When the holidays arrive, they are filled with family, fun, food, and happiness — but what happens when January rolls around? Many people find themselves feeling sad and lonely. It’s back to school, work, enduring the cold, and reverting back to the normalcy of the pre-holiday celebrations. It is known as the "January blues," and for many, the stress of dealing with them can take a toll on their mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. So before the new year rolls around, take a look at some of our tips for combating the January blues.
1. Identify The Reason For Your Blues
The first step to any problem is to identify the source of it and understanding where your sadness stems from, "being low in January is very common," says Carole Gaskell, author of Transform Your Life, the Daily Mail reports. "But rather than pushing your feelings to one side, allow yourself to acknowledge them so you can resolve them."
Setting a spending budget is important before any large sum of money is going to be spent, especially during the holidays. This way when Jan. 2, 2014, comes around there will not be a hole in your bank account, and you will have accounted for all of the money spent. “If your presents exceed the budget, either cull some names, choose a different present, or see if you can find a preloved version on eBay, or seek out a cheaper brand,” Melissa Browne, an accountant and author, reports in the Brisbane Times.
3. Get Enough Rest And Exercise
Exercise, while good for your overall health, is especially important during stressful times, especially during the holidays. According to the Mayo Clinic, “physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.” Sleeping adequately is also important because it gives your body a chance to rebuild from the stressful gift shopping and the holiday parties.
4. Get Outside
It might be cold, but getting a few minutes of sun a day could improve your happiness substantially. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cites several studies where sunlight markedly improves mood, said Dale Archer, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist and contributing author to Psychology Today. Sometimes a significant lack of sunlight can also lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues where sadness and mood changes are affected by the shorter days and lack of sun.
5. Take A Trip
It might seem a little rushed to take a vacation right after many of us have already had holiday time off. However, taking a trip right after the holidays has its benefits. For starters, studies have shown that vacations have a strong link to happiness. According to The New York Times, a study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, “showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. The effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.”