Beat the January blues with these helpful tips
Christmas is over and so is the excitement that comes with it. The decorations are down and for many it’s time to go back to school or work. The January blues are usually a result of the cold, dark weather and the fact that we often overindulge in luxurious foods over Christmas which results in us feeling sluggish and tired.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to boost your mood and help make you feel better. So now is the time to make a brand new start and improve your overall mental health and wellbeing. Follow these simple steps and see if you notice a difference in yourself.
Exercise is one of the best ways to fight depression and boost your mood. Exercise doesn’t mean you have to get hot and sweaty – a brisk walk is perfect. You may not fancy exercise but you’ll feel much better afterwards. Perhaps you would like to take on a challenge with a purpose and lose pounds whilst raising pounds. AWARE Ambassador, Chris McNaghten is hosting an AWARE weight loss course in his Larne based gym, Inspire. Proceeds raised from the 10 week course goes directly to AWARE. Check out Inspire’s Facebook for more info. https://www.facebook.com/inspiregymlarne/photos/a.396318890562022.1073741829.384324298428148/545408908986352/?type=3&theater
2. Healthy Eating
When we are feeling down, we often reach for fatty and sugary foods. Instead, why not try to incorporate more fresh fruit, vegetables and pulses such as nuts into your diet? These foods are all known to help boost your mood and improve your overall mental wellbeing.
3. Be more Mindful
Mindfulness is a form of meditation with its roots in Buddhism. It helps you develop skills and techniques to cope with the daily challenges a busy life can bring such as stress and anxiety. It involves making a special effort to give your full attention to what is happening in the present moment –and to what's happening in your body, your mind and or your surroundings. AWARE offer Mindfulness courses throughout Northern Ireland. Find out more information here - https://www.aware-ni.org/upcoming-mindfulness-courses.html
4. Take on a challenge
Make an exciting New Year Resolution that will challenge you whilst helping to improve your mental health and wellbeing. An exercise challenge that you can work up to is good as it helps keep you focused whilst encouraging you to get out into the fresh air to exercise. Register for a challenge today - have you ever thought about walking the famous Camino de Santiago? Or participating in a Slieve Donard Trek? AWARE is offering places on these challenges as well as a number of others, so why not tick a challenge off your bucket list whilst raising money for charity. For more information on AWARE challenges, visit the events page - https://www.aware-ni.org/events/
5. Brighten up Blue Monday
‘Blue Monday’ is known to be the most depressing day of the year and this occurs on Monday 16 January 2017. There are many reasons this is known to be the case including the dark days and a shortage of money from Christmas. At AWARE, we are aiming to ‘Brighten up Blue Monday’ by encouraging people to wear something bright into their school or work to cheer themselves up and their colleagues up. Each person will then donate £2 to AWARE. For more information on Blue Monday contact firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Seek help
Depression symptoms often go unrecognised but if you have any of the following symptoms and they last for more than 2 weeks you should seek help immediately.
- Feelings of hopelessness - Low energy - Difficulty sleeping - Loss of interest in daily activities - Tearful and emotional
Depression can affect anyone at any stage in their life, and the important thing to remember is that help is available. You are never alone, AWARE is here for you during your recovery. AWARE offer group support throughout Northern Ireland. We have 23 groups that meet up on a weekly and fortnightly basis – no appointment is needed and the groups are completely free of charge. For more information, visit https://www.aware-ni.org/information-about-our-support-groups.htmlTags: AWARE | Depression | Fundraising | January Blues | Mental Health | Mindfulness