MENTAL HEALTH: HOW TO MANAGE THE JANUARY BLUES
The January Blues and you
The Christmas decorations are down, the weather is colder and it’s still dark when you leave work in the morning and when you come home in the evening. If you’re feeling down this January, you’re not alone. There is actually a name for it, the January Blues. At The Doctors Clinic Group we understand that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If your mental health is suffering and you don’t know why, it can cause extra stress and anxiety. Therefore we wanted to shed some light on the January Blues.
What are the January Blues?
There can be many reasons for the January Blues taking hold of your mental health. The excitement of the festive season has passed, the beginning of a new year can be filled with pressure, the weather is cold and there is less daylight so you are likely to spend less time outside, this year many people will also be worried about the new COVID-19 variant. Whatever the reason, it is important to remember you are not alone if you are struggling during this time
In fact, so many people suffer with their mental health in January, the third Monday of January each year is named Blue Monday. This day has been voted the saddest day of the year and is used to recognise those of us who are suffering with the January Blues.
January Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder
You probably will have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, this is not the same as the January Blues. The January Blues are what are defined as a situational depression and is associated with how we think and feel. Whereas Seasons Affective Disorder is more serious, with stronger symptoms and is characterised as a type of depression known as major depressive disorder. This is not to belittle your feelings during the January Blues, but is a reminder that they will not last forever.
How to know you are suffering from January Blues
One of the main signs of the January Blues is a constant feeling of sadness. It is, however, not a debilitating one. You should still be able to complete your daily tasks, it just might feel like more of a struggle than usual. Some of the symptoms are as follows, although everybody is different:
- Wanting to spend one or two days in bed or on the couch
- Unexplainable feelings of sadness during the winter months
- Struggling to find motivation to do certain things but can still manage life duties such as going to work and taking care of your home
- Unusual trouble sleeping
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How to deal with the January Blues
There is no quick fix to the January Blues, however there are steps you can take to help alleviate the symptoms.
- Go for regular walks, in the sun if possible
- Make plans, even small ones with friends and family
- Ensure your diet is filled with colourful fruits and vegetables to boost your vitamin intake
- Consider Vitamin D supplements (consult your doctor first)
- Give yourself some grace and have those lazy days every now and again if you need them
How can the Doctors Clinic Group Help:
The Doctors Clinic Group offers many mental health supports and services for employees including:Mental Health & Employee Wellbeing
- Same-day GP appointments – all GPs have mental health training
- Rapid referrals to our consultant psychiatrist and other specialists covered by all major PMI insurers
- Mental health wellbeing questionnaire for a company-wide benchmarking exercise
- Wellbeing workshops and webinars
- Mental health first aid training