Monday, 10 January 2011

Beating the January Blues

This post was written and published last January but I'm re-posting it.  I think it's a good reminder to us all at this time of year....

The first month of a new year should have a sense of optimism about it but for some people, January can seem like a long hard slog of a month to get through. I have offered some tips at the end of this post to try to help you get through the rest of the month without feeling like you have the January blues.

The buzz and excitement from Christmas and New Year celebrations have died down. We’re still in the midst of winter so there’s cold weather, it gets dark in the early afternoon and going out can be more of an effort. It’s too far from the beginning of spring to be thinking of brighter, lighter days. Some of us who enjoyed a festive period surrounded by family and friends may suddenly feel lonely once everyone has gone back to their own homes or returned to work. 31 days in the month can seem a long time to those people who over-spent at Christmas and are counting down to pay day….. Now let’s start thinking about how to brighten up the dark days and lift our spirits at this time of year!

All the things that would make us feel better (exercise, fresh air, healthy food) are too often not what people turn to. You hear excuses that it’s too cold to go out and exercise, too dark for a walk, and a chocolate bar is just what we need to cheer us up. We all know of course that staying inside, feeling miserable and eating chocolate won’t lift our spirits. Here are some things to try:

  1. Go out in the morning for some fresh air and to get out of the house again before it does get dark. Get well wrapped up if it’s really cold out there, pull on an anorak and wellies if it’s raining.

  2. Eat warming healthy comfort food that’s tasty and filling – hearty soups & stews,  cooked fruit etc.

  3. Have some fresh flowers around the house for a burst of pretty colour.

  4. Wear something colourful or an item of clothing that makes you feel good (so many people in London wear black clothing, it’s nice to see a change)

  5. Do some exercise or vigorous cleaning to keep you warm and get your heartbeat raised. If exercising, try to enlist a friend for company and help with motivation during the winter months.

  6. Use the extra time you are spending at home to work on something you’ve been putting off, for even just 5-10 mins a day (adding photos in an album, updating your baby book….).

  7. Listen to upbeat, lively music to keep you in an upbeat mood.

  8. Make the most of the dark evenings and surprise your loved one with a cosy candle-lit dinner or snuggle up together under a blanket to watch a movie.

  9. Enjoy your Christmas gifts. If you got some nice new books, CDs, DVDs, pampering products, set time aside in an evening to relax and enjoy them.

  10. Plan fun activities. These need not be costly. Invite friends over for dinner or for a movie night, have a girly clothes-swap party, go to a late-night exhibition view at a gallery…It’s nice to have things to look forward to.

Do you ever feel a bit of the January blues? Do you have some other suggestions to add to the list above?


Photo credit



  1. Ooh dear, so my daily chocolate bar (or two), almost exclusively black wardrobe and listening to The Cure in my car is where I've been going wrong then...;)

    Don't think I'll be wearing yellow any time soon but I might well treat myself to a cheap bunch of flowers from the market tomorrow! An excellent tip, thank you :D x

  2. I find that reading an uplifting book helps a lot. Something to do with finding joy and peace, or a real page turner.
    Also, we're still in winter but the days are getting LONGER. Noticing that it's not dark until 5pm here (or later now) really gives me a boost.
    Doing something nice for someone really helps too: bake for a friend or send someone a box of chocolates. :)
    Love the tip about wearing bright colors. So easy to settle for the grays, blacks, and browns!

  3. Hi Mummy Beadzoid - thanks for reading and leaving a comment! I think some flowers will definitely help spread a cheery vibe around the house :-).

    Maryse - I love all your additional tips, thank you! Your suggestion of doing something nice for someone is a great one. It gives you something to focus on and distracts you from any brooding thoughts.


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!