A Guide to Beating the January Blues

by Cameron – Thursday, 16. January 2020

Dark and cold. Two words that define much of the early winter month of January. We go to work in darkness, and leave in the pitch black. It’s plenty enough to bring you down and even harder to find the motivation to do much else than curl up on a couch. The reasons we feel lethargic and mentally drained are scientifically proven, and one of the common inflictions has an appropriately labeled name: SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a condition that brings on an onset of depression due to the exposure to less natural sunlight. While you may not be diagnosed with this more severe form of a seasonal infliction, it is common to experience symptoms that make your body feel out of sync. Here are some tips to help pull you out of the January blues, and back to feeling like yourself.

Increase your intake of Vitamin D

Sunlight is essential to keeping our bodies feeling well rested and energetic. The incessant grey skies and short hours of daylight can make it difficult during the winter months to receive the essential Vitamin D we need. Getting outside is the easiest solution to this problem. Spending weekends on walks or taking an adventure to higher altitudes where there is an increased amount of sunlight could help you power through your weeks. The fresh air and sun is a free source of this vital ingredient to mental and physical wellbeing. If this isn’t an option you can ensure you’re getting your recommended dose by taking supplements with this micronutrient. Almost all major markets and pharmacies carry supplements that have high doses of Vitamin D.

Keep warm, calm, and clean

Viruses tend to live longer at colder temperatures and lower humidity. Combine that with the fact that most of are enclosed in close quarters with many co-workers, and unfortunately also hosts to infections, and we have a recipe for disaster. No better way to lose motivation and sink further down then a strong cough and sore body. To combat these problems the best you can, here are a few things you can do:

  • Stay Warm: Avoid strong temperature fluctuations which can weaken your immune system and expose you to respiratory infections and viruses. It’s important to wear proper clothing when going outdoors.
  • Limit Stress: Warm baths, warm beverages, and relaxing evenings and weekends. Whichever way you unwind, whether it be sports, music, or reading a book, it is important to find activities that help you keep calm and unwind. Lowering stress can strengthen our immune systems and help prevent mental fatigue.
  • Stay Clean: Washing our hands more frequently and maintaining our best hygiene can help keep harmful bacterias and viruses from spreading. It’s the best way to make sure a harmless handshake doesn’t turn into sick leave.

Stay motivated with little rewards

A long holiday break can make it feel impossible to restart our workout routines and general fitness goals. Don’t feel down if you aren’t in the place you want to be. Taking small progressive steps towards what you want to achieve will help accelerate your results. To keep with it, give yourself small rewards like your favourite chocolate bar or a glass of wine. Take a short trip to a place that brings you happiness. It’s okay to indulge ourselves on our way to whatever we want to achieve. Even the greatest bodybuilders and athletes in the world have cheat days!  Knowing something enjoyable is on the back end of a tough workout can help to keep us inspired and happy, no matter how small the reward.

Be Active Throughout the Season

This may seem like obvious advice. If you haven’t started, not to worry! Even a little exercise can make a difference in your overall mood. Exercise reduces stress, strengthens our immune system, and increases your overall happiness and energy. Getting started is the hardest part, and from personal experience I always find that if you can push yourself through the first two weeks it becomes much easier to settle into a healthy routine. Even a steady 3 day a week schedule for exercise can help cure the January blues that drives you down. Take advantage of cycling or power classes, find a gym to strength train, or get outside for a jog and absorb some of that needed Vitamin D. We’re here to help you achieve your goals and hopefully get the mental boost you need to stay joyful and energetic through the winter. We hope to see you soon!