Ahhhh January. It’s a love-hate relationship.
The promise of a fresh start and new beginnings really gets us going, but then the freezing cold weather, depleted bank balance and that general gloomy feeling that brings us down to reality when we realise summer is still quite a way off can be quite a mood killer. In particular, January 18th, or Blue Monday as it’s been dubbed (the third Monday of the year) is officially one of the most depressing days of 2021. And coupled with the fact that we’re in a nationwide lockdown with little to do, we wouldn’t blame you if you feel a little glum right now. However, we’re full of optimism at Beards & Daisies and know that the good times are only around the corner. In a bid to pick you up and get you looking on the bright side of life again, here’s five ways to beat the January blues.
1. Surround yourself with plants
How could this not to our number one tip? We are The Plant Folk after all! There’s no disputing the power plants have to perk us up however, and science backs us up – a 2016 study revealed that the presence of three or more indoor plants in your home can enhance your mood and improve focus. Plus, they’ll even bring a smile to your face during the 9-5 as research shows that employees who work in the presence of plants tend to feel happier about their jobs, worry less, and take less sick days (webmd.com).
2. Plan a holiday
The term Blue Monday was originally coined in 2005 by the company, Sky Travel, after analysing when people were most likely to book a holiday, and whilst we there are many travel restrictions currently, there’s nothing stopping you from planning ahead. We’re incredibly hopeful that by the latter half of the year, we’ll be on a beach, sipping cocktails from a coconut, with the pandemic being nothing but a distant memory. By booking yourself a holiday, you’ll have something to look forward to.
3. Get some vitamin D
Sunshine may not be something you typically associate with January, but it really is important to get outside and soak up the rays (when the British weather allows – even if it is freezing outside) to give your body a chance to make vitamin D. Also know as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, your body makes this when exposed to sunlight. However, this can be a lot harder during the winter months (October to March) when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are not strong enough for the body to synthesise into vitamin D – aka when it’s so gloomy and dark outside! Instead, food sources of vitamin D include milk, egg yolks, mushrooms, or you can supplement it.
4. Practice kindness
You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you do something completely selfless for someone else? Well, there’s a reason behind that! Kindness increases the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for increasing feelings of happiness. This may also boost feelings of trust, according to a University of Zurich study, which in turn helps to reduce anxiety and boosts self-esteem. Plus, kindness is contagious – not only do you feel better for it, so does the other person. There’s a variety of ways to show kindness to others during lockdown – some of our favourites include: sending a friend a handwritten letter, baking cookies and delivering half of the batch to your neighbour’s doorstep or offering to do an elderly member of your community’s shopping to save them going out.
5. Get creative
Take up a new hobby – this is perfect time to do something you’ve always wanted to do. This could be sewing, painting, or journaling to name a few. Many studies suggest that small acts of creativity in everyday life increase our overall sense of wellbeing.