Those January blues

17/01/2022

@laportss.makes

Struggle street 

Let's face it: January is the most depressing month of the year and... today is 'Blue Monday'. The 3rd Monday of January we're told is the "most depressing day of the year."

Post-Christmas slump, lack of focus or feeling down. The weather. Low levels of sunlight exposure and dreary, dark evenings. 

Overindulging! For like the whole of December, has got us feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. The contrast of the busy festive period. A distant memory to now... no money (the countdown to payday is officially on), no plans, dry Jan or intense detoxes. 

Is 'Blue Monday' a myth? Is there some truth to it? The concept makes sense... 

If you do feel like this day holds some extra gloominess for you, that's fine. If you don't, that's also fine. There's no denying the first month of the year can be a difficult one. This year the January blues seem supercharged. 

You're not alone. Don't beat yourself up that you didn't wake up at 5am and hit the gym before work followed by a homemade smoothie. Because, if we're being real, our resolutions to that along with meditate and do yoga daily, cut out sugar and stop using our phones before bed were cute but a little over-enthusiastic. Drop the pressure.

We know the obvious facts; sleep, exercise, talking and eating healthy balanced meals. What you eat can have a direct influence on how you feel mentally. Have you read our food chat blog

Keep reading for tips on how to cope with the 2022 January blues, in the face of, well, everything.

Focus 

... on your strengths. 

We asked our partners and pals at hero for their top tip... Sam Gaunt, Head of Content and Delivery at hero, says “Rather than focusing on your weaknesses or things you feel you should improve about yourself, try focusing on your strengths. How can you use them to have a positive start to the year? If you’re not sure what your strengths are, ask your friends and family - they’ll likely be able to list off plenty of positives to get the ball rolling.”

... on the present. 

Did you ever get into journaling, doodling, and meditating? 

These mindfulness activities help focus on the present, and as a result, reduce stress and anxiety, boost self-esteem and improve sleep. *adds colouring book to Amazon basket*

Embrace the space of January being a quiet month and use the space to do something you love. Cook your favourite comfort food, plan a cosy night in. 

Recharge the brain

Our partners MYNDUP explain...

"Just like our bodies need rest from exercise and physical stressors, so do our brains, needing a break to recharge from everyday distractions. Encourage yourself to slow down and check into your needs by asking questions such as “how am I feeling right now?” or “what do I need in this moment?” Intuitively connect with yourself and care for yourself as you would a close friend." 

@refinery29uk
@weekdayofficial

Change the narrative

Flip the script. If you're feeling a little low, instead of going on your phone to messgaes or social as soon as you wake up. Play one of your favourite songs and dance like 'nobody's watching' instead for the first five minutes. *air guitar* 

The key here is to change your state. Combat the negative one into the positive one that you want more of. And if all else fails, you still have cute dog pics and videos as an option! Here's 2 from our neighbourhoods. Meet Panda from Moda, Angel Gardens and Ruby from Moda, The Lexington

Create a new morning routine

To prevent yourself from feeling like you’re going through the motions, try creating a new morning routine that involves something you enjoy; stopping by your favourite coffee shop or making the effort to share the commute with a friend.

Add in a new healthy habit; morning yoga, a pint of water first thing in the morning to rehydrate the body. A vitamin reboot.

Modifying your vitamin and mineral intake can be a great way to boost your energy levels, cognitive function, and overall wellbeing. 

Maca Powder, B12, magnesium and zinc are a few everyday supplements to look into. *asking Google*

Rather than seeing the morning as a negative, see it as a time to start the day of right.

Try the cold shower challenge... 

A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away 

Yes, you're reading correctly. Heard of Wim Hof? A Dutch extreme athlete who got his nickname 'The Iceman' by breaking a number of records related to cold exposure including: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts, running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle barefoot. Legend. 

He believes it can lessen stress and anxiety as well as regulate your mood whilst also giving other important health benefits!

If your feeling sleepy, this will instantly wake you up! So... we're testing his cold shower theory... BRRR. 

@openear_music
@ministryofsound

Music is the answer

It captures our attention. Lifts our spirits, triggers emotions, alters and regulates mood, heightens arousal and encourages rhythmic movement...

UK Music commissioned a survey. The results... 

  • 57% of adults said music had helped them cope with lockdown, with 42% listening to more tunes during the crisis than they did previously
  • Around one million adults say they have taken up an instrument during lockdown
  • 71% think music makes them more productive at work/studying

It connects us to each other, to our culture, and to our language. Music has and will continue to play a route to self-acceptance. 

"Music is the medicine of the mind." - John A. Logan

It's a powerful tool so here's a playlist from our partners Open Ear. "Music is powerful, it can be an emotive tool for listeners that sparks feelings."

A curated list of crowd pleasing, upbeat bangers that will be sure to keep your spirits high and ears happy. Today, doesn't have to be all gloom and doom. Get ready to dance in your seat... Listen now. LOUD. 

Moda community

At Moda we prioritise mental health, that's team Moda and our residents. 

We started the day with positivi-tea!

Today, there's no Monday blues at the Moda neighbourhoods. Working with our coffee partners in the city we've served pastries for breakfast with a cup of the good stuff and puppuccinos for our furry friends... 

Head over to the gram to see us beat Blue Monday with Brew Monday. 

Moda, Angel Gardens
Moda, The Lexington 

We've got this 

Our partnership with MYNDUP enables booking of virtual 1-2-1 mental health sessions for our residents. No wait list, a virtual appointment within 12 hours and we subsidise the cost! 

There's 'no one size fits all' when it comes to looking after your mental health. 

Check out their tips on beating any blues and to boost your mood and positivity all year round.

Our pals and partners hero help us look after our physical wellbeing with weekly fitness classes. Quarterly health and holistic retreats and Biannual full body health checks (all included in the rent!) 

Depression is not a one day event

As ever for any time of the year, if you’re struggling, make sure you reach out. Either to a friend, colleague or if you would prefer to talk to someone anonymously, there are many charities out there eager to offer a helping hand:

Mind

Samaritans 

NHS

This Way Up

Bottle up the positivity you had at the very beginning of the year and use it… You’ve got this. *fist punch*