Suffering from a bad case of the January blues? You’re not alone. With bank balances overstretched, the dismal weather and the post-party aftermath, the New Year hangover can be pretty hard to shake off.
Not to fret though, as we asked Get The Gloss Expert psychologist Elaine Slater for the best ways to #StartBetter and give your 2015 outlook the perfect dose of positivity to stay upbeat despite the gloomy forecast. View this month as a new beginning, keeping post-holiday guilt to a minimum. “In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the God of beginnings, transitions and endings,” says Elaine. “The month is named after Janus who is usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions; one into the future and one into the past.
“This unique viewpoint makes January a great time for learning lessons from your past and applying them to your future.”
Here are Elaine’s top tips to beat the blues and recommendations of techniques to boost your mood throughout the month and the rest of the year too.
Focus on your achievements
“During January we can fall victim to ‘New Year Over-Analysis.’ Self-reflection at this time of year can make us all focus on what is wrong in our lives leading us to set unrealistic goals to become our ‘ideal’ person. Avoid the mistake of only focussing on what’s missing in your life.”
“It is healthy to feel motivated to make changes to your life and although self-improvement is important, going overboard can backfire – avoid trying to fix everything at once. Be sure your expectations are realistic as you create your New Year goals, this will make January a lot less disappointing.”
Makeover your mindset
“Try to avoid creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that January will be a depressing and ‘bad’ month. Attempt to see it as a new beginning and take stock of all that you feel grateful for right now. This will help lift your morale and gain perspective.”
“Following the overindulgence and excess of the festive season, boost your mind, body and spirit in January with a month of self-reflection and mindfulness focussing on areas of your life you would like to improve upon and plan manageable changes.”
Mood boosting tools
1. “Practice daily meditation, stimulating the release of endorphins encouraging a sense of deep wellbeing and calm.”
2. “Slow and deep diaphragmatic breathing activates the vagus nerve helping to counter the stress response and sooth anxiety."
3. “You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. Start your day by reciting a mantra or affirmation. They are proven methods of self-improvement; activating the self-healing power that lies within all of us.”
4. “Affirmations are positive statements of a desired outcome or goal. They are usually short, believable and focussed. By repeating them you can change neural pathways and synapses in your brain and open up a new state of thoughts.”
5. “Take stock and express gratitude for who you are and what you have in your life.”
6. “Have a sense of purpose in your life and find ways to boost your self-esteem.”
7. “To be ‘good’ at something or a ‘success’ builds confidence. Beginning and completing the smallest of tasks can give a much needed confidence boost."
8. “Look outside yourself to those in need. Studies have found that when you perform acts of kindness and giving to those who have less, you feel happier yourself.”
9. “Practice self-care through exercise, eating well, being sociable and getting plenty of sleep. Avoid going to extremes – everything in moderation.”
This feature was written in partnership with Clinique . #StartBetter.