Living with ease

How to beat the January blues

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December made us happy with all those decorations, gifts, gatherings, and holiday cheer, and after that most beautiful period of the year, the worst (in the opinion of many) has arrived. Cold weather, an empty wallet and exhaustion after all the holiday activities are just some of the reasons that January is known as the saddest month of the year. It makes sense, but there are ways to fight the January "blues" and change that depressed view of the beginning of the year!

Don't beat yourself up over failed New Year's resolutions

Already at the end of the first week of January, it becomes clear that we will not be going to the gym 4 times a week, as promised, or that we won’t be reading a chapter a night. We are partly to blame for the January blues because with unrealistic goals we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Try to introduce small changes into your life, do not set rules and time limits, and do not mentally punish yourself if you fail to achieve something. It might be a sign that you don't really care about the gym as much as you thought, and that you actually enjoy other hobbies more!

Learn to relax

In December, we were busy with various get-togethers, holiday dinners, celebrations, concerts, visits to friends and family. Our calendars are much freer now, which can make us feel like we're not using our time properly and leading a fulfilling life.

Allow yourself to relax. If you have been booked solid, every weekend for the whole of December, now is a good time to stay at home and do what relaxes you. That doesn't just mean screen time: apart from watching shows and funny YouTube videos on your phone, try simply listening to music, meditating, even cleaning, without any stress and haste.

Take care of your health

Don't let the bad weather get you down — go for short walks and get some fresh air, your body and mind will thank you. Cook at home and make sure to watch your vitamin intake, especially C and D. Not only will it help your immune system fight disease, but it will give you energy and vitality. And remember: if you exercise, don't do it because of the extra pounds and the December belly, do it for improved mental and physical health!

Finally, the most important thing is to make yourself aware of negative thoughts and to teach yourself to shift your focus to something more positive. Although it may be a cliché, you should live in the moment — so take a deep breath, think about all the good things in your life (even during January!) and appreciate what you have!