• Han Butler

How To Beat The January Blues


January can be tough. Even if you don't suffer with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), where your moods will naturally be lower due to the lack of sunlight, the beginning of the year is hard for many of us. Firstly, there is the post-Christmas come-down. We've enjoyed weeks of the joy and happiness that comes with seeing friends and family, giving and receiving gifts and delicious food as far as the eye can see.But not everyone is saving (or trying to save) money, on diets, doing dry January and generally huddling away inside, away from the weather.


If you have the January blues and are struggling to pick yourself up and get going in the mornings, don't despair. Of course, if you are having recurring bad mental health days, then it's always worth seeking help, but if you're generally just a little bit down in the dumps after Christmas, then try these tips for shedding some light into this darkest of months.


HOW TO BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES


New Hobby


Although motivation might be lacking, this is a good time to start doing some research. Is there something you've always anted to try but haven't got round to? Anything you've seen and thought you'd like to give it a go? If finances and inclination are lacking, then now is the time to prepare for when they return in full force. Sit down and do some investigative work into a potential new hobby.


Writing - Look into local writing groups. It might not be a novel that inspires you right now, so what about local theatres or film groups that might welcome some brand-new scripts to get their teeth into? Think outside the box.


Sport - If the idea of a team sport fills you with dread and your gym membership is gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, then think about other types of exercise and fitness that might be the right choice for you. Circus arts are seeing a revolution at the moment and they might be just the mixture of creativity and workout for you.


Learn a musical instrument - Gone are the days when learning a musical instrument was an incredibly costly hobby. Now, with sites like Youtube and Wikihow, there are thousands of free tutorials so you can teach yourself how to play. Often people are practically giving away their instruments online if they don't have space or aren't using them. Whilst they might not be in tiptop condition, they'll be a great place for you to start and you can upgrade your instrument once you've got going.


Starting a hobby can be great for your self-confidence, your interpersonal skills and even your employability. Even if you're feeling demotivated by January, you can start thinking about what you might like to begin as the year progresses.


Reconnect


Use this time to reconnect with people in your life. They might live far away, or maybe just around the corner, but if you find yourself constantly making excuses or procrastinating over getting in touch, January is the time to change that. Whether it's inviting them over for a coffee, or just dropping them a message or an email over the internet, use the long, dark evenings as an excuse to make a hot chocolate and sit down to connect with long lost pals. There's something special about seeing an email flash up and knowing it isn't just a reminder that your power direct debit is due soon!


Challenge Yourself


Similar to researching your new hobby, is there something you wanted to do or learn? Maybe there's a part of you that has an interest in silent movies, or the novels of Jules Verne. Whatever it is, take advantage of staying in this January to challenge yourself to something different. Maybe you want to watch the top films of 2019 or catch up on the Netflix series everyone in the office is talking about. Whatever it is, grab a blanket and use January to snuggle down and tune in.


Big Project


If December is the month to think about the year gone by, then January is the time to plan for the year ahead. Maybe you have a big project coming up that you just haven't quite got round to beginning yet. With the whole of 2020 stretching before you, break your project down into months so it feels more manageable. How far along will you be in, say, June? And what will have had to happen in the previous months to get that far? Think about budget. Some research will help you with understanding the impact of a secured loan on your credit profile and the steps you need to take to get there.

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