January blues are real. Here's how to deal with it

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It's hard to get back to your everyday routine if you've been off work during the festive season. Whether it's due to excessive partying, too much activity, being on holiday or even if you did nothing, going back to work can feel a bit of an anti-climax.

If you're feeling sluggish and deflated, here are 10 ways you can beat the new year blues.

Celebrate your year

The new year doesn't just give you the opportunity to make resolutions, it's also the perfect time to reflect on what you did in the past year. Focus on all the things that went well for you last year - make a list if you want - and congratulate yourself on your achievements.

It doesn't have to be big wins, celebrate every single little thing you achieved, such as making a new friend at work or helping your friend through a break-up. So pick yourself up and use this as motivation to face the new year with a smile.

Get some sleep

You might be lacking in some shut-eye because of the frenzied activity so do your best to catch up on sleep. People who sleep well tend to have a more positive attitude overall, so refresh both your body and your mind with adequate sleep. Reset your body clock to the way it was before the holidays, and you'll soon feel less lethargic and beat the blues.

Exercise

Being active isn't just good for your body, it's also excellent for your mental health. Exercise helps fight mild depression and is an easy way to lift your mood. So if you're feeling down in the dumps, just do an activity for 30 minutes and you'll feel much better after.

You don't have to join the gym, even brisk walking for that amount of time will do the trick so go for a walk at lunchtime or around your estate in the evening to add a spring in your step.

ALSO READ: Jade Seah: My growth mindset raised my capacity for happiness

Quit social media

You don't have to be drastic and delete all your accounts right now. Instead, take a break for a week or two, perhaps. This is especially helpful if you've had a tough time recently; for example, if you generally don't like the new year period and seeing the constant 'we're having such a great time over Christmas/New Year' posts and photos make you feel worse.

Unplug from social media for a bit and to prevent those triggering Instagram posts from getting to you.

Get some sunshine

Although we love the cooler weather, the rainy season this time of the year can add to us feeling more down too. So, when the sun is shining, go out for a walk and soak it all in.

Being exposed to sunlight increases serotonin levels, which will boost your mood and make you happier. Beat the new year blues with a walk in the park - literally - or an outdoor activity when the sun is out.

See people

Just going through the motions of working and moping around the house the rest of the time isn't going to make you feel better. Plan for quality catch-ups with friends and family, especially those you didn't manage to see over the festive period.

Being around people you love will lift your mood so spend this time with them if you're feeling miserable at home.

Plan a holiday

There's never a bad time to plan your next holiday (whether in Singapore or overseas), but doing so when you're feeling blue is a great perk-me-up. It'll keep you busy, and give you something fun to look forward to, whether the holiday is scheduled to take place next month or later in the year.

After all, planning a holiday is half the fun of travelling, so this will give you a much-needed dose of happiness during the dreary start of the year.

Have fun

Just because you feel down and lethargic doesn't mean you should do nothing at all. Take this time to pick up a new hobby that will make you happy or even just binge watch that new comedy series you've heard so much about.

The key is to have fun and laugh, and not let the blues get to you.

ALSO READ: From drink, drugs and suicide attempts to being happier and healthier than ever: How this woman found what her soul needed

Be grateful

Instead of dwelling on your negative feelings, be thankful for what you have in your life. Look around you and think about all the people you're grateful for, as well as the opportunities you have been given.

It doesn't sound like much but, sometimes, when you look at your life with a new perspective, you'll realise that there's a lot to be thankful and happy for, no matter what time of the year it is.

Do volunteer work

If you want to go a step further, do some volunteer work. From animals to people to nature and conservation, anything that takes your fancy and holds your passion, go for it. The smiles you put on their faces or the inner reward you feel after doing it will be a great pick-me-up for you too, as moods are infectious.

This article was first published in Her World Online.