Is it just me or does it feel like January had approximately 62 weeks?! It's a new year, a new decade, and as the holiday festivities fade, we are left with a bit of a January hangover. The weather is grey and rainy, the bank accounts don't quite look like they did before the holidays, and the cold, shorter days just really seem to take a toll. Unsurprisingly, Blue Monday (dubbed the most depressing day of the year) falls on January 20th. And oh man, did I feel it this year!
Warm summer nights and long days of sunshine seem so far away right now, so if you're feeling this January glumness, check out some of these ways to brighten your mood.
Focus on the good
You've heard me talk about my gratitude practice and now is the best time to get serious about creating one. Start a gratitude journal to focus on the good things that happen every day. Not sure where to start? Start small. Did you have a good night's sleep? Are you enjoying a cup of hot coffee or tea? Nothing is insignificant here. Start tracking what you are grateful for and focus on and appreciate the positive.
Use plant aromas to boost your mood
The power of essential oils is significant and they have the ability to impact our well-being in a powerful way. Lavender, geranium, bergamot, and mandarin help calm and ease the mind and can help with nervous energy and stress. Jasmine and vanilla can also promote pleasure and joy. My personal favourite are citrus oils, which boost the production of serotonin (the happy hormone!) and reduce levels of norepinephrine (the stress hormone). I reach for these when I want something energizing and reinvigorating. Lemon, orange, grapefruit and verbena are amazing and give you a boost.
One of the most important things I have learned about myself is knowing what I need to recharge and feel my best. We often find ourselves running on empty and never stop to fill our own cup. Knowing what YOU need to recharge is crucial. Do you need time on your own or a get-together with some friends? Perhaps it's nourishing food, meditation, or exercise (or all three!) Whatever it is, starting making time for it in your life today.
Pick up a book
One of my goals for 2020 was to read more and I've started scheduling in my reading time in order to stay on track. I turn my phone off at a certain time every night and spend at least 30 minutes reading before bed. Reading before bed promotes better sleep and decreases stress by clearing the mind and readying the body for sleep. It doesn't matter if it's fact or fiction as long as it's something you truly enjoy. A tip to make it even more luxurious? A cup of nighttime tea while you read!
I know we're at the end of January now, but I hope that bringing enjoyment and self-care into your life can help you prosper in the year ahead.