Photo by Marekuliasz from iStock
After a season of celebrations and months of hype leading up to the festive period, mixed in with dark days and wet weather, January can often bring a lull or sense of sadness to many - also known as the "January blues".
Understand it's normal
Many people experience the January blues as a combination of exhaustion from Christmas along with the dark mornings and winter weather. January is often seen as a long month as routines return to normal. This type of exhaustion often leads to the low mood that many people experience throughout the month, along with "Blue Monday", which this year has been nominated as 20th January. Allowing yourself to rest and recover can benefit you greatly and help you start to feel back to normal.
Get some sunshine
The gloomy winter weather and lack of sunlight can produce symptoms of a low mood, even for people who don't normally have seasonal affective disorder. It's often difficult to get a sunny day, however, any little amount of sunshine can often give you that needed vitamin D boost. Fewer daylight hours can wreak havoc on the body. In the darkness, the body produces more melatonin which causes sluggishness and decreased energy. A SAD light can also offer a medically-approved alternative to medication as they mimic sunlight and help keep symptoms at bay.
Take a healthier turn
For many of us, food over the festive period, although indulgent at the time, too much of it can often lead us to feel sluggish and low once January comes around. Ensure your normal diet considers lots of healthy foods including vegetables and fruit to help you give your immune system a boost. Daily vitamins can also make sure that you keep any common winter lurgies at bay.
Blow off the cobwebs
Whether you're a resolutioner or not, getting some daily gentle exercise can help beat those January blues. Even a little bit of exercise, whether its a stroll in the park or hitting the gym, is a renowned mood booster for your mind and body.
See a doctor
"January blues" is not the same as depression. If your low mood continues for more than a couple of weeks or becomes more severe, it's always best to get some professional advice from a GP.