Life Support: How to beat the January blues

Essential skills for the modern world


Lower your expectations


With so much time and energy spent ushering in the new year, it is no wonder that its eventual arrival is a bit of a letdown. While it is great to be hopeful about the coming 12 months, it is best to be realistic too. Even if this is the year in which you get promoted, lose a stone, bag a book deal and win the Lottery, you can bet that everything will be just the same for the first frosty few weeks. Bear that in mind and you'll find January a lot less disappointing.

Plan

When the carousel of office parties, family get-togethers and festive drinks finally grinds to a halt, it can be a mite depressing. While the peace and quiet that follows Christmas and New Year may prove a welcome respite from all the hustle and bustle of December, a blank social calendar is daunting – especially when there are 12 long months to fill. Cut blues off at the pass by making lots of exciting plans for January.



Be Creative

Don't try to emulate the fun you had in December. Most people approach the new year with their credit cards, waistbands and liver function all feeling the strain, so bear this in mind when arranging get-togethers. Extravagant dinners and mammoth drinking sessions are out; simple home-cooked meals and DVD sessions are in. Try to make the most of free activities, such as winter walks, art galleries, and reading; wholesome pursuits that involve either mental or physical exertion and fall under the heading of "self-improvement", providing a welcome boost to self-esteem.



Don't punish yourself

If, like most of the population, eating and drinking too much has left you feeling mildly disgusted with yourself, try to ignore it. Don't come over all puritanical and decide that January is going to be an alcohol-, smoke- and fun-free zone – that will just make an already bleak month much worse. By all means resume the gym visits that you ditched in December, cut back on junk food and have a few early nights, but don't go to extremes.



Make a change

If all that taking stock and giving thanks over the festive season has made you realise that there are things in your life you are unhappy with, then January is a good time to address them. The month is named after the god Janus, who is usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions – one into the future and one into the past. This unique viewpoint makes January a great time for learning lessons from your past and applying them to the future.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Retail Supervisor

    £17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fragrance store are lookin...

    Langley James : Desktop Support Analyst; 1st Line; Moorgate up to £23k

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Langley James : Desktop Support Analyst; 1st Line; ...

    Recruitment Genius: Retail Sales Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This fragrance store are looking for enthusias...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role ...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible