Counsellor Sarah Barr examines five aspects of our lives we should look at to improve our mood.

So yesterday was ‘Blue Monday’ supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

We look forward to winter, the cosy nights and the lead up to Christmas. The parties, the food and the presents. So when it is over and January arrives, our mood can dip. The days can turn cold and dark, a lack of money and motivation further drain us and our New Year resolutions can seem like a distant memory.

The January blues can set in. In today’s article, I have listed some ideas that may help you get through this month.

1. Exercise

Exercise versus a box set on Netflix, I know which option may be more tempting. However exercising instantly boosts your mood. Either a workout at a gym or a quick 15 minute walk in nature can make a difference. Some local communities have walking groups, these groups are also a great opportunity for meeting new people.

2. Sleep

We can notice not only are we a little bit out of routine in January, but our sleep pattern is also out of sync. Sleep is vital, it is vital for our mood. A lack of sleep can impact on anxiety and depression symptoms. Check out my article on sleep, for further tips and ideas: 15 ways to ease anxiety for a good night’s sleep

3. Mindfulness

Mindfulness does not need to be complicated or long. It can be done when you are walking, washing the dishes or making a jigsaw. It is about losing yourself in the moment. Being fully present in the here and now. Focusing only on what you are doing and your breathing. S.T.O.P is a simple yet effective exercise you can do almost anywhere:


Take a breathe

Observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions.


4. Food

Over-indulging during Christmas can leave many of us feeling bloated, lethargic and low. What we eat plays such an important role in how we feel.

We recently had the very knowledgeable Glenda from Gutsy World guest speak at our Mama Squad meet up. Glenda talked about the importance a healthy gut has on our mental health. I would recommend Gutsy World for anyone who is seeking nutritional advice or making dietary changes

5. Goals

If the January blues and the lack of sun are starting to get you down, try focusing and planning on where you would like to visit once the milder, brighter days arrive. You do not have to travel far. After all we do live in the Coolest place in the World! So check out the amazing attractions that are on your doorstop.

When you feel like you can’t pick yourself back up, there is professional mental health support available.

Speak to your doctor or contact me on 0864477867.

Help and support is available and you do not have to face the ‘January Blues’ alone.

Take Care ~ Sarah Barr.