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Beat the January blues

The party season is over, January has finally come around and we’re all back to work and some of us are probably feeling the effects of a mammoth hangover that’s been brewing for the past month or so. It’s no wonder some of us are feeling blue. But there’s no need to despair, we’ve got some great tips on how to blast through the January blues.

Eat yourself happy

Top up your diet with the right food including Omega-3. Having low levels is said to contribute to depression so make sure you feed your body with it. It’s good for the heart and mind and can help improve concentration, memory, attention and behaviour. Look for it in oily fish, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, soya, spinach and kale.

Vitamin D is also another way of helping to bring you out of your seasonal slump. Our skin mainly relies on vitamin D through sunlight and in case you hadn’t noticed, this is something we lack in the UK especially those who are older or have darker skin and during the winter months we’re definitely not getting our daily dose. Top up your intake by introducing specific food like fortified cereal, dairy, eggs and fish such as sardines, herrings and salmon. You can also take a vitamin D supplement which can help strengthen the immune system and also keep bones and teeth healthy.

Try something new

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution and then feeling guilty that you broke them before February arrives, try one new thing at a time. Forget the gym and instead try belly dancing – it’s fun, casual and will give your abs a brill workout. Booked your next holiday ? Well challenge yourself and learn the local language. Do things that will positively benefit your mind and body. Work out what steps you need to take and start planning.

Exercise

This is a complete no-brainer! We’re not all gym bunnies and if you think HIIT is the name of a new rock band then you’re not alone. The simplest way to improve your wellbeing and mood is by taking a brisk walk. Get some gentle exercise while you breathe in the fresh air and catch up on the latest podcast and best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing. Want to find a way to make it part of your daily routine? Why not get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way to work alternatively, if you drive to work, step away from your desk at lunch and go for a 30-minute walk. It will not only clear your head, but help you feel recharged for the rest of the day.

Be Mindful

“Mindfulness means acceptance of whatever is happening in the present moment This helps us to build resilience and deal with whatever is happening in our lives without being overwhelmed. So change how you see, and see how you change. Don’t focus on what is lacking over the winter– choose to see its gifts. A new year opens the door for self-reflection, and the slower pace brings with it an opportunity to rest and take stock. A conscious change in perspective, if we practice it often enough, can change our lives.

Make a daily or weekly gratitude list. From warm drinks and clothing, to the simple fact of having a bed to sleep in at night – there are countless things to be grateful for over the winter months. We can use gratitude as a buffer against negative attitudes by appreciating the good things in life and taking the time to savour them,” says Lance Sullen who runs Mindfulness Leicester, a meditation sanctuary in Blaby.

Socialise

By this we don’t mean go out drinking! Pretty sure you’ve over indulged in more ways than one over the festive period. While it’s tempting to curl up on the sofa under a blanket and hibernate this month, we suggest organising small social dates, host afternoon tea or an intimate supper club and if you’re not the best cook suggest a ‘bring a dish’ evening, join a club or volunteer at your local church or charity and start your year off by giving something back to others.

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