Short days, cold weather, the end of the holidays, and for some, abandoned New Year’s resolutions make for an explosive cocktail: the so-called “January blues”. Defined by feelings of low mood and sadness paired with a lack of energy and motivation, the January blues affect a large part of the global population, despite the feeling of isolation they can give.
In the UK, The Samaritans have assessed that 20% of people experience depression at this time of year, compared to 4.5% at any other time. In the US, 10 million people are affected by the January Blues, a mix of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and post-holiday blues.
Are you getting the winter blues? Check out our tips to deal with the January blues and cope with low mood during darker days.
Seek the light
We mean that literally. Research into seasonal affective disorder suggests that a lack of sunlight could be affecting a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, resulting in changes in melatonin and serotonin levels as well as our internal clock.
Getting as much exposure to natural sunlight as possible can help you deal with low mood in winter. Try to go on a daily walk on your lunch break to get the most light. You can also use a lightbox to get your daily light fix when the sun gets shy.
Can’t seem to get rid of this one, can we? According to various studies, keeping active helps reduce depression and anxiety while also boosting self-esteem and cognitive functioning.