“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” -Mother Teresa
If you’re like most people, you feel a loss of joy or as if you’ve been completely let down during the month of January. If not each January, I’m sure you’ve felt this way a few times in your life! Let’s face it, all the build up and excitement we were looking forward to…well, it’s gone! To put it bluntly, without trying to sound too depressing: Christmas is over. You indulged too much, whether it be eating too much junk or spending too much money. That quality time we may have gotten with family and friends is probably few and far between by now. Most of us have broken at least one resolution or already put them off, and most obvious…the weather (depending on where you live) is most likely not hot and sunny! Hopefully, before the month is over, you can find at least a small amount of joy in what seems to be an overall dreadful month for most! Here are some ways to help you get over those January blues!
1. Make 1-2 achievable goals.
You read it correctly, just one or two goals for the month! Allow yourself one to two weeks for each goal, and that should take most or all of the month. We all know resolutions can be SO hard to keep. We make such grandiose promises to ourselves, as soon as the countdown ends and ball drops. We get caught up in the excitement and hype of the new year. Realistically, most of those goals we fail to accomplish.
Instead of telling yourself you will start a diet on January 1st and lose a certain amount of weight during the first few months of the year, break that goal down to something you can actually do! Cook one, maybe two, meals at home a week. Go for a walk around the block once a week, just to get moving more. Drink one extra glass or bottle of water a week. The point being…Keep it simple! If it helps, choose one area of your life every other month or so: career, family, friends, money, house, etc.
2. Schedule time with friends.
This is so important! We underestimate the power of friendships and carving out the time to spend with them. Friendships can be one of the first areas of life to become neglected, but why? Simply put, it takes effort. When you think of having good friends, it may sound silly to say it takes effort to maintain those relationships.
If someone is your close friend, it shouldn’t take so much work or effort to keep that relationship strong. Not true. That’s like saying it doesn’t take effort to maintain a happy and well-balanced marriage. There’s nothing wrong with a relationship it if takes work! If you and your friends, yes, both of you, don’t take your friendship seriously, it won’t survive. The past two weekends…because let’s face it our weeks get hectic!…I hung out with four different friends, and it really had such a positive impact on my days and weeks this month! Meet for brunch, go shopping, watch movies, or talk on the phone, it doesn’t matter! Try it, and you’ll see the difference in your own life and in your friendships.
3. Put all the “stuff” away!
Christmas gifts, decorations, laundry, suitcases, clothes from the suitcase, mail…Any of these laying around your house, not yet put away? These are just a few things that pop into mind this month, which could still be cluttering your living space! It doesn’t matter if your space is big enough to fit any of those items, put them away! The first month of the new year is always a great time to get rid of things y9u don’t use or wear. One afternoon, simply take everything out of the closet, sort through what you will keep, donate, or get rid of, and you will feel like a new person! Trust me, it’s so therapeutic!
4. Meal Prep for 1 week!
You can do almost anything for one week, right? Take a little time one afternoon or evening to prep your lunch for the whole week. Last week, I made one huge meal, which we also had for dinner that night, and packed it up in containers for lunch every day of the week. All I had to do each evening was gather the few items I would need to put in my lunchbox the next morning, and have them in an easy to grab spot in the fridge! It takes all the guesswork and dread out of part of the early morning routine.
For me, getting up at five in the morning is not something I enjoy, so the more I can have ready to go, the better I feel about having to get up that early! This makes such a difference, and it also eliminates the temptation to order in or get food on the go. It saves time, money, and your health, so you really can’t beat that! The reason I say to do this just for one week in January, goes back to those achievable goals I mentioned. If you can do it successfully one time, you’re more motivated to do it a second week and possibly every week of the month, as the year goes on!
5. Prep ahead at night!
Three important things to prep the night before work would of course be your clothes, lunch, and work bag. This obviously varies, depending on the type of job you have! I just discussed an easy way to prep your lunch for the week, but picking out your outfit the night before is such a relief early the next morning! When I don’t have my clothes out and ready to go, I feel so much more overwhelmed and negative in the morning. I don’t know anyone who wants to feel like that before even leaving for work!
Typically for me, prepping my clothes the night before, includes steaming them. Unless you like going to work in wrinkled clothes, which obviously takes away from looking professional, I would say ironing or steaming is a must! Typically, prepping your work bag should only take a minute. It depends on how much you use or take out in the evening. The work bag should be the easiest. Any prep which will end up being a timesaver in the morning is completely worth doing!
Start your year off more positive than you ended the last one! Working these five tips into your January, and even February if you really want to keep it going, should give you a head start to a more successful year! Don’t get hung up on resolutions, just for the sake of making a resolution. You should feel more motivated after January, if you can try some or all of these helpful hints! Good luck!