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How to Get Rid of The January Blues

Updated on October 5, 2021
Lady Lorelei profile image

Mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 7, I strive daily to achieve an optimum level of health and happiness. Life is all about balance.


Don't Let the Gloomy Weather Get You Down

The January blues are sort of like having a bad case of the flu. It is something that tends to affect people at this time of year. Seasonal depression hits quite a few folks at this time of year. You are not alone.

That nasty old January depression can work its way into your mood without your even seeing it approaching. It creeps in and can happen to anyone.

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

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'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.

January Offers up Many Simple Pleasures


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There is a Cure for That Mood

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 off the depressed atmosphere surrounding 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 will actually make you feel happier.

It is true. It works. Go ahead and make yourself laugh.

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

That can be pretty heart warming.

Exercise: It Can Help You to 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. If you are missing social interaction then visit your local gym or pool. Sign up for a yoga class or other exercise class. Many cities people walk throughout a larger mall to stay fit and some cities offer up arenas or other facilities as walking space. Check out what is available in your community.

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The Little Wonders in Winter Can Make it so Wonderfully Charming


Smiles are contagious

Pass one on today

Don't Beat Yourself Up - Reward Yourself

The brand new year often brings with it new hopes and expectations for us to accomplish. This can be a wonderful thing but it can also leave us feeling that we have not measured up to the old or new expectations. This is why some individuals make New Years resolutions and why some folks don't. It is also why we feel upset when we don't succeed in our New Years resolutions.

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 instead.

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 enjoyments and sometimes we tend to forget this. A little luxury or small reward can be the very ticket to help lift your January mood.

Treat yourself to a cup of your favourite hot beverage at a local 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.

Take a trip to your local library.

Find a class of interest at your local college. Learn a new skill.

Crank up the music. Grab your mate or a broom and dance around the house.

Join a group or club.

Join a gym.

Purchase a treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment and use this time to get fit at home.

Tell your family that you love them.

Go online and play a game. There are lots of free ones.

Buy a weird baseball cap and wear it.

Soak in the bath.

Craft something.

It's Logical for January to Sometimes Affect a Person's Perspective

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.

If Your Depression Gets Beyond Your Control

Talk to your doctor.

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

Participate in Activities That you Enjoy

In winter we tend to spend more time indoors and sometimes to neglect the hobbies that bring us a wealth of satisfaction. Make it a point to keep up with the recreational activities you enjoy.

Many past time activities can be modified to fit any season. Visit a gym or pool, join community groups, visit your local library, or take a short course at your college.

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Lorelei Cohen


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