January is my least favourite month.
There I’ve said it!
I still struggle with it even though the days are getting brighter, there’s hints everywhere that bulbs are starting to pick through the soil and there’s a new year full of fresh possibilities just beginning.
But I used to feel like this fella….
And it’s not just a tiredness that you feel in your body, it’s a tiredness that you feel in your brain too. That constant feeling of having to motivate yourself because it’s the New Year after all.
That pressure of “I really must do better this year…”
The New Year IS a great motivator, a fresh slate, time to focus on the things you want to achieve over the coming year.
But what if your body and your mind just won’t cooperate?
For many years before I trained as Naturopath and Kinesiologist I thought it was just me. That if I just pulled myself together, I would be fine. And the guilt when I didn’t!
Learning how the environment inside of our bodies and outside effects our energy levels, mood and motivation opened up a whole new path of health for me.
And not just health but a much better experience in life.
Because I finally had the health and energy to pursue what I wanted.
So these are my…..
7 Tips for Beating the January Blues
- Keep it simple and fun.
- Look after you gut!
- Warmth inside and out.
Keeping it simple and fun.
This is kind of setting you up for the next 7 tips so that you make sure you adapt all the tips to keep them simple and fun for you.
Give up “shoulding” all over yourself.
You know the “I should do this, and I shouldn’t do that”?
Pause and ask yourself, is this bringing me energy in the form of confidence and joy?
Sometimes the things that bring you energy and happiness are on the other side of your comfort zone. And that’s a good thing.
For example when my personal trainer increases the weights I’m using. It’s tough but I know I’ll be buzzing afterwards! In a good way!
Keep it simple, make sure it’s fun for you and not what someone else thinks is fun.
Look after your GUT
There are plenty of studies and books on how your gut effects your health and mood. I would go so far as to say all health starts in the gut.
Those friendly bacteria you hear about need to be looked after. In return they will help give you all the energy, motivation and happy hormones that you need.
Those friendly little bacteria love vegetables, fibre and fruit which act as prebiotics. Prebiotics are food for your friendly bacteria.
And of course, the gut also loves the famous probiotics.
Keep it simple.
- Whatever meal you are eating has half a portion of vegetables.
- Eat more fruit, beans and lentils!
- Cut out the processed food and the refined sugars.
- Reduce your stress because stress wrecks your gut.
- BREATH!! The gut loves when we breath, relax and have fun!
- Invest in a really good quality probiotic from your local independent health store.
- Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup and kombucha.
Warmth inside and out
Keep your hands, feet and the area around your kidneys, your midriff warm and toasty.
Eat warm foods – in Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners advise warm, spicy foods for the colder damp seasons to combat cold and damp inside of the body.
You can imagine how horrible your body feels if on the inside it’s cold and damp.
Try incorporating warming spices such a cinnamon, chilies, pepper, coriander, cloves, horseradish, ginger and garlic.
Focus on feeling cosy and as comfortable as possible in work and at home.
Everything you do should feel like a hug.
Move and if possible, move outside. Remember to stay cosy.
Pick movement that’s simple and fun for you to do.
Dance to Prince, Beyonce, Daniel or AC/DC, whatever gets you going. Even if it’s for 5 minutes while you are tidying up.
Stretch…..you can do simple stretching exercises at home or at your desk. Particularly stretch your neck and shoulders.
Or just go for a walk, with a hat, scarf and gloves for 5-15 minutes every day.
Or join a class or group.. yoga, hiking, sword fighting! Whatever draws you.
This is the big reason why January can be tough. The decreasing lack of sunlight over the last number of months.
We really have not evolved too far past our stone age ancestors whose lives revolved around the cycles of the seasons and the sun.
Do your best to spend 20 minutes every day outside during daylight. Make sure to expose some skin to the sunlight if it’s not too cold and wet and do not wear sunglasses.
Think about investing in a light box. There are plenty available in pharmacies or online and I’ve heard great feedback from clients who use these.
Supplement with Vitamin D – you can get your levels checked by your doctor if you wish. Make sure to get a good brand. Speak to your natural health practitioner or your independent local health store such as Back to Nature in Cavan or The Healthy Way in Leixlip.
Take up gratitude journaling.
It’s very simple, every evening write “I am so happy and grateful for……”
Fill in the blank and repeat five times so you have five things that you are grateful for.
Each day your brain will start to look for things to be grateful for. This is how you can train your brain to see possibilities and delight.
Simple but powerful!
This can be a tough one when you feel tired and low.
If you think of someone pick up the phone or send them a message and arrange to meet for a coffee.
Push yourself here as connection with people you enjoy is one of the best ways to lift your energy levels and beat the blues.
Joining a class can be another way to create connection – any class that draws you and makes your soul sing will do.
So these are my 7 tips. You can do all or pick one. Just keep it simple and fun. “Shoulding” on yourself is not allowed. Nor is self judgement. January is tough enough without beating yourself up too!
Practise kindness, compassion and care of self.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions or need support. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And to find out more about how I can help you please click here.
P.S please do use common sense, none of the above replaces advise given to you by your primary health practitioner and if you need to, do contact yours.