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  • Nic Donaldson

The January Blues?

Summer ended but as the nights drew in, the warmth and the glow of the promise of Christmas kept many of us going or at least provided a distraction from the darkness closing in. But already the festivities feel like a distant memory: the decorations are away, the lights are switched off and often bank balances are depleted! A new year also marks the passing of time which, for many, can be difficult. January often leaves many of us feeling sad, exhausted and unmotivated. Add in the pressure of broken or unrealistic new year's resolutions and often that leads to feelings of failure, low self-esteem and depression.

When we are feeling like this (physically and emotionally drained) our stress responses kick in which deplete us further. These stress responses can affect our sleep, our mood, or our thinking patterns and for some, the 'January Blues' can become something much more difficult to deal with.

There are things that we can do to try and combat these negative and difficult feelings. For me, getting outside offers the greatest benefits. Don't get me wrong, more often than not I'll glance out of the window at the endless grey skies and I have to fight with myself to not return to mindlessly scrolling through social media. I have to remind myself that once I am out, my mood lifts and my mind clears. Whether it is a brisk walk to the shops or a longer ramble through the woods, being outside offers some perspective and clarity. Additionally, making plans can also provide some hope and something to look forward to. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant (let's face it, none of us really have the finances for that in January) but it can be something simple like a walk or a coffee with a friend.

Sadly, trying to battle mental health issues alone can sometimes be too difficult. This is where counselling might be something to consider. Counselling can offer an invaluable opportunity to talk through what is troubling you; to help you make sense of things and may provide you with the resources to cope or move forward in some way.

Thankfully, the January Blues are often only temporary, but if you are struggling to find your way out of the darkness, please get in touch for some more information for how I might be able to help.

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