How to Beat the January Blues
With Christmas over and the new year beginning, are you looking ahead over the coming weeks dreading the inevitable January blues? I’m going to cut to the chase in this article and give you the valuable, little known secret that will help you overcome and beat the January blues for good. Are you ready? Here it is…there is no such thing as the January blues.
How can I be so sure? The ‘blues’ is a feeling experience you have. The feelings and thoughts you might expect to experience are low mood, apathy, sadness, a sense of hopelessness or helplessness. While it is common for us to believe that how we feel is directly caused by something outside of ourselves, this simply isn’t the case. Last year we heard many people say how Brexit or Donald Trump ‘made’ them angry. But it wasn’t Brexit that ‘made’ them angry in the same way that Brexit or Trump didn’t ‘make’ their neighbour happy. And in the same vein, January can’t make you ‘blue’. The more you think that something outside of you is ‘making’ you feel a certain way the more disconnected from your true self you become. The result of this is that you become less creative, resourceful, confident, happy, and fulfilled. The more off kilter and uncomfortable you will feel and the more your head fills up with negative thoughts. So, believing that January can make you feel low could result in you feeling low with an overly cluttered mind.
I would argue that each of us plays a role in the creation of our own feeling experience…for the most part, feelings arise from within us not from outside us. As human beings, we are wired to have the full range of emotional feelings, from happy to sad, chirpy to grumpy. You will have all these feelings regardless of the time of year – and it’s worth noting that there are higher instances of depression in the Summer months as compared to Winter. There is nothing wrong with our feeling experiences, they are neither a problem nor a sign that you are broken. However, we tend to believe that we have to be happy all the time, and if we’re not happy then there must be a problem and that problem must be something in our life, something outside of us. So, we blame people, places, the boss, the government, which all take us further away from the truth of where our feelings come from.
What if you could allow yourself to believe that everything you feel is perfectly OK? As long as you feel your feelings without over analysing them, or trying to solve them, they will naturally flow through you. Yes, feelings are sometimes offering you gentle nudges as you move through your day, but the first step is to allow them and feel them without judgement or mental analysis. If your feelings are trying to nudge you down a certain path then you need to be connected to them in order to direct your actions appropriately and follow your truth.
If you think that what you feel is a problem and is caused by something outside of you, be that January or anything else, then that alone with prevent your feelings from flowing and your mood from shifting.
So, the solution to the January Blues is simple. Remember that what you feel arises from inside you not outside you. January is not causing you to feel blue. What you do or don’t do, the action you take, the words you use, all affect how you feel. Your natural tendency overall is to feel good, so if your mood dips, know that it will flow through you. Don’t analyse it or let yourself become disempowered by blaming something outside of yourself. Engage with life, do what makes your heart sing, make plans, have fun, connect with others, live life to the full, and most of all do what feels right for you. When you do there will be no sign of the mysterious January Blues.
Kyle Davies – Chartered Occupational Psychologist