With having dealt with the pandemic and events of 2020, Christmas almost written off with extended family and friends not being able to be nearby, and then having to face the start of 2021 under full lockdown, we all need more help than ever to get us through the January blues. Today is traditionally known as ‘Blue Monday’, because of the long days, a long month in terms of pay day, and the festive period (or the little we got from it) well and truly over.
How about instead of dwelling on why we are all feeling so blue, use this year as a time to check in and focus on ourselves and how we can remain positive over the coming weeks and months. Up for it?
Now that we are settling into the New Year, there is no better time to check-in on our own physical and mental health. Begin by asking yourself, ‘hey, how you doing?’ And I mean really ask yourself and spend some time thinking about how you are feeling, are you ok? If not make a plan to improve things and don’t feel guilty spending time focusing on yourself.
Over half of the adults surveyed by mental health Charity, Mind, stated that their mental health had worsened at some point since the first lockdown in March 2020, so it’s something that we all should be making a priority – not just checking in on ourselves but our loved ones too.
Here are some self-care tips I’ve been adopting especially when times have been tough, hopefully they will help you too:
– Put on your favourite tune: Music heals and gives you the boost you need to get up and dance (or sing!). I often dance it out like a lunatic in the house, much to amusement of my boys, who join in too!
– Plan in some time for the things that you love: Maybe it’s giving yourself a lockdown facial massage, a foot treatment, hand treatment or maybe even getting a partner to give you a nice head massage.
– Journal: put pen to paper, I love doing this, thinking about the things I’m most grateful for and writing down three of these things. It could be the delivery man bringing your groceries that day, it could be a colleague that makes you chuckle on a Zoom call, or it could be a cuddle from a pet. I plan my journal time for just after I’ve meditated in the morning and evening, it keeps me clear in my mind and the best ideas come from the deepest of my meditation moments, mostly because I’m tapping into ‘my own voice’.
– Exercise helps increase serotonin – a natural mood booster: You don’t have to be a runner or a gym enthusiast, just take some fresh area to clear your mind, maybe even listen to a podcast on the move. I love listening to Emma Gun’s podcast, a podcast dedicated to wellbeing, beauty, lifestyle and general positivity with real talk.
– Pamper yourself: You may be working at home, but who says you don’t need to get dressed up or look glam? Plan to style your hair, or wear your favourite lipstick, or even wear the last thing you’ve been dying to wear around the house. So what if it’s just to make a cup of tea!
– Embrace your dreams: My final tip and one of the most important ones that most of us put off. If you’ve ever had that idea that you’ve not started or that project you’ve been dying to get your teeth into, what’s stopping you? Lockdown seems like the perfect time to plan it in. Start small on the actions and build it up, just go for it!
Whilst all these practices will help with getting through Blue Monday, they are so relevant for just surviving through lockdown and helping to boost your mental health.
Sending you all love to get through this time. Good luck!