We’ve all of heard of ‘having the blues’ or ‘feeling blue’…where we know this as meaning feeling sad or depressed. There’s even been many a song written about having the blues….but have you heard about having the January Blues?
Essentially it is when the feel-good endorphins that many of us experience over the festive season quickly begin to diminish during January.
If you think back to the festive season, you likely did the ‘mad rush’ just before Christmas; organising last minute gifts, circling the car park looking for a park at the shops, battling the crowds, organising the food, attending all of the social events and catch-ups that just-have-to occur in the lead up to Christmas. And then of course there is the stress of Christmas Day, the cleaning up afterwards and the packing required for holidays…and once all of that stops, come January, we can feel totally and utterly exhausted!! This exhaustion combined with a drop of endorphin levels can lead to a decline in mood – and this is where ‘January Blues’ comes into play.
If you’ve experienced the January Blues before, don’t worry you are not alone. In fact, it can be a very real condition, what is known as, Situational Depression (NOT to be confused with Seasonal Depression that is caused by a change in weather usually occurring in the cooler winter months).
The January Blues can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- Not seeing family & friends as often if they are away on holidays.
- The festive season is over, which means everything returns back to ‘normal’; where you might need to go back to a job you don’t like.
- Drinking and eating to excess might leave you feeling sluggish.
- You may not have done everything that you had planned to do over the holiday period.
- You may have found your New Year’s Resolution hard to keep.
- You’ve spent more money than what you wanted to.
This can lead to us feeling physically and emotionally drained, and we can experience many unwanted feelings at this time, such as, low mood, sadness, low energy, lack of motivation, anxiety or feeling like a failure. And these types of emotions can make us feel like there’s not much to look forward to and less hopeful.
But considering what 2021 was like, we should allow ourselves room for optimism, excitement and determination – it’s just a matter of equipping ourselves with the right mental skills to allow us to manage any difficult feelings, as well as, knowing what direction we want to take life and the steps needed to get there!
Some simple things that you could start doing now, include, making a list of the things you wish to achieve (and steps needed to achieve them), declutter your office at work or at home, return to a good sleeping pattern, get back into a good routine with food and exercise, look ahead to what you can enjoy, and plan your next holiday!
And seeing as it’s unlikely that anyone is going to be writing a song about having the January Blues anytime soon, now that you know about it, it’s up to you to make sure that you keep an eye out for others who might be experiencing this!