Three Tips for Dealing with the January Blues


It’s a wee bit cold, a wee bit dull, and we’re all a wee bit broke - all of which can sometimes lead us to feeling a wee bit down!

Sadness and depression can take hold of many of us in our lifetimes and although it can be an inevitable part of our journey through life there are ways to manage its length, and whether it returns too often. I can’t speak as a professional but only as someone who has experienced this sadness at various stages from teenage apathy to painful adult transitions. I’ve learned a lot to help myself through these particular times and maybe a little of it might make sense to you too.


1. Accept it is there

The natural instinct for people to have when ‘the black dog’ comes to visit is to run in the other direction. It’s in-built in us to avoid discomfort but not all natural instincts are good for us. When I realise I’m doing this, I take 30 minutes to sit and really let myself feel what I’m feeling. I try to notice how my thoughts are working and how my body is feeling. I might have a cry, feel angry, or just plain achy all over but I always will feel a sense of relief at the end of this sitting time. A lot of pain can come from running away from what your feeling and when you actually sit down to face the big bad monster you realise it isn’t that scary after all!

2. Know that it is transient

A lot of people stay longer in these bouts of sadness than they need to by believing they need to find a way out. This then causes you to ruminate more and more about ‘what is wrong?’ or ‘how can I fix this?’ - both questions which are counter-productive when you feel this way. Tell yourself that you’ll figure all that out when your feeling better, but for now take it easy, know it’s transient and let the bad weather pass.

3. Talk to someone

One of the tell-tale signs that I’ve been down in the dumps for too long is my tendency to hibernate! Although stepping back from a few responsibilities when your feeling low can be good (stress is a trigger for the blues!), it is important not to isolate yourself too much. One of the symptoms of depression is feeling like you are a burden. So when you feel like that, know it is not true and talk to a friend, relative, or therapist to talk out how you are feeling. It is in built in us as humans to be compassionate, and in fact people feel great when they feel that they have helped someone (they have done studies!). So give someone the chance today to hear your story.

These are just three small ways that can help but there are many organizations out there whose job it is to make sure your ok! My favorites are below.

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