The January Blues affect many people at this time of year and 19th January is reported to be one of the most ‘blue’ days of the whole calendar year. For many people their energy is lower, their body sluggish, motivation lacking and this can extend to feeling quite sad and alone.
Part of yoga, however, is connecting your mind, body and breath, taking care of yourself and living a healthy life - all things that will help with the blues. So just in case you are feeling a little blue, I've listed some tips to help you feel better this January!
1. More light in your life
The first tip is to get more light in your life. With so little light at this time of year, you'll do your body and mind a world of good if you get outside for just 15-20 minutes a day, even if it's just a walk to the shop or around the block. If you're really suffering from it being so dark, invest in a daylight lamp. If you struggle waking up in the mornings I'd also recommend getting a body clock (this is an alarm clock that wakes you up by emulating a sunrise at whatever time you set it to).
2. Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D, which is otherwise known as the sunshine tablet, can be taken at this time of year to help boost your energy. Most people living in the UK are deficient in vitamin D (which you get from the sun). A lack of vitamin D contributes to low energy and low mood. You can get Vitamin D from most supermarkets and pharmacies.
3. Talk to friends and family
In the digital age when it is so easy to isolate ourselves behind a screen, we often forget to have real conversations about things that are on our chest. With the weather being cold we often stay in rather than go out, which limits our contact and conversation with others. Talking is free and talking is therapy. Sometimes you need to chat, and especially for those mummies out there with a new baby to look after, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. So pick up the phone and arrange to meet up with someone or simply have a chat!
4. Minimise alcohol intake
This is hard if you do like a drink (and especially hard over the Christmas and New Year Period) but as alcohol is actually a depressant, reducing the intake can help to boost your mood (and reduce your hangovers!) Why not try a dry January this year?
5. Do what you love!
What do you love to do? What makes you happy? What puts a big fat smile on your face? Find it. Make some time for YOU and do it! For example, I love drawing and have set aside some time daily in January to doodle and draw in my sketchbook. This is also a wonderfully mindful activity that helps me to switch off, enjoy the moment and brings a smile to my face.
6. Exercise you enjoy
Find some exercise you actually enjoy and build it into your life. Aim for 2 – 3 times a week. You can't beat the natural rush and high you get from exercising with all the added benefits! Why not come to one of my yoga classes? I help you to build strength and flexibility in your body while improving your mood and making you feel better! Have a look here
7. Do some guided relaxation
Guided relaxation (or Yoga Nidra) is a great mood booster and can help to reduce anxiety and stress. With regular practice you learn to relax the body fully, switch off the (busy) mind and understand how to take care of yourself. My yoga classes always include a guided relaxation at the end which recharges the batteries and leaves you feeling refreshed and re-energised. If you would like to try a free 10 minute guided relaxation you can listen to it for free by clicking here.
I hope some of these simple tips can help you to banish those January blues!