Heyland & Whittle’s Gentle Ways to Beat the January Blues
Now, it might seem like it’s a little too late in the year to wish you a happy one – but actually, that’s exactly what we’re here to do in this post!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that January is absolutely the longest month of the year, lasting approximately 744 hours (and then some).
With all the merriment of Christmas behind us, the twinkly tree lights tucked away for another year, and all the ‘New Year, New You’ juice cleanses, detox plans, unwelcome diets, and exercise programs rearing their ugly heads, it’s very easy to feel blue.
Rather than add another thing to your 2022 to-do list, we thought we’d suggest a few gentle ways to help you find your way back to centre. Read on for our suggestions on making your January more joyful.
Let there be light!
One of the best things about January is that the days get perceptibly longer. After what feels like months of darkness, even a few extra minutes of daylight make all the difference – and going for a morning walk, well-wrapped up, is one of the best happy-hormone fixes around.
Not only does being out in the light boost your Vitamin D levels, but the fresh air, movement, and gentle exercise can help to increase your serotonin production for a better and more stable mood.
For an extra perk, take a flask of tea or coffee with you, and head out before the dawn. The rising sun and a hot beverage will definitely put some pep in your step.
Step away from the resolutions…
Despise resolutions? You’re in the right place! Resolutions can often backfire and be worse for our mental health, according to Solutions-Focused Therapist, Gin Lalli.
“The negative primitive part of your brain is not innovative because it’s not an intellectual resource. It can’t get creative around solutions for problems. For this reason, it’s very ‘black and white.’ There is no room for a grey area or any errors.”
How does this impact your resolutions? Gin explains:
“When you make a resolution to correct a behaviour, you go from one extreme to the other: If you’ve been eating badly, you resolve to say NO to ALL sugar. If you’ve had too much alcohol over the festive period then Dry January appeals. And if you’ve let your fitness slide then you think you need to begin training for a triathlon.”
Sounding familiar? Us too. So what’s the fix?
“We need to work with the ‘grey area’ of the intelligent brain. This part of the brain is much more creative and objective. In this part of the brain, you’ll be far more relaxed and realistic about your goals. You’ll set more realistic boundaries and you won’t catastrophise when you make the tiniest of slip-ups.”
More realistic goals, being kinder to ourselves when things don’t go to plan, and getting comfortable with the grey area in our grey matter? Yes, please.