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Liverpool motivational speaker gives us 8 effective ways to beat the January blues

1 year ago

Liverpool motivational speaker gives us 8 effective ways to beat the January blues

We can all feel a little fed up at the start of the new year, as we mourn the fact that Christmas is over for another 12 months and all we want to do is hide under the duvet regretting too many mince pies rather than face the year head.

The January blues can affect us all – but according to Zita Richardson, a Liverpool motivational speaker, trainer and life coach we don’t have to let them.

Instead of descending into a downward spiral, she says: “You can make sure 2023 is everything you want it to be.”

What are the January blues?

The January blues are when we all feel a little bit down at the start of the year.

“Everybody knows that in January we get the long dark days, the weather’s not good, and we are all feeling a little sluggish after Christmas,” says Zita, who also director of Health and Safety Matters.

“Many people have over-partied, we’ve over-eaten, and over-spent, so that’s why most of us go ‘ugh’.”

Our health is affected, she goes on, because we have over-indulged, our sleep patterns have been disrupted so we might be overly tired, and the shorter, dreary days and nights can lead to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which can add to our unhappiness.

“It’s the aftermath of what is usually a joyful, happy time, one that’s been and gone. But we can,” says Zita, “turn it on its head.

“And think not about the blues but the joys.

“And there are certainly things we can do to change our mindset and mood so we don’t feel down – or stay down!”

January Blues

How to beat the blues

1.  Ask why you feel this way?

“Everybody will have a different reason for the blues, and it depends to what extent you are feeling them,” says Zita. “It depends on what scale you’re feeling these blues – is it just a passing phase? Ask yourself why you are feeling this way and ask to what extent is it justifiable. Is it everything – or just some things that get you down?

“We can be our own worst enemy and make it worse than it is, so we have to catch ourselves when we feel like this.”

2. Get up and wake up

Predominantly people feel down in their waking moments, when they’re thinking about all they have to do and don’t want to do, and it’s dark outside.  Getting up and waking up shifts the mindset, says Zita, and we move away from the tendency to feel overwhelmed and down.

“Thoughts affect emotions, and emotions affect behaviour,” says Zita. “So nip it in the bud.”

New Year's Resolution
Credit: PA

3. Don’t set unrealistic goals

“We often make New Year resolutions which are unreasonable and so we can’t stick to them, and then we feel defeated when we don’t.”

4. Feed your mind with encouraging thoughts

“Don’t think and say things like ‘I have to go to work’, think ‘I get to go to work’. That’s good news.”

5. Get as much daylight and fresh air as you can

Remind yourself that the nights are starting to get shorter and the days longer. As much daylight as you can get will be better for you, and get out into the fresh air, before, during, or after work.

“Even if it’s just 10 minutes, irrespective of how windy it is, it will give you a boost.”

6. Make 2023 a year when you are determined to make better choices

“We tend to get the blues when we have regrets about what we did the previous year and regrets don’t benefit anybody. 

“Don’t think about the past, you have to think about the future. I know this is a cliché, but yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today’s a gift – that’s why we call it the present.”

So create a better routine:

Ditch the junk food and have a balanced diet with plenty fresh fruit and vegetables (try vitamins, especially Vitamin D in winter, if the foods you eat don’t have them).

Get exercise – even if it’s just 10 minutes a day.

Develop a better sleep pattern.

“Start small,” says Zita.  “Do it in bitesize chunks and build up. This way better practices become better habits and you can grow them into better behaviours.”

7. Limit social media – and don’t compare yourself to others

“Consider also what you’re listening to and watching, and choose things that are positive’.

8. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you

“Negative people and thoughts can bring you down, so think about who you are listening to and what you are saying. Maintaining a positive focus will bring you on – so move away from the negative, it feeds a downward spiral.”

Zita says: “January is about being in a bit of a rut, and people can try and make an effort, and then give up. It’s about overcoming that, overcoming the blues, and being encouraged.

“Beating the blues is about shifting your mindset.”

Find more advice on beating the January blues here and here.

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