We all know that January is the most miserable and mundane month of the year. Everyone starts with the best of intentions, the ‘New Year, New Me’ attitude. But by the second or third week of January, the lack of motivation and enthusiasm starts to kick in. The comedown after the Christmas festivities is always difficult and the thought of the normal routine returning, is enough to put anyone of their breakfast.
Happiness Tips for January
1. Get outside
Being outside, in the fresh air is always a mood booster. No matter how much you can’t be bothered, or how lazy you’re feeling, a quick walk around your local park, coffee in hand will instantly make you feel better. Going for a winter walk is something I have been craving recently, I tested positive for covid just after New Year so was stuck inside for the first week of the year. One of the first things I did on ‘freedom day’ was head to Sefton Park for little walk. It perked me up and improved my mood straightaway.
2. Read a feel-good book
Reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but when I find a great book, the only thing I want to do is read. Find a book that will make you feel happy, not something that will leave a grey cloud above your head. The first books that spring to mind to me, are all by Matt Haig, sorry I know some of you are not too keen on his writing style. The Humans, How to Stop Time and The Midnight Library are some of my favourites. Another book that I’ve heard good things about is The Comfort Book, which is filled with inspirational and comforting quotes to better your mood.
3. Bake a cake or cook your favourite meal
One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling down is to bake. I find baking to be cathartic and relaxing, although I haven’t done much of it recently. An account I follow on Instagram for baking inspiration is Jane’s Patisserie, my friend also gifted me her cook book for my birthday last year. Jane always share incredibly tasty recipes for sweet treats over on her Instagram and blog, and she often appears on This Morning, sharing her culinary delights.
4. Enjoy a pamper morning/evening
Run yourself a hot bubble bath or have a warm shower using your favourite body products. Do a full body scrub, shave (if that’s your jam), and cover your body in thick lotions and potions for a full on pamper. Wind down with a face mask to suit your skins needs, whether that’s a clay mask to remove impurities, or a hydrating gel or sheet mask for added moisture.
5. Treat yourself to something you love
Diet culture is toxic in January, fad diets are pushed through social media and the tabloids relentlessly. If you’re not feeling quite yourself, don’t restrict the things you love. Buy that cake, enjoy your favourite chocolate. It doesn’t have to be food related either, go get a manicure or pedicure. Purchase that new highlighter, or bag you’ve been after for ages. Treat yourself, because it will definitely make you feel good.
Exercise isn’t something I particularly enjoy, especially going to the gym! However, I’ve recently discovered my love for swimming, and before Christmas I started going a couple of times per week. I always feel proud when I’ve completed a swim session, especially when I’ve beaten my previous record. If cardio exercise isn’t for you, try stretching or yoga. Exercise is hard but the endorphins and the feeling of accomplishment after are worth it.
Meditation is a great way of helping to keep our minds calm and in the present. It’s particularly useful during anxious or stressful periods. There are lots of meditation apps around, such as Calm and Headspace, but there are also a bunch of free guided meditation videos on YouTube. Meditation takes practice, and you won’t be perfect at it instantaneously. Set aside just 5-10 minutes during your day, to have a moment of peace.
The 7 mood-boosting tips I’ve mentioned may not work for everyone, but they work wonders for me and my mental health, they’re easy and accessible to everyone. If you feel that your mental health is getting worse, I had a guest blogger write a blog post about depression that you might find useful. The charity Mind has information and support to help those struggling with their mental health.
Until Another Day x