Many of us would say that the Christmas and New Year period is the best time of year by far. It’s a period of socialising and having fun, of business but ultimate reward. Festivities add a touch of magic to everything we do, and we spend November and December working towards the end-goal of Christmas. And, no matter how stressful things get, we know that the reward will be well worth the efforts.
At the same time, though, the majority of us would say that January and February are some of the worst months of the year. This is a difficult time for everyone, and it isn’t unusual to experience a low mood for the duration. January may always start with the best intentions, but by around now that excitement usually begins to fade. By halfway through the month, those good resolutions have generally lost momentum and the blues well and truly set in.
There are a few different reasons why this period can be so hard. For one, there’s usually a sense of anticlimax at this time of year. All the hard work and effort you put into that one day has been and gone. No longer are you working towards your end goal. That can leave us feeling a little flat. Not to mention that January is a hard month for many for financial reasons. The way pay works out often means that many of us spend around five-six weeks without being paid. And, of course, winter has well and truly set in by this time. While the frost holds certain magic during the Christmas lead up, the same can’t be said after the event. Most of us just end up feeling cold, fed up, and craving the sun again.
The good news is, there are ways to keep yourself happy during the hard times. And, we’re going to look at a few of them here.
As mentioned, one reason January can be such a tough month is the need to be frugal. Many of us find it difficult to justify spending money after Christmas has just gone. Didn’t we get enough then? In truth, it’s likely that you did. But, going without during these dark and dreary months can make things harder than they need to be. Instead, think about ways to treat yourself. If you’re worried about money, you could settle for small things. An occasional meal out is all it would take. Or, you could treat yourself to an inexpensive item of clothing you’ve been keeping your eye on.
If money isn’t a worry, then you might want to go all out with something you can really look forward to. This could be a shopping day you’ve planned at the end of the month, or even something like an Aston Martin experience, or some other fun day out. This way, you’ll have that goal to work towards, and the days won’t seem so long.
Along the same vein as the day trip plan, it’s worth making plans for the future. After looking forward to the excitement of Christmas, you may have trouble adjusting to a period where you don’t have any real plans. By making a plan of your own, you can rectify that issue. This is also a fantastic way to shape the first part of your year. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to go all out with this. Again, you could fall on a day trip you can work towards, or a weekend away you’ve meant to book for years. Even planning to go out for a meal could be enough to pull you through the hardest moments. Use that new diary you’ve just been given to get this in order. The plan doesn’t have to be straight away if you can’t afford it right now. But, you could always plan your dates ready, and look into hotels and such to get yourself excited.
Give yourself some down time
Many people also report experiencing burn out at this time of year. This is especially true for those who don’t have any real time off during the Christmas period. Not only do you work hard at preparations, but you may also have to work extra hours to cover an increased workload. Add all that together, and it’s no surprise you’re feeling exhausted right now. Which is why it’s crucial you give yourself some downtime during January/February. Many of us fail to factor this when we’re working hard to stick to resolutions. But, taking a few weekends off where you don’t do much can be a huge help. You may have noticed that this is contradictory to the idea of making plans, but it all depends on how you cope. It may be that you don’t need plans right now, but need to take time out for yourself. Equally, you may want to chill now and make plans for down the line. Either way, it’s worth checking in and listening to your body if it’s had enough.
Carry on making time for loved ones
Another possible cause for the way you’re feeling right now is loneliness. Never does life get more sociable than during the festive season. This is when we catch up with everyone we love and go to parties all over the place. Yet, when January comes around, we all return to our caves. After all, it’s cold outside, and we don’t have much money. But, suddenly not taking time to see anyone is bound to leave you lonely. That’s especially the case if you enjoy all that socialising. If you think that might be the problem, take time to carry on seeing those people whenever possible. Plan dinner parties if you all want to save money, or just have people around for a cup of tea. There’s no reason such interactions have to be for the holidays only. You never know, reaching out could help the people you care for through this tough time, too!