Paul Abraham: Seven ways to beat the January blues

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Paul Abraham, speaking at Bramley Lawn.

By Paul Abraham of www.headingonwards.com

January often produces a feeling of anti-climax – either you had a great time at Christmas and now it’s over or you didn’t but it feels as though everyone else did. Whatever is dragging you down, simple strategies can help.

1. Understand that this is normal

There are biological reasons why many people feel low and lack energy during the dark months. Understanding that it’s a natural response is helpful. 

 2. Get as much daylight as possible

Lack of daylight is partly why some people suffer “winter blues”. So, take every chance to be outside during the day.  If you can go for a walk in the fresh air then fine, but just standing at your front door or looking out from an open window can also help.

3. Exercise

One of the best ways to fight depression and improve wellbeing and mood. The good news is that it doesn’t have to mean getting hot and sweaty at a gym – a brisk walk is perfect or if you want to start gently then just marching on the spot and some gentle stretching can make you feel better.

4. Do something new

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never found time to do it?  Why not make a promise to yourself to start while the weather is bad and the evenings are dark by tea-time.  This could be something involving arts and crafts or to learn a new language or skill. Make a plan and start the first step.

5. Read a new book

Burying yourself in a gripping book of your choice is a great way to take your mind off feeling low. A fictional novel can help you escape your immediate surroundings, or a factual book can get the mind stimulated.

6. Eat properly

When feeling down, we are often drawn to sugar and junk food and/or we eat too little or too much. You can improve how you feel by eating a good, varied diet with things like nuts, fruit, vegetables and salads. Learning to cook or improving your cooking skills also helps you control what you eat and when.

7. You are not alone

Many of your friends and relatives will be going through the same or similar feelings, but you may not realise it. Finding someone to talk to, or team up with a friend to support each other will help. In this social media age we now live in, you could set up a social media group to support other people feeling the same as yourself.

Remember, spring and lighter days are not far away! Until then, take care of yourself and defeat those winter blues.

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