10 ways to beat the January blues: Following a serious of health problems last year, I’ve vowed to adopt a more holistic approach to my personal health in 2015. This means not just eating well but making small changes throughout my everyday lifestyle to benefit mind, body and soul. I wanted to share ten ways to beat the January blues; these have been valuable for me and hope that they will in turn benefit you:
1. Book a holiday: O.K so the budget may not stretch to actually booking your holiday yet, but if it does, then GO for it! And if it doesn’t, then spend some time imagining the trip you will take a little later in the year. Start an airbnb wishlist or browse skyscanner for low cost flights. There’s nothing like a little wanderlust to open up your mind to the endless travel possibilities, if you don’t dare to dream you’ll never get anywhere!
2. Get your vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem for those in the colder climates that get minimal daylight. Vitamin D helps our muscles, bones and immune system, so lack of it can mean trouble! Take a vitamin D supplement, it’s recommended that the spray products work best, however you can always use the tablet form too. Vitamin D is also found in: Oily fish such as salmon/ sardines/ mackerel, eggs, fortified fat spreads and fortified breakfast cereals. You can also improve your chances of getting ample vitamin D by getting enough sunshine, so early morning walks can help too.
3. Study something new: Learning new skills boosts your body’s dopamine (the feel good hormone) so January is the perfect time to take an evening class or weekend course. Learning something new is also proven to boost confidence, improve self-direction and improve your wisdom! I’ve been learning about personal nutrition at the Shaw Academy who provides an array of online courses.
4. Go for a walk: As tempting as it is to stay indoors when the weathers cold, taking a walk is proven to boost your energy and immune system and help to release endorphins, those all important naturally occurring chemicals that help to make us feel happier. So wrap up, get some fresh air and boost your mood.
5. Pick up a new book: January is the ideal time to start a new book, your brain will thank you for the new challenge. Reading is like your brain going to the gym, the more you practice the healthier your brain. It is thought that those that remain mentally stimulated ward off (or possibly even prevent) brain disease such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, reading reduces stress, improves your knowledge and vocabulary, improves memory, analytical thinking and focuses your concentration!
6. Try meditation: Granted it may sound a little hippy-dippy but Meditation offers innumerable benefits for your body, mind and spirit. If you feel stressed or lack focus, you may find that meditation can really help with your mental state. If you’ve attempted a self-guided meditation online and found that your mind was racing, then attend a class. Attending a meditation class will provide a nurturing environment where there is little else to think about other than reaching a state of de-stressed relaxation, let’s get those joss sticks burning guys.
7. Visit somewhere new: sometimes breaking your routine can change your mind set entirely. Don’t feel like you have to go far or spend loads of money. Visiting somewhere new can be as simple as heading to a new museum, art gallery, Local Park or hopping on a train to try out a new walk a little further a field.
8. Change your eating habits:“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocates There are adverts everywhere for fad diets, get skinny quick products and cheats to lose weight in the New Year. The truth is eating a balanced diet of fruit, veg, fresh fish and drinking plenty of water is the best lifestyle choice you can ever make. Avoiding take away food, pre-packaged high-sugar, high-salt, refined wheat and excessive alcohol is the best way to enhance your life, mood, health and long term wellbeing. Don’t adopt a fad diet this year, just make small changes gradually to improve your knowledge of food, reconnect with the food you are using to fuel your body. Gain new knowledge about ingredients, find out where your food comes from and when possible eat natural, local food.
9. Practice positive affirmations: Positive affirmations are little mantras you say in your head or out loud to focus your stream of thought. Decide on your personal affirmations and when you find your mind chatter becoming negative, angry or self-doubting, catch yourself and repeat your affirmations. Remember a wise man once said ‘Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.’ Giving your mind a positive tool such as affirmations really can change your destiny. Positive affirmations may be something like: ‘I believe in, trust and have confidence in myself’, ‘I accept what I cannot change’, ‘I learn from my mistakes’, ‘I practise patience, understanding and compassion’…
10. Sleep well: As ya’ll probably know by now, there really is nothing like a good nights sleep to improve the brightness of your day. Be sure to read my previous post 5 Ways to get a good night sleep to help improve your sleep pattern.
If you’re feeling really down you might want to consider therapy, which can be a very valuable tool for anyone stuck in a rut or negative mind space.
“There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colours and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” ― John Steinbeck
The Fabulous Times