, why not volunteer your time to help some people you don’t even know? There are lots and lots of great charities out there that would definitely appreciate a helping hand – and you’ll have fun and make friends along the way. CAP centres are often in need of volunteers to come on board as befrienders and group service helpers – find out more about getting involved here.
4. Learn a new skill
Getting creative or learning a new skill is an ideal way to gain a sense of achievement and boost your confidence. How about making jam, learning a new language, researching your family history or knitting a scarf? It’ll give you a way to focus your mind, plus you’ll have something to be proud of in the end. If you make something, you could even give away your creations as gifts.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate when good things happen. The day to day routine can leave life feeling like a bit of a slog, so remember to treasure the little wins and move your focus away from the negative. Maybe you could treat yourself after achieving a few of the goals you set in step one or even just tell someone about the positive things happening your life. When people all around the world celebrate on New Year’s Eve, it’s because we’re treasuring the chance to start anew with fresh motivation, optimism and enthusiasm for the year ahead. Isn't it time we added a bit of that zest to the other 364 days?