6 Ways To Beat January Blues & How They Worked For Me...Monday, January 30, 2017
I hate that saying. January blues. It makes it sound cute. But January blues aren't cute, nope not at all. Although January is almost over, I do feel like those blues won't just disappear with the turn of a new calendar month.
I've never really discussed mental health much on here before, but I realised that if I read a post like this, it would probably help me so that's why we are here today.
I mean, I'm not sure why January is such a 'blue' time, I can imagine though that it's probably something to do with the come down of Christmas (maybe I'm super cranky, cause my Bailey's hot chocolate isn't as acceptable at 2pm anymore!) We feel rubbish after over indulging over the festive period, then if you're self employed there's the stress of doing your tax return and then paying the bastard. Everyone's left skint from Christmas, and then in general the weather is rubbish, the mornings are dark, the afternoons are dark...you get my drift.
I honestly thought that January would roll around and I'd feel really motivated and inspired. I spent most of last year in a 'down' mood and I decided this could be a fresh start, but if anything, things have almost been worse. I have let myself get so stressed abut things such as money, work, to comparing myself and having no energy.
I have decided that enough is enough, and I did actually mention to my doctor about this who has put me in touch with some good websites and people to hopefully get me thinking a bit more positive, but also I have decided I want to help myself.
So basically, I have decided that in a nutshell, January is a bit shit (sorry for swearing). However, I don't want my bad mood to spill over to February. So for the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to motivate myself and think more positively and honestly thanks to some baby steps, I am already feeling a little better.
I realise that we all have good and bad mental health days, but I want to start having more good ones, and I feel like I am taking steps towards this. I wanted to write this post, as sometimes I feel like I am the only one who isn't doing well. I sometimes feel like it's just me who feels lonely or friendless, or self conscious. But I know, I'm not. I want my blog to make people feel less alone, which is why I want to start writing more about things like this, and I hope this post is helpful in some way.
So these are all super basic tips by the way, but hey they've been helping me ...
Avoiding Social Media
Considering social media is my job, this may sound like a weird one, but I spend way too much time online. I spend my life glued to my phone, refreshing Instagram and scrolling down twitter. I found myself comparing myself to other people several times a day, getting jealous and annoyed when people had brand work, getting annoyed when someone would say something I didn't agree with. I decided enough was enough. I've stopped having twitter up on my laptop whilst I work, so I'm not tempted to have a scroll.
I've muted/unfollowed people who annoy me, why was I following people that bugged me?
I remembered that Instagram is a highlight reel and that there is more to life to Instagram. I unfollowed people who made me feel like my life was rubbish, it's amazing they are having such a wonderful life but right now, my mood can't cope. Maybe that sounds incredibly childish, but you have to do whats right for you, and I can't spend a few times a day, longing to be on a beach but knowing I can't. I had to be honest with myself, and realise what was making me unhappy, right now, aspirational pictures aren't working too well for me and hopefully in the future I can re follow those people and their gorgeous pictures but right now, my brain was like no.
Right now, especially in the evenings and weekends, I will put my phone down and watch a film, or something on Netflix. I think it's so important to give your brain time to breathe and sometimes I find social media very suffocating. Some shows I've been enjoying are; First dates Hotel, The Undateables, Shooter, Gilmore Girls & Ex On The Beach (it's SO awful but so good!)
Stop Working From The Sofa
I find it so easy to slip into working from the sofa. I have an office, but I never use it. It's too easy to cuddle down and watch a film. Last week, I kept putting on Disney films for background noise, but about 10 mins in, I'd find myself putting my laptop aside and watching them (FYI Tangled is way better than Frozen.) Which lets be honest as good as Tangled is, it's not the best for productivity. I mean I am the first person to say that sometimes all we need is a blanket, a Disney film and this will sort you right out, but perhaps not everyday when you actually want to get work done.
So this week, I've been working from the kitchen table, I've not sat on the sofa till the evenings, and guess what, my productivity has been so much better. I'm actually getting shit done, and that makes me feel better. I'm saving the Disney films for the weekend and cracking on with getting work done. I also find that, in the evenings it means that when I sit down on the sofa, it actually feels like a break and that feels a bit better then feeling like I've been stuck in the house all day.
Okay, I know what you're thinking. But you have to hear me out with this one. Honestly, working out makes me feel better and makes me feel more human. Yes motivating myself to go the gym is one thing but once I'm there I kinda love it. I get all my anger/stress out and just go for it. I come home feeling tired and accomplished because I went out. I find that exercise is a great way to battle a bad mood, I take all my frustrations out whilst I'm doing boxing or HIIT and find I go home with a clearer head.
If you perhaps don't exercise regularly, I have got a post coming this week about baby steps into fitness, but finding a class such as Zumba/clubbercise which is really fun is a good place to start, or perhaps go for a swim, or just go for a walk. Honestly, you're probably rolling your eyes at me, buuttt you will feel better.
Playing Music Really Loud
Okay so another totally basic thing but honestly, you would not believe what a mood booster music has been to me these past couple of weeks. I created a playlist on Spotify, (cause you guys know me, I LOVE creating playlists) and I filled it with all songs that I love and motivate me. You know real basic stuff like Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off', cause if you look up in the dictionary 'basic white girl' you will see a picture of me.
However, playing this playlist whilst working in the kitchen has worked wonders for me, it makes me happy, I find myself singing along (sorry neighbours) and it generally motivates me a little further. I also pop this playlist on whilst I'm driving, or tidying, and it just helps to stop me thinking about stuff that I don't need to think about. I would highly recommend making yourself a 'motivational' playlist and blasting it on full volume.
If you're intrigued, you can see mine below, however don't judge me for having The Spice Girls and 5ive in there.
Tidy House, Tidy Mind
I always like having a tidy house, but over the past couple of weeks, my motivation to tidy has been a little non existent. However, I had a really big tidy/clean the other Friday, with my music playing really loudly and honestly afterwards, I had so much more of a clearer mind. I've been trying to keep on top of tidying as it really does make a difference for me, I find it makes me be in a good mood. I'll be like 'oh the house looks so lovely' and I can't really describe it but I just feel like I have room to breathe.
I know that sounds wayyy dramatic and cliche but it's true. I've been trying to do a bit of tidying each day and every evening before I go to bed, I'll try make sure that the living room and kitchen is relatively tidy so I'm not walking down into a mess in the morning.
Having A Pamper:
Sometimes you need to listen to your body, and having a pamper evening has helped me to chill, relax and de stress. I've found that my self confidence has been on the floor recently, so having my nails painted and keeping on top of fake tan, has really helped me feel a bit more human. Taking the time for long showers with hair treatments, and face masks all really help. I always feel about 1327763 x better when I have nice nails and fresh fake tan so I try to keep on top of this. Let yourself have a long bath and treat yourself, I promise you will feel so much better in the morning!
All these things are literally so simple, but it's amazing how much they have helped me. Sometimes you have to go back to basics, but work out what works for you. I'm going into February feeling a little more positive and motivated, which hopefully will only improve further. I'm going to try stop beating myself up so much about feeling down, because let's be honest that is the last thing I need.
I would love to know what you do to perk yourself up when you are feeling down/un motivated, as I'm always up for trying new things :)
Hope you all had a lovely weekend! x