Feeling blue this month? You’re not alone.
January is hailed by many as the most depressing month of the year. The holiday spirit fades, work resumes, gift-giving bills arrive, resolutions are already being broken, and the weather is ick. Bummer, huh?…
Snap out of it! Easier said than done sometimes, I know… Here are some things to try to help break away from the winter blues –
- Do something for someone else. It’s the unselfish selfish thing to do! Not only does helping someone else give you the feel goods, but it can also help to remind you of the blessings you have. Sample activities: play with a shelter dog; offer to babysit for free; help a friend with spring cleaning; take a friend/relative/mentor to dinner and listen to them.
- Tackle a project. A project, big or small, can give you a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and pleasure. All good things. Sample activities: plant a garden (you can start with seedlings indoors until the weather improves); get a head start on spring cleaning; learn how to build a website or write a blog.
- Go for a walk. It’s free, relatively easy, and the benefits are touted all over the WWW – everything from clearing your head to combating depression. Go ahead and have a google. Some even claim that going for a walk may be better than going to the gym. So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already neglected that new gym membership, have a walk instead.
- Commit to doing things you like to do. It is so important to set aside time on a regular basis (at least monthly, but weekly is better) to fill with plans that you will look forward to — like coffee with friends! Make a list of fun little things to do that can be done anytime, and start putting them on the calendar. I’ve talked about this before (here and here), and I continue to put it into practice. Make the time to do the fun little things.
- Express gratitude. Make a point to actively express your thankfulness in the moment and watch the magic happen! Whether it be to your spouse, friends, family, co-workers, a barista, bank teller, etc. – verbally express your sincere gratitude, even for the little things. You may be surprised that doing so will help you realize all you have, and it makes the person receiving your thanks feel good too! Win win. #bethankful
- Make real friends. Yes professional networks are good for career building, but it’s important to cultivate good friends outside of work. And social media ‘friends’ don’t count. I’m talking real relationships with people outside the office who you actually see face-to-face, enjoy hanging out with, and chit chat about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. If you have a solid group of real friends, then cultivate those friendships- get together when you can, and stay in touch on the regular. If you don’t have a solid group of real friends – invest the time and energy to make some now! Need a push? Research has shown that not having strong social relationships with real friends significantly increases your risk for mortality. That means death people. Yikes. Go get yourself some awesome friends, it’s worth it all around.