While January is associated with resolutions, clean slates and fresh starts, it is also known for the January Blues. The holiday excitement is over, friends and family have returned home and it’s back to work. After the first couple of weeks of sticking to resolutions and realizing that change takes time, the blues can set in.
Last week, we made it through “Blue Monday,” the third Monday in January, widely regarded as the most depressing day of each year. For those who are still experiencing a beginning of the year slump, here are a few tips to elevate your levels of enthusiasm and optimism.
- Move. Exercise is a wonderful way to not only improve physical condition, but the endorphins released during physical activity increase pleasure and self-esteem. Sure, resolutions to get physically fit take time, but small milestones are a reason to celebrate!
- Get Outside. Depending on the weather this can take some creativity in January, but even small doses of nature can lift spirits in a big way. Indoor spaces can feel confining over time. The perspective of being in nature provides a sense of freedom.
- Connect with Others. After the holiday parties, January can seem like a solitary month. It’s critical to continue to communicate with friends and family. Socializing either in person or online not only provides positive feedback for you, but also adds joy to the lives of your loved ones.
- Give Back. Nothing can elevate the spirit like helping others. From helping a neighbor struggling to carry groceries to volunteering at a community organization, giving of yourself will generate feelings of optimism. Don’t have time to commit to helping others? Contribute your talents by sharing your talents online. Write an article, reply to a call for information -- just freely share your knowledge.
- Set Goals. After three weeks of working on your New Year’s resolutions, it might be time to adjust or expand your goals. For example, a resolution to leave the corporate world and start your own business this year could be developed into SMART goals with measureable milestones and timelines. The end of January is an ideal time to consult a professional Life Coach to help you identify and achieve your goals in 2018 and beyond.
Moving past the January Blues requires motivation and positive energy. Creating an action plan to excel in this opportunity-filled year is well worth the effort!
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