Taking care of your wellbeing in January

January can be a tough month after all of the festivities and indulgences. People often feel tired and sluggish, and seasonal colds begin to rear their ugly heads.

There is also Blue Monday in January which is classed as the most depressing day of the year and usually takes place on the third Monday of the month. Short days, going to and from work in the dark, the cold weather and lack of money in January can make it a difficult month. Add onto that the pressures of New Year resolutions and to be healthy, it can be a gloomy month.

Keep physically active
Regular exercise can help boost your mood, beat stress and increase your energy levels. It doesn’t need to be a difficult workout, so choose something that you enjoy and like doing to get those endorphins going. Gentle exercise such as walking, dancing, cycling, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, swimming or gardening is a great way to improve your wellbeing.

Take time for yourself
Good wellbeing means looking after your body and mind. We can all get wrapped up in everyday life but it’s important to take time for yourself to relax and rest. Stress can affect your mental and physical wellbeing, and long-term stress is not healthy for your body or mind. Learning relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or mindfulness can help reduce stress levels.

Eat a healthy diet
It may be tempting to reach for comfort or sugary foods to cheer yourself up from the January blues, however, eating foods high in fat and carbohydrates will wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. A healthy and balanced diet is good for your physical and mental wellbeing. Try including lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet, along with fatty oils such as omega-3 and 6.

Make relationships a priority
Social connectedness can play an important role in our wellbeing. It refers to the relationships people have with others as relationships give people support, happiness, contentment and a sense of belonging. When times are difficult and you are feeling down, try connecting with friends and family for support or join a club to spend time with likeminded people or volunteer for a charity.

Take advantage of natural daylight
After a nice relaxing break, it can be difficult getting back into the routine of 9-5 and not seeing much daylight. Make the most of natural light and try to take regular work breaks if you can. Commuting to and from work in darkness can be disheartening so take advantage of your lunch breaks and go for short walks to get your dose of fresh air.