January 21 2023
Gosh; is anyone else struggling with January? Setting off for work at 7am and returning around 6pm, I feel as if I live in darkness at the moment. So this morning’s run, in the glorious, snowy sunshine is a real pick-me-up. But, aside from ‘living for the weekend‘, if only to see daylight, are there any other tips for getting through the dreary 31 days that start each year?
Much is written about poor old January. An entry entitled ‘Why is January depressing?‘ for the Foundations Wellness Center by Justin Baksh on 2 January 2022, claims that,
It is often said that January – dubbed “the Monday of months” – is the most depressing month of the year.
And many of us would resonate with a catalogue of reasons why: end of the holiday season, dismal weather and mounting debt. It is, I read, scientifically proven that shorter daylight hours and lack of sunlight do lead to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which can play havoc with our body clocks and reduce energy and motivation. Possibly this is why the cheery resolutions of New Year’s Day can so often wither away as we battle against sluggish despondency?
Psychologist Cliff Arnall, even hit the headlines in 2004 with a proposed formula for low mood! I think he has since admitted that this was a partial publicity stunt plus a mathematics model for mood feels unlikely, nonetheless, you cannot argue with the list of variables that definitely do contribute to the misery of our much-maligned opening month of the year.
So what can we do about it?
Canadian blogger ‘Mommy Kat and Kids‘ promotes self -care and ‘sit and soak‘ is her number one tip. Kat espouses the merits of a candle-lit bath and I can vouch for this one in a slightly different guise as, after months of inactivity, I fire up the hot tub on Friday night and have a fantastic evening in there with a friend.
The joy of a hot tub, which is not often mentioned, is that it is wonderful way to enjoy the great British outdoors, because as you sink into the deliciously depths of the steamy water, you are actually warm and can just relish the peace and stillness of beautiful winter’s evening. It is great for conversation, relaxation, shaking off the working week and having fun!
So folks; if you’ve a hot tub; hop in. Or get running those bathtubs and basking in bubbles with candles, music … and escape the wintry chills!
Cygnet Health Care list ‘keep fit and stay active‘ as tip number three. I must concur with this one too; I am loving my January running. I do actually like to exercise in the cold, running on a hot day is my nemesis and, as the icing on the cake, I got blue tooth earphones for Christmas so I am now pounding the pavements to the beat of my favourite rousing anthems! For an hour each Saturday, it has become my definition of ‘happy’.
And few of us would argue with the benefits of being active. So when we’re lucky enough to see a glimmer or sunlight, pull on the trainers or enjoy the beauty of a snowy walk. In grimmer weather, and let’s face it, we’ve had a lot, blogger Kat recommends digging out your yoga mats. Worth a try… again if only to warm up!
So mostly, but not all about the weekend? I’ve now got the suggestion of a bit of downward dog and a midweek bath to brighten up a January evening! Alongside the delights of Friday nights and the rare glimpses of daylight that Saturday and Sunday bring, will this be enough to sustain me through the gloomy grind of the working week? I fear not. And I’ve yet to mention the desperate need for a pay day! Whose idea was it to put two 31 day months back to back at the most expensive time of the year? Not a parent I’ll wager. Sheer insanity!
On the bright side… we are over half way through! Nonetheless, please hurry up February…