You made it through Blue Monday

My top tips on beating the January Blues

I’m trying my best to follow my own advice right now… I normally try to have my emails scheduled by Sunday evening, to be sent on Monday (which would have been Blue Monday) or Wednesday mornings, but didn’t quite manage that this week.  I didn’t have anything written & ready to go and it’s because I’m human, just like you.  

I find this time of year very difficult.  I love being warm, and hate the dark mornings and evenings.  I was straight back to work in January the day after landing from 2 weeks in Canada, with a cold, feeling jet lagged, tired and stressed after it not being the holiday of a lifetime we’d dreamt of having.  It was meant to be a reward for the past 2-3 years whilst I’ve put everything I can into not having to close the business due to the pandemic and now the recession, and that didn’t happen.  I found it very difficult that first week to bring the energy I should to my classes that kicked off a New Year & the want for a fresh start for lots of you.  I tried my best.

I loved holding the retreat day last Saturday, and I hope everyone who came had a lovely time!  But come Sunday… I just needed a rest!  However, it got me thinking about what I’m doing now, to keep myself going, to replenish my energy levels, and to feel good despite it being freezing and the mornings seemingly not getting any lighter yet…  And although my email hasn’t been written until now (Wednesday evening), giving myself a bit of time to rest means I feel so much better, and I feel like I have the energy I need to help you all as much as I can in class once again.

Here are a few of my tips (based on my personal experience, not evidence) on surviving the winter blues:

Listen to inspiring books & podcasts

Driving to and from work, doing the washing up, and hanging the washing out are really boring tasks.  And feel draining to do when it’s dark and you’re tired.  When I do these I put on an inspiring audiobook or podcast.  They get me thinking positive thoughts and feeling motivated. By the time I’ve got to work I’m ready to go, and once I finish hanging the washing out I’m ready to move on to tick the next task off my list rather than flopping on the sofa.  I use audible which is £10 per month and lets me download an audiobook each month, and listen to podcasts which are free.  Atomic Habits by James Clear was the book we spoke about at the Retreat Day.  And Steven Bartlett interviews a lot of inspirational people on his podcast.  I’m currently listening to The Art of Resilience by Ross Edgely (he’s the guy who swam round Great Britain), and am finding it fascinating.

Eat vegetables

I did mention at the Retreat Day my diet is mostly biscuits and pasta.  I’m trying very hard to add in lots of veggies with my pasta (& biscuits…) because I feel much better when I have these.  Plus with all these germs going round, eating the rainbow is the best way to get as many nutrients as I can to boost my immunity.

Get into a routine

At 10pm my phone goes into do not disturb mode.  I stop watching dog videos on Instagram, put my actual dog to bed, and I go to bed.  Those of you who come to the studio may have heard me say unfortunately our puppy doesn’t sleep the best.  He wakes up early.  So, if I don’t go to bed early, I won’t get enough sleep, and I’ll be tired.  And then getting up feels even harder than it already is.

Get as much daylight as you can

So, the puppy waking up early is good and bad.  Bad because my bed is nice and warm so it would be nice to stay in it a bit longer.  Good because he wants a walk, and morning walks make me feel good.  It makes me get out and get that bit of daylight (well, it’s just about daylight…), fresh air, and exercise first thing to wake me up.  I always feel better when we get back from our morning walk, whatever the weather.  I also have a SAD lamp on my bedside table that gradually brightens to help wake me up, so that could be worth a try if, like me, you find the dark mornings really difficult.

Enter an event

I’ve entered a half marathon in March.  It’s making me think about going out for a run (ok, so I haven’t actually restarted running yet, but I will this weekend!) and make a plan.  Because when I look at my plan, if I don’t start my training this weekend, the half marathon will be very hard and painful.  If I do start my training this weekend, I’ll be able to complete a half marathon and enjoy it.  And, by doing the training, I’ll feel fitter, and will have a much more valid reason for my diet to be made up of lots of pasta and biscuits (and vegetables now, of course!).

Be kind to yourself

I am not beating myself up over the fact I had a rest on Sunday, or that my diet isn’t what it should be, or that I haven’t started my half marathon training yet.  On Sunday I had a rest, I reflected, and now look how motivated I have just managed to pretend to be!  We’re all human.  This time of year is hard.  Be kind to yourself.

I hope that helped!  If you have any more tips, I’d love to hear them. Please email me at [email protected] and let me know.  Oh, and good news, 2 weeks from today the sun will be up before 7:30am and setting after 5pm – brighter days are on their way!

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Posted in Blog.