Top tips to beat the January blues
Written by Charlotte Johnson, Senior HR Business Partner
Physical activity is well known for beating stress and lifting mood. Depression is linked to low serotonin levels in the body and serotonin can be boosted by exercise. Serotonin is also boosted by sunlight so make the most of any January sunlight and get outdoors. Some scientists also believe that exercise increases self-esteem and gives individuals a sense of control about how they look and feel. The NHS recommends that adults do 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week (e.g. fast walking or cycling).
Why not try joining in with MINDS RED January initiative? RED January is a community initiative that encourages you to support your mental health by doing something active every single day and can provide you with a goal and focus to help you through a characteristically tough month. Whether it is running 5k, or walking to work a new way, a morning swim or taking your bike out for a spin – join the thousands of people around the UK kick-starting their 2019 in the most positive way. You can access information about RED via the following link https://redtogether.co.uk/
Research shows that creating strong friendships and connections with family and the wider community can boost feelings of wellbeing. Make more of an effort this month to see the people you want to get to know better. For example, try having lunch with a colleague; create some family time (perhaps by playing a board game instead of watching the TV); catch up with old friends; volunteer for a community group. If you want to find local interest groups in your area then the following website is very useful https://www.meetup.com/find/
Healthy balanced diet.
Good diet is strongly linked to wellbeing and happiness and some foods are thought to boost mood. Sweet potatoes, bananas, lentils, green vegetables, and oatmeal are all recommended for their minerals, nutrients and slow-release energy-giving properties. Regular meals, five portions of fruit and veg a day and plenty of fluids are all encouraged to maintain a good, stable mood throughout. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/
Giving something back.
Volunteering your spare time to good causes is seen as a brilliant way to improve wellbeing by boosting feelings of self-esteem. Working with other people in the community will help you to improve your connections and give you a sense of achievement and purpose. Giving takes many forms: it could be as little as saying thank you or well done, giving up your seat on the bus, doing DIY for a neighbour or helping a community group. You can find local volunteering opportunities on https://do-it.org/ As well as the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from doing something good, you’ll also benefit from experiencing new things, get new skills for your CV, plus the opportunity to meet new people.
Take a moment to enjoy the world around you; the sights and sounds and smells. As life gets increasingly hectic, mindfulness offers the opportunity to step off the merry-go-round, take stock and enjoy the moment. https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/
At this time of year, most of us will feel the pinch on our purses after the festive season and unless we’re incredibly lucky, money worries will cross all of our paths at some point in our working lives. Money worries can often lead to stress and anxiety, there are a number of free, money advice services that anyone can access these include; https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en, https://www.nationaldebtline.org/, and https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/.