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Beat the January Blues: Ways to look after your mental health this month

After the excitement and the rush of December and the Christmas period, the 31 days in January can feel like an entire year. There is less sunlight, it’s colder outside, we are all getting back into work mode after the holidays, and feelings of guilt about failing New Year’s resolutions. We are also living through a global pandemic, so there are many stressors that could lead to people feeling very low at the beginning of the year. Here are some tips to help you cope and deal with your mental health, not only this month but also the rest of the year.

Stay active

Dedicate some time to move around. It can be something as quick and simple such as a walk around your neighbourhood, yoga, or something a bit more intense. Exercise can be a great mood booster and can also help improve your quality of sleep.

Get as much sunlight as possible

We’ve all probably heard about Seasonal Affective Disorder which. Symptoms include depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern- usually more intense in the lower light months. Exposure to natural light increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. Seratonin is the hormone linked to stabilising our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. When you can go outside and get some light.

Engage in some self-care

Adding some “me time” into your daily or weekly routine can be a great mood booster. Engage with a non-work hobby, watch your favourite movie or tv show, make time for relaxation. Whatever makes you feel good, take some time out of your schedule to do just that.

Stay connected

Maintain contact with your family, friends and colleagues. More of us have been working from home because of the pandemic, which can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness. Text someone, video call someone or plan a coffee date (or a virtual one!)

Get some help

Talking to someone can really help when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. This can be a trusted family member or friend or contacting professional services. If you require work-related support, speak to your line manager or a colleague.  You do not have to go through tough times alone. Below are some useful resources and charities to get in touch with if you need help with your mental health:

Mind | SamaritansBlack Minds Matter | Rethink

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