Beating the winter blues

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about the winter season is Christmas and how it makes people feel all warm and excited. Then January comes along all cold, wet and grey; delaying our trains, causing havoc on the roads, nipping our faces with fierce winds that have us getting blown along the street. Mulled wine and chocolate Santas are long gone, and the festive cheer is over for another year.

There is no getting around it, January is a hard “back to reality” time for many of us. So although we can’t avoid it, here are a few tips for coping with your winter blues.

Firstly, scrap the unrealistic New Year resolutions right now.
Unrealistic resolutions set you up to fail and will make you feel even worse when you don’t fulfil them. Instead, make resolutions to better yourself and stick to it to avoid disappointment due to slower-than-expected progress, or giving up before January ends. If long term resolutions aren’t your thing, try setting small weekly goals instead. And if you tend to procrastinate, contemplate why, and see what can be done about that.

Self reflect
If you feel down at the beginning of a new year, it may be worth looking at what could make you happier in your life as these ‘issues’ are usually heightened when you’re feeling low.

Turn crises into challenges, and challenges into opportunities
Though we can’t control what happens in life, we can control how we handle it. If you’re unhappy with your job, consider how to make it more interesting, fun and engaging. If you have recently experienced some family conflict, let go of resentment and anger. You will begin to see yourself becoming more optimistic as there is less lingering negativity.

Try something new
Comfort zones can become dangerous as they cause us to stagnate and halt development. Try something new whether that be a new hobby, new food, joining a club… whatever it is you want to try!

When it comes to finance, make plans that won’t cause further damage to your budget or debts
Christmas isn’t easy on the bank account, but activities like a pot luck with friends, a walk to a local landmark, or borrowing a book from the library are cost-friendly (even free!) but are still very enjoyable. Be creative in your quest for low-cost entertainment and things to do so you can save that extra bit.

Express gratitude for what you have
“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have”. Who and what in your life are you grateful for? You will find that when you increase your awareness of the positives you have already in life, you will be less likely to experience feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and even loneliness. 

Take care of yourself
It’s as simple as it sounds. There has been more talk and buzz around the topic of self-care, but it is extremely important! There are days where all you need is a bubble bath, a giant bar of chocolate, freshly painted nails and a new Netflix series to binge - and that’s completely okay!