If you are feeling a little depressed this month, you are not alone. January is said to be the most depressing month of the year. The most depressing day of the year is the third, sometimes fourth, Monday in January. There are several reasons for this in a normal year-increased debt from Christmas spending, failure of New Year’s resolutions, cold and gloomy weather-but now we have Covid restrictions adding to it-low motivation, closed businesses, quarantines. It’s all enough to make anyone depressed!

If you live in my area, the sky is heather gray most days of the month. If the sky is clear and blue, then a storm is usually on its way or just left the area. Gloomy weather and long nights coupled with dry indoor air can lead to all kinds of issues, like dry eyes, sinus infections, headaches, etc. Make sure those humidifiers are running and you drink lots of water.

January, or Holiday, Blues should not be confused with depression or Season Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD affects people for months at a time while the January blues are comparatively
short-lived. SAD and depression are clinically diagnosed and often treated with medication. The January blues need no medication, just a change in mindset and some tweaking to your routine.
Here are some ideas on fighting off the January blues:

  1. Finish a project that you started and did not finish. Maybe you wanted to clean out that closet, or organize some photos, or paint a room, or start an indoor garden. Whatever it is, restart that project and take the time to finish it.
  2. Get outside, even for just a few minutes. Vitamin D is in short supply during the winter months, so take advantage of the daylight hours we do have and go for a walk. Clean off your steps or sidewalk. Refill the birdfeeders. Build a snowman. Wait for the neighbor’s kids to walk under a branch and knock off the snow (haahaa!). Whatever it takes to get you outside, just get outside!
  3. Start exercising. Exercise helps release endorphins and endorphins improve your mood. Try ice skating, skiing, or snow shoeing. If those don’t interest you, there are plenty of online fitness resources. I have been using Beachbody for years and love it during the winter months.
  4. Stop binge eating and drinking. The holiday celebrating has ended, but my love for food and wine has not. During the week, I try to rein in my eating by keeping my meals on a routine and not to snack in between and just have one glass of wine after dinner. Red, orange, and green foods are not only colorful on your plate but are loaded with nutrients that boost your immune system. Avocados, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruit, spinach, berries, and carrots are just some of the fruits and veggies that should be on your shopping list. We cannot feel better if we do not start with healthy foods.
  5. Create a challenge for yourself this winter. Perhaps taking a photo of something everyday in January and create a collage. See how many books you can read in a month. Cook meals from different cultures. Learn a winter sport. Challenges will give you a purpose during the day if you find yourself unmotivated and help keep you in a routine.

So, let’s hear it … what are you doing to beat the January blues this year?

Kindred, Alahna. The Sun. 22 Jan 2019. What are the January blues, how do you know if you’re suffering from them and how do you deal with them? (thesun.co.uk)

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