Given that I wasn't exactly exploding with festive cheer this Christmas, it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise that the January blues would hit me with quite some force this month too.
Now before you run away to seek solace in the last of the Baileys, I can assure you that I don't wanna become 'that' person who brings everybody around them down so let me just say that if you're feeling positively full of New Year pzazz then I am genuinely delighted for you and would love to hear all about it - a little of your joy might even rub off on me which would be marvellous. Come and share the happy on our Facebook page.
But if you find yourself feeling inexplicably deflated then you're not alone, and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it. There doesn't even have to be a 'good' reason for feeling overcome with the January blues but if, like me, you'd quite like to get out of this funk and feel groovy again then try these tips for beating the January blues.
1.Do that thing that you really don't feel like doing but which you know, based on previous 'blues' experience, will make you feel better.
In my case it's a run but I'm a total believer in getting your endorphins flowing being just about the fastest way to kick the January blues into touch. But it doesn't *have* to be old-school exercise. Bundle up your little ones and head out for a big old walk with a friend. Chuck yourself around the living room while you attempt to follow that work-out DVD you haven't played for years - your kids will enjoy the hilarity of watching you, if nothing else. Run up and down the stairs twenty times if you have to. Just get your blood pumping and your heart racing. (I'm sure you'll think of something.) I know it's probably the last thing you feel like doing but if you try it and it doesn't lift your mood, I'll give you your money back.
2. Phone a friend.
Again, it hardly matters who you call really but whether it's your mum or your bestie, a right old natter with someone who really 'gets' you is practically guaranteed to make you feel a bit better. Putting the world to rights with someone who loves us 'warts and all' is a sure-fire way to lift the mood when the January blues start hanging over our heads. Better still, co-ordinate your call so that you and your fellow phone friend have something delicious to drink while you chat. My bestie lives thousands of miles away but we regularly text one another to say 'Meet you at the bar tonight?' and just knowing that we're sipping a nice red whilst catching up across continents is a real spirit-lifter.
3. Change your priorities.
Sod the washing up and run yourself a gloriously decadent bath. (Wine and chocolate accompaniments are essential.) Leave the toys littering the living room floor once the kids are in bed and instead of tidying up, put your feet up for an hour with a favourite book or a trashy mag. Again, the details hardly matter but fixing your focus on your own needs for a change - instead of your obligations - even for just an hour can go a long way towards making you feel a bit less blue.
Above all, don't make the mistake of just accepting the blues as part and parcel of this time of year. If you're feeling down this January, take action. Talk to a friend, try any of the above or even just talk to other Playpennies parents over on our Facebook page about battling the January blues.
Christmas isn't always wonderful, New Year isn't always about making magical New Year's resolutions that make you look marvellous on Facebook, and January isn't always a bright new start to a new year full of promise. It's ok to struggle at this time of year - just don't make the mistake of doing it in silence or alone.