Got the January Blues? Don’t worry – because you’re probably not alone.
Research has shown that the positive attitude we feel at the start of the new year has usually faded… By the middle of January.
The study, of 2,000 adults by Thomas Cook, found 77% start January with a positive mind-set, looking forward to the year ahead and making plans to make it a good 12 months.
But 85% of those have already given up on their hopeful outlook before the end of January, with one in 20 admitting their happy mood is over before they’ve even got through the first week.
Anna Williamson, qualified counsellor & TV regular – part of the on-screen team of psychology experts and panellists for Channel 5 Big Brother’s Bit on the Side – has provided us with tips on how to stay positive in the new year. And stay on track with your resolutions.
1. Set yourself a Goal
It’s important you keep the goal realistic and achievable, don’t make your goal too unobtainable as it’ll only serve to de-motivate you should you veer off it slightly.
Start small, then increase your goals each time you’ve completed one. It’s best to start with a series of short term ‘mini-goals’, and then have a think about setting a more long term one when you’re getting the hang of it. This is proven to help resolutions stick.
2. Take some ‘Me’ Time
We often spend so much time making sure everything and everyone is ok, that we can accidentally neglect our own needs and mental health.
Have a think about what you can do, just for you, and make a ‘deal’ with yourself to dedicate some time each week for yourself. So, maybe it’s reading a favourite book or trashy magazine, it could be having a leisurely browse online at your favourite destinations and planning your next holiday. Go on, you deserve it.
3. Get up and get Active
At this time of the year, the last thing we often feel like doing is to jump around in the cold or sweat it out in a gym.
However, exercise is proven to boost your feel good hormones and brain chemicals, and really can make all the difference to our mood and motivation.
So, if sweating it out in a gym class isn’t for you, that’s ok, have a think about what you’d enjoy, maybe it’s swimming (with a nice hot sauna afterwards) or a calming yoga class…boosting our physical health really can help with our overall happy and positive vibes.
4. Plan something Fun
When we’re juggling work, family and keeping New Year’s resolutions, we can sometimes hit a wall and feel a little overwhelmed. Making plans for the near future is a great way to lift your mood and look forward to something fun.
A holiday is an obvious and a great tried and tested way to boost your outlook and keep you on track with the job in hand. You can use it as a reward for achieving a goal or motivation to keep fit and show off that bikini body. So go on, think about some Summer sun or a cosy winter chalet – a short break, or a long holiday.
5. Have a chat and cuppa
We’re all so used to checking our smart phones and social media umpteen times a day that it can be really easy to forget the importance and benefits of having a proper face to face chat with someone.
Have a think about who you could have a cuppa and natter with, maybe it’s a family member, or that friend you keep putting off – the positive benefits of having a chat with someone and offloading any worries, and in turn listening to theirs, can have such a brilliant and positive effect on your wellbeing. So go on, ditch the mobile and put the kettle on!