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How to Get Rid of The January Blues

Updated on January 9, 2017
Pictures on this article are my own or are courtesy of Karen's Whimsy.
Pictures on this article are my own or are courtesy of Karen's Whimsy.

Don't let the gloomy old January blues get you down

Have you got the January blues and can't figure out how, when, or why it happened? That nasty old January depression can work it's way into your world before you know it. It just seems to sneakily creep in and then there you are all upset, sad, and blue.

Well you are not alone. Seasonal depression hits quite a few folks at this time of year. The January blues are sort of like having a nasty old flu. The blues are just something that happens to go around at this time of year, and like so many other folks, you happened to catch it. It's really nothing to feel bad about.

Don't let the gloomy old January blues get you down. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and let's get over that nasty old bout of depression that is bringing you down.

The little things in winter can make it so wonderfully unique.

Make that seasonal depression go away.

It's cold outside. It's gloomy outside. Where the heck did the sunshine go?

If you have not gotten sufficient sunlight during the winter months then this lack of sunshine could be the cause of your winter depression. It's called SADS, or Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome, and it means that the winter season is going to have a major effect on your ability to maintain a good mood.

The brain produces a number of mood enhancing chemicals when you are exposed to sunlight, and if you do not get yourself out into the sunshine during the winter months, then you are apt to get just as gloomy as the weather is. You get sad.

So to prevent SADS from getting you down in the winter months you are going to need to make a real effort at exposing yourself to the sun's rays. Take a brief walk at least three times a week, or make it a point to participate in some sort of outdoor activity, or winter sport. Go skiing, sledding, skating, or have a good old fashioned snowball fight with your kids...it's your choice.

You could also choose to go to a tanning salon, or to use a lamp which imitates sunlight, as these are known to help alleviate the symptoms of SADS. Of course you could also just book your holidays for January and head off to a beach somewhere far away which is nice and sunny.

Set up a winter bird feeder to attract wintering birds to your yard. Bird watching can be a very heart warming activity.

Call up a friend, your sister, brother, dad or mom and spend some time reminiscing.

That can be pretty heart warming.

How to cure the January blues?

The key to getting over the January blues lies in knowing how to make this seasonal depression go away and fortunately there are more than a few ways to shake this depressed atmosphere off of you.

When you smile, laugh, exercise or participate in other pleasurable activities, your brain does an amazing thing and releases a little chemical message known as an endorphin. These endorphins are feel good messages potent enough to have the power to actually remove physical and emotional pain from your body. They travel down your spine, and then throughout your body, creating a feeling of well being as they go. These endorphins have the power to make you feel happy.

The really magical aspect of these endorphins is that they do not seem to recognize a fake smile or laugh from a real one. So go ahead and pretend that you are happy, because doing so, actually will make you happy.

It's true. It works. Go ahead and make yourself laugh.

Find a reason to laugh each and every day.

Exercise. It can help to make you feel happier.

When you exercise you also release those very same little feel good chemicals that are released when you laugh. Yep, you get your endorphins flowing and this puts you into a feel good mood.

Exercise will also help you to look and feel better. A good self image always puts a person in a smidge better mood. So pull out the treadmill or dance around the living room for awhile. It will help you to shake off those nasty January blues.

A winter walk can yield some very pleasant sights.

Dance like no one is watching.

Don't beat yourself up - reward yourself.

The brand new year often brings with it new hopes and expectations for us to accomplish. So we might feel that we don't, or have not, measured up. This is why some individuals make New Years resolutions and why some folks don't. Why some people are disappointed if they don't succeed and why some individuals don't even want to try.

Gosh but we really can be our own worst critic and January can be the perfect time for us to disappoint ourselves. Well don't be so darn hard on yourself this year. You would not treat your best friend like that so don't do it to yourself. Don't criticize yourself for past mistakes but instead consider January as a time to reward yourself for your wonderful qualities.

When you start feeling down then perk back up by giving yourself a small treat. The little things in life can be the most wonderful treasures, and sometimes we tend to forget this, even though these small rewards can be the very items which make life so enjoyable.

Treat yourself to a cup of your favorite hot beverage at your favorite restaurant.

Treat yourself to a new skill. Go online and learn a new hobby. There is a free site for almost everything, and you just have to Google it, to find it. You could learn origami, knitting, crochet, woodworking, a foreign language, or chess. You decide.

Go for a walk on a sunny day.

Call up an old friend and say hi.

Chase the dog around the house or have him chase you.

Crank up the music.

Grab your mate, or a broom, and dance around the house.

Tell your family that you love them.

Play a game of monopoly.

Buy a weird baseball cap and wear it.

Soak in a bubble bath.

Talk to your doctor.

Your doctor is a professional and he knows how to help you feel better.

There are a few logical reasons why people get the January blues.

The excitement of Christmas is over and January has a way of just naturally feeling rather humdrum in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. All the glitz and glamor, visiting relatives, and all that other happy ho ho ho stuff of the Christmas season is past.

Unfortunately one very major part of the Christmas season which tends to stick around long after the holidays are over is the over spending. The new charges on the credit card, and all the other excess spending which went into making the holidays so jolly, hangs around long after the holidays are over.

It's cold and gloomy outside which only adds to making a person feel blue. Sunshine helps you feel happy by releasing "feel good" chemicals in your brain so when it is cloudier, or you stay indoors more, then you are just naturally going to feel a little less happy.

It is also officially time to head back to work, but if you take a real close look at the calendar on your wall, you may notice that there are not a lot of holidays listed in the near future. You may even have to flip a few pages to find one. (Gasp....who planned that one out?)

It is little wonder that you feel a little blue. You have a lot of factors working against you.

Chin up. Now is the time to put on the old boxing gloves and fight back. It is the perfect time to get rid of the January blues.

Participate in activities that you love.

Weller WSB25WB  25-Watt Short Barrel Woodburning Kit
Weller WSB25WB 25-Watt Short Barrel Woodburning Kit

Pass the time doing something that you love. A cold winter day is the perfect opportunity to work on craft projects or baking. There is always someone who will appreciate a gift that is created at home.

 

When it is cold outside we naturally spend more time indoors.

Smiles are contagious

Pass one on today

Have you ever suffered from seasonal depression?

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    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I remember the Northern Exposure episode where the old man got so high on and hooked on the mood lamp (after being depressed) that they had to take it away and do an intervention!

      But the good thing about January is that the light is already starting to last longer!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes Laughter is Contageou and it is to be Shared with as many people as possible and besides, it's the beginning of a New Year! You know Newness like a New Car or New House, Ahh!!! Love that New Fresh Smell!! Or something like that :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think January must be the longest month of the whole year! Great ideas on how to pick myself up! Looking forward to spring helps too!

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 6 years ago from USA

      Fortunately I don't get the January blues but I do know several people that do. Exercise definitely helps and I like your tip about planning a vacation. Just looking at tropical pictures & sending for visitor bureau publications can help to take the blues away.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Great lens. In Australia this happens around July, mid winter here. Featured this on Motivation

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Oh yes! this year we went to Florida, but it turned out to be a mild rare snow winter here in Wisconsin...the only cure is to move...I take vitamin D (this sate has many women deficient in Vit.D) Then also to take away the piety party, I read my Bible..

      Great informative lens to help with the Blues.

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • profile image

      marsha32 4 years ago

      Gotta love those smiley products! I always feel I have the January blues just due to the cold weather. Cold weather and I don't get along---I get cold way too easily due to lack of circulation, takes me forever warm back up. I would love nothing more than to stay inside my house all winter long!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @marsha32: I agree 100 percent. I am always glad when the long cold month of January is over and I can start to see the snow beginning to melt away.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @MargoPArrowsmith: That sounds hilarious. We got the show Northern Exposure up my way but I missed that one. I can picture in my mind the mid of January, snow waist high, and an old guy cuddled up in bed with his sun lamp.

    • RedHairedRockHead profile image

      RedHairedRockHead 4 years ago

      My seasonal depression occurs in a different season! I really hate summer in Chicago, it's just way too hot and humid, and I end up staying inside and avoiding things I like to do otherwise. So that's when I get depressed. I do get a little bit of that let-down feeling after the holidays though, so I usually make January my big house clean-out, clean up, and donate month. Makes me feel busy and useful again :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I haven't, but I love you dance idea.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well, i'm sure ready to fight January depression with laughter, smiles, dancing, a little origami and treating myself rather than beating myself up for what's passed is in the past. I also have that bottle of D3 that my sister keeps trying to get me to take because she says it helps her, but I'm just not good at taking anything regularly. January is almost here and we have to be ready to combat SADS....let there be light! FB liked so others can get help for those January blues too!

    • giftsandgadgets profile image

      giftsandgadgets 4 years ago

      Wow! I thought that it was just me that felt this way in January. What a great idea for a lens along with some excellent ideas on how to change my mood at this January time. Thank you so much! :0)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We've almost made it through January.....Tweeted and posted on FB...to help us make it to the end of the month with a few smiles.:):):)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you for always being around the community Tipi. You truly are a sweetheart and add such sunshine to the gloomy months of the year. Friends truly are beyond value.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great lens and tips to on beating the January blues. I've heard of this before, but thankfully I've never had them. I guess the reason being, I practice many of the things you've talked about in your lens throughout the year and trust in the Lord. There is always room for improvement, but it's great to see that we're almost into February. Stay happy and blessed my dear friend!

    • nanafisher profile image

      nanafisher 4 years ago

      yes I do. I miss my family so much after the holidays

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I've been fortunate in terms of feeling happy in life - I know many who aren't so fortunate, and if I had one wish it would be that they find inner peace. Nowadays, I love everyday.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      This is a wonderful, inspiring lens. Thank you for publishing it.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Good lens. But I have a small doubt. I thought most of us would be in a better mood in January since it is the start of a new year. Anyway, a refreshingly different point of view.

    • JustineKnott profile image

      JustineKnott 3 years ago

      Lovely lens. I see many clients with seasonal depression, or depression that becomes worse in the winter months. As you point out, less sunlight, lack of exercise and less social activity in winter has a lot to do with it. Also many people are Vitamin D deficient which causes symptoms that mimic depression. Supplements can help but they should get their doctor's advice. Thanks for your article.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      No, but I have treated people who have and offered some of the suggestions you have here. Winter months are a good time to refocus as well, and that helps people get back on track for the remainer of the year.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 3 years ago

      Not depression but I have come to enjoy the cold season less as I've got older and I'm really looking forward to the spring weather. This lens helped today :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @Craftymarie: I like seeing the birds visit in the winter. I have set my desk up by our patio window and just having the light and the view outside really helps me feel more cheerful in the winter.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @favored: It is the perfect time of year to start an exercise program or dietary changes (without extreme guidelines or expectations of course).

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