The January Blues (n.): a form of sadness or depression brought on by gloomy seasonal weather and the 2017 Presidential Inauguration (kidding…kind of).
If you think you are experiencing the form of seasonal affective disorder I described (and possibly made up) above, you are not alone. The sun has been hiding for weeks, the holiday hype has worn off, work is slow, and logging into Facebook is like watching a Presidential Debate, only much nastier (if that’s even possible). Our country is at odds and while we have made great strides in the last 8 years, it feels as though we are taking one giant step back.
But at the same time, we are also uniting. Maybe not in the way we had hoped, but in a different way. Change does not lie in the hands of one man, but rather a group of people united by a belief.
My point is – regardless of your political views or if you have any at all, this time of year somehow always feels a bit bleak. Sometimes we all need a detox from the negativity in our lives to make room for positive growth. Even if your moodiness is due to the weather! Make these 7 changes in your day to day life and you’ll be feeling a little lighter on your feet in no time.
I didn’t step into a gym until I was 30 years old. Now, I don’t know what I would do without it. And not just because it keeps me in shape. When you exercise it releases ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins that help you to relieve stress and boots energy. Regular exercise can help you rewire the brain in very positive ways – for your body and mind. At least 30 to 45 minutes a day should be dedicated to exercise. Trust me, you’ll see what a difference it can make.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Plain and simple: stop complaining. Constantly worrying and overwhelming yourself with negative thoughts is like a dehabilitating disease. It can overpower you and cloud your entire outlook on life. Worrying is like a vicious cycle. Remember that making yourself miserable will never change the outcome. Just focus on what’s right now. That is what is important. Focus on how you can make a situation better. As someone who is a constant worrier, I have developed my share of exercises. Whenever I have an obtrusive and negative thought, I take a moment to recognize it. I then try to change that thought into something positive and let it go. Don’t feed on it. Don’t analyze it just let this go.
This is a tough one that I often struggle with. As you all know, I own a bakery. AKA all day long I am surrounded by the most delicious desserts and cakes. Building my will power has been quite the task. However, I am not saying to cut out unhealthy foods all together. I am saying to save it for your cheat day. Try to balance it all. What you put into your body can drastically change how we are feeling. We often use food or alcohol as a way to cope with our emotions. This will never make you happy. I mean it may for few minutes or even a for a night. But then you feel guilty and even worse than before causing you to self medicate with these things yet again. Another vicious cycle. Try to avoid the temptation by switching your focus. Remember – your body is like a temple. It only deserves the best.
Take a Deep Breath
When you are feeling anxious or stressed, breathing deeply and slowly is one of the best remedies to help regain focus and positivity. When you recognize that something bothers you, try to disconnect, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Even if just for a minute. You will see how wonderful that can be. It will totally change your focus and bring you back to a more positive reality.
Hit The Snooze Button
I know how hard this one can be. Trust me. Being an entrepreneur, every minute feels like an enormous challenge – who has time for sleep?! It’s extremely hard sometimes to disconnect after an eventful and challenging day. But without a good night’s sleep, you won’t be on your A game the next day. Our body needs sleep. Remember to stay away from your phone. Plug it in away from your bedroom. In the avalanche of social media and email notifications these little sounds can be annoying and distractive. If you have a TV in your bedroom put on a sleep mode so it can turn off otherwise your sleep will be distracted and interrupted.
Social Media Detox
Social media can be an amazing tool to see what’s going in in your friends and family lives. But it also can be mentally deteriorating. While many posts are positive and uplifting, others are hurtful and unnecessary. Especially when it comes to political views. These posts can trigger insecurities, unhappiness, and destroy your positivity. Sometimes a break from social media is good for our minds. We aren’t distracted by factors we can’t control. We are able to live in the present. Once you return to the social media world, it is important to stay away from negative posts and messages. Keep your negative feelings to yourself. If someones posts something you don’t agree with unfollow them (unless they are your Grandma or something). If someone doesn’t bring anything into your life, unfriend and let it go.
Maintain Your Daily Routine
Sticking to a regular routine as much as possible is crucial to fighting sadness, fatigue and depression. Try to engage step by step taking one task at the time. Focus on current actions. A routine demonstrates that you are not only capable of getting though the day, but you complete the day feeling productive.