There's no denying that January is generally a hard month to get through. Emerging from a post Christmas haze, normally with a bout of bad weather and the countdown until payday seemingly stretching into the abyss, it's no wonder we are overjoyed when we see February limping into the horizon!
And this year, which seemed so full of promise a few short months ago, has been marked by the start of another lockdown, the return of furlough and home schooling and no real knowledge of just when we will be on the other side of the pandemic.
So what do you do when adulting seems a bit too much and you'd rather bury yourself in your duvet and binge watch Netflix with what remains of that box of Quality Street for company?
We've brainstormed our top five ways to clear your head and boost your mood when you're in a slump and you need to recharge and refocus!
If you ignore everything else written below, this would be our absolute top tip to try! It's amazing how much clearer your head feels within five minutes of stepping outdoors, and this is particularly important during lockdown when we are spending all our time indoors. If you're working from home, make sure you take 10 minutes of your lunch break to go a quick stroll round the block. If you're home schooling, pack the books away at 3pm and take the kids to the park. If you're lucky enough to have a hill, or a field or a forest close by, mark out a Saturday morning to go exploring (side note - I did this recently and discovered a waterfall 7 minutes from my house!). Take the time to breathe and watch the flowers beginning to bud. There's something magical about the seasons changing, take it all in and we guarantee you'll have a clearer head for it.
Listen To Music
This one can be done at the same time as your walk, but we find it's also great when you're doing little tasks throughout the day like housework, cooking or even in the background whilst your working (maybe pass on it during your zoom check in with the boss though!) Apps like Spotify have dedicated mood boosting playlists (our fave is Songs To Sing In The Car) which are guaranteed to get you singing and dancing along and to elevate your spirits. Top marks if you fully embrace the hip swaying, hair tossing and top note belting!
Disconnect To Connect
We've been lucky during lockdown to have so many ways to communicate and see people virtually, but sometimes too much exposure to social media can leave us comparing ourselves to others and feeling down. If you find yourself feeling this way, put yourself on a social media ban for a set amount of time and call a friend, family member or arrange to meet them for a socially distanced walk. It's easy to feel lonely, even with all of our technology but nothing beats speaking to someone IRL. Reaching out to tell someone how your feeling means allowing yourself to be supported but it may also help them if they've been feeling the same.
Have A Spa Day At Home
Why wait for the salons to reopen before you pamper yourself again? No, we are not talking botched brows, savaged bikini lines and bad dye jobs here - but what's stopping you from raking through those bath sets you got at Christmas, breaking out the Lush bath bombs, lighting that expensive candle you swore was "just for show" and grabbing yourself an ice cold glass of Prosecco? Moisturise yourself from head to toe, get the spa music on and pour yourself a herbal tea afterwards to keep the feeling going. Get the kids involved if they won't give you a minutes peace by turning the whole house into a spa and doing DIY face masks, cucumber slices and foot spas - it's no Gleneagles but it's better than fractions!
However this looks to you, taking time to be mindful every day reminds us to be present and grateful and gives us better clarity of mind. Our personal favourite ways to practice mindfulness are through yoga, gratitude journaling and positive affirmations but you could also try meditation, manifestation, reading, breathing exercises, listening to music and many more. There are now apps which remind you to practice daily mindfulness exercises and lots of free YouTube exercises to follow. Even if this sounds all a bit hippy to you, we would encourage you to even take 10 minutes out of your day to try it as it can really help promote positive thinking.
So there you have it, our top five ways to beat the January blues!
Let us know if you try them and if you found them helpful! Remember to be taking care of yourself during this time and we hope we will be able to see you all soon for some well deserved pampering!