5 tips to beat the January Blues from Doodlemoo
I’ve always suffered from the January Blues. It’s officially the saddest month for many here in the UK, with 20th January being the worst and most depressing day of the year. For someone like me, that grew up in sunny South America, the winter days seem to affect me even more. So I thought I’d share 5 things I do for you to try to beat this dismal January.
Here are my top 5 things to beat the january blues:
Write affirmations every morning. Try writing 2 lines about how your day will be. You could also write “Today I am…. and I will…” Perhaps you’re looking to find a new freelance job, you could say “I am desired, I will receive work”. Or if you are looking to find a new house; “I am ready for my next location. I will receive a call from the estate agent….” Manifestation is a way of thinking that attracts what you want or need and helps bring that energy into your life & day. Set the mood for the day and write it on your diary/ calendar/planner. If you don’t have time in the morning try saying it to yourself a few times throughout the day. “The mind is everything. What you think you become” - The Buddha (there’s more about this in our Planner)
Get active! Gym classes, running, skipping, Yoga… I go to my gym classes 3-4 times a week, punching and kicking it all out with my favourite class, Body Combat. The energy is amazing with some great music and a group of people beating out the stress. I drag myself there even when I’m feeling tired and it always makes me feel so much better about the dark days and winter weeks. Apart from keeping you fit exercising gives you an enormous sense of well-being. Regular exercise has been proven to have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also helps with sleeping better, relieving stress, and boosts your mood and memory. I have my best ideas while doing my exercise classes as it takes me out of my normal environment and I can think while I exercise. It also gives me a break from the desk and usual work activities. A few years back when I worked at a design studio, I started feeling anxious and having panic attacks. I decided instead of taking the train I would cycling (45mins around London) and in a few days I felt so much calmer. I think because I had to stay focused on the roads in the morning I stopped getting worked up before arriving to work. If you want to clear your mind and bring in some great energy then Yoga and Pilates is also great for wellbeing and managing these dark winter days.
Set yourself a challenge or join one!
I really recommend setting yourself a challenge. Personally, I don’t believe in extreme New Year’s resolutions like dry Jan or dieting, they feel like punishments and are always hard to stick to. I think a challenge should be more about having a focus or a goal of something you would like to achieve. Set yourself a deadline, maybe the end of January (or more if you want to be flexible) and announce what you are going to do to others who can hold you achieving it, which will keep you more focused. In our Creative Planner we touch on this and have set up a creative challenge of drawing every day/week with your eyes closed or using your left hand just to give you a few minutes to let go of control and free your mind. Last January I remember I was working on my new website, I wanted it finished by the end of January, and this gave me something to focus on (no time for January blues then, Ha!).
This January I am part of two business challenges, which means I am in a Facebook group with other creatives trying to improve a specific area of my business. I am also running my own Creative Planner private group, which I am having fun with and it’s also keeping me focused. What challenge or goal are you going to set yourself?
Try something new
Trying something new and pushing yourself to do unexpected things really helps with creativity & inspiration, as well as wellbeing and mental health. You might meet new people or discover new interests. Why not try pottery, drawing classes, pole dancing, anything that is not your normal routine. Pushing on and trying new things not only helps us to overcome fears but also expands our minds and makes you learn something new, which invigorates your life with energy and excitement.
I went to a great chat the other day about the benefits of journaling and heard how a lady had cured her illness by journaling everyday. So what is journaling? It’s a bit like keeping a diary, you write, draw, monitor how you feel, the moods, what you do in your daily life. Some people just write for 20 mins (the key is to do it freely without judgement, just whatever comes to your mind). You can add the affirmations to this, or just write for 5 mins everyday, anything that comes to your mind, without thinking. Let out all your thoughts and ideas. Writing helps remove mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. It has been scientifically proven to help you clarify your thoughts and feelings, reduce stress, get to know yourself better and solve problems in a more effective way, even with others.
I hope these suggestions help you with this dreary time of the year and that you’ve enjoyed this article. Our dateless Creative Planners include great content to help with all of the things we’ve chatted about here. We designed them as a companion for you to have the best year.