Fighting off the January blues

Five of the most practical ways to make January into a sanguine start of the year

In Summary

• It feels like all 31 days rolled into one long day after the best party of your life

Woman stares at computer in frustration
Woman stares at computer in frustration

The excitement of ushering in a prosperous New Year has long died down and since replaced by the stress of resuming school and work. Nobody really wants to jump straight into hard work after what feels like an extra-long December holiday. Especially as January is the longest month of the year, it is hard to fight off the holiday blues and be energetic about one’s responsibility.

January is quintessentially the hangover month; it feels like all 31 days were rolled into one long day after the best party of your life! All that you can think of are the wonderful December memories of vacations, food and fun. The five weeks of January coupled with the alarming bank balances, easily make this month a blue month.

Even as most of us have resumed ‘normal life’, that is what we consider normal since the outbreak of Covid-19, we cannot help but feel a little melancholic. It is not because we do not like to work but it is just hard to reconcile the idea of living through free-spirited days with tedious laborious days we have to face presently.

As usual, have no fear, I have analysed and summarised ways in which one can beat the January blues. Listed are five of the most practical ways to make January into a sanguine start of the year.

1. Always think positive

Last year, I wrote extensively on the power of manifestations. Something I have also taken up. We have always been told that our thoughts have a way of affecting our reality; if we want positive outcomes, then we have to start thinking positively. If we keep lamenting about the woes of njanuary, then njanuary will be our reality for the entirety of the month. The idea that January is a blue month is not factual, it stems from our moods and circumstances. We can change the way we perceive the month by simply thinking positively.

2. Just keep moving

I find that the beginning of the year is the best to set up a routine. Routines might sound dull but they keep us moving throughout the day. They fill our days with smaller goals that give purpose to our days. Routines allow us to keep ourselves accountable because when we miss one step we feel out of balance. Routines push us out of bed and into a dynamic world where we have to keep forging forward.

3. Join the movement

Celebrity trainers and popular social media workout programmes usually create ‘bounce back’ programmes in January for people who fell off their fitness journeys in December or for those who want to start living an active lifestyle as part of their resolutions. I find that joining these programmes is crucial in starting the healthy habit of a daily workout. In the fitness world, they say it takes 21 days to ingrain a new habit into your life, so most of these programmes are 21 days long or even longer. By engaging in such a programme, you not only start to build healthy daily habits but you have something to look forward to that will easily make the month bearable.

4. Avoid money-spending activities

Of all months, January is the most crucial when it comes to finances. It sets the tone for the coming months. By this time, most people are already anticipating January’s salary. However, we have a tendency to want to spend more money when we are in this situation just to feel better about ourselves. We might want to go out with friends or buy things we cannot afford or worse still, take out loans. Whatever financial decisions we take in January will be felt in the coming months.

5. Plan a holiday

There is nothing like the feeling of coming from a relaxing and wonderful holiday. That feeling of euphoria might last up to a few weeks in your mind. Why not take advantage of it and plan the next holiday? Since you are fresh from your December holidays, you have an idea of what you want to do, replicate, avoid or what not to do for your next holiday. Planning a holiday is an exciting activity that fills you with a sense of purpose. It makes you look forward to the next time you can get off work and spend some of that hard-earned money.