WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JAN. 09, 2014
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10 Pick Me Ups to Get Rid of Those January Blues

Christmas and New Year have been and gone. It's 2014 and a new year has begun, time to turn over a new leaf. So why do we feel so blue and miserable? Most people spend January feeling sorry for themselves, moaning and moping about. But it doesn't have to be like that. Yes Christmas has gone, yes you're back to work and yes it's damp and depressing weather, but it's also the beginning of another year... your year to shine. So stop moping and pick yourself up. Follow these 10 pick me ups and you will be skipping through January and right into next Christmas. 

1) Make a change

I think it's very easy to get depressed in winter, everything is so dark and gray. The best advice I can give is to change something about yourself, a hair cut? Hair colour? I have recently had high lights added to my hair for a bit of warmth and straight away I felt better. Do something different, it will keep you looking fresh and will boost your confidence too. If you have dark hair, add a bit of light to it, blonde, red, chestnut? If you already have light hair, why not try ombreing. If you really are against dying your hair, even a trim or a blow dry can pick you up. It doesn't have to be anything drastic, just something that will lift your spirits and make you feel shiny and new. 

2) Sallow Skin

It’s been months since we've seen the sun. Our skin begins to look sallow, gray and a bit ghost like. Ok there are a few lucky women which seem to have glowing skin all year round, but for the rest of us poor souls, we have to endure the effects of the cold; or do we? It's about time our skin shines again. A great way to boost your skin is to prep your skin. Exfoliate every couple of days to get rid of any dry patches, then immediately after, use the shower on a cold setting to increase blood flow and circulation, decreasing the risk of cellulite and saggy skin. Try to moisturise on the same days you exfoliate, to keep your skin smooth and glowing. I take it one-step further and use a tinted moisturiser a couple times a week. This is a great way to get a bit of colour back into your skin, everyone feels good with a tan right? You can apply fake tan every night, but who can be bothered with the time, the patchy bits and the biscuity smell? Sun beds are always an option to create a healthy sun kissed look, but not necessarily the best on your health, so be careful! 

3) Buy something

I admit, I am an impulse buyer. It makes me happy to buy new things... for a few hours and then I want something else. Not the best way to beat the blues, but if you buy something that you are in LOVE with, it's different. It could be that new Dior lippy you've been wanting since summer or even that yankee candle you've been meaning to buy since you smelt it at your mates flat. 

4) Get a Diary

Organising your life is key to beating the blues. Suggestion... get yourself a calendar or diary and fill in any upcoming events you have, so that you can count down the days. It gives you something to look forward to, and every day you mark off, you will feel a little bit more excited, even if it's just a coffee date with the girls or a shopping spree with your sister, it's something enjoyable for you to do. 

5) Keep Busy

This is kind of linked to the above. There's no point in getting a diary if you have no engagements to put in it. You may have a hectic busy professional life, but don't let your personal life suffer. This is true for all ages. Try to arrange something nice to do at least twice a week, whether it staying in and having a Chinese and a movie night or going out. It's always good to have things to look forward to, that gets you out of the rut that you're in. 

6) The Bucket List

Everyone has one of these. It's known as different names.... wish list, life plan or a bucket list, but everyone should have one and should be ticking it off. January is the perfect time to plan some of these life goals. You may not have the funds for some of the plans, but that doesn't mean you can't plan. Try to plan and maybe book at least one of your wishes to do this year. It's an amazing feeling when one of your dreams is going to come true. I have booked to go to Australia this year and I cannot wait... biggest pick me up ever!

7) Get Fit

One of the main reasons we feel blue in January is because of the excess weight we seem to have accumulated over the last couple of weeks. Magazines are constantly reminding us of all the beautiful women in the world, which just depresses us more. Your favourite jeans that you actually think look good are now too tight, which means you won't leave the house because you feel "too fat". Instead, you'll sit and watch Bridget Jones Diary and eat Ben and Jerrys and down a bottle of wine. Wrong! You're going to get up and do something about it. Join a gym and try to go two/ three times a week. This will give you a huge boost, not just physically but mentally. As you begin to lose the pounds and tone up, you will feel happier within yourself, as well as the endorphins our bodies release when exercising. You will be surprised how much energy you have and how great you feel. I know what some of you are thinking... I can't afford to join a gym. There are far too many people feeling sorry for themselves and making excuses. Go running in the nearest park or down the street, do sit ups and stretches or buy a fitness dvd and do it in your front room, where no one can see. If none of this appeals to you, make a point of going for a walk at weekend, even if it's just to the local shops, or go on a bike ride. It really will help, plus you will look great too.

8) Food

It's so easy to get into the habit of eating stodgy food. It's cold out and our bodies are craving comfort food, but this isn't necessarily what your body needs. Sure, the sugar will give you a short term boost, but the come down is greater, meaning you will feel worse than before. You will actually feel more energetic if you eat foods rich in protein and vitamins. Blueberries, salmon, almonds and leafy greens are great for energy. If you really have to have those "comfort foods" try dark chocolate or popcorn. The dark chocolate has less sugar but more caffeine and the popcorn is actually low in calories when it's not smothered in toffee or butter. 

9) Smile

This sounds silly, but it has been proven that if you smile more, you begin to feel happier. I’m unsure of how it works and obviously you don't want to walk around with a ridiculous grin on your face all day, this will most definitely freak your colleagues out, but try to listen to upbeat music or watch funny programmes, that will make you smile or laugh. 

10) Get dirty

This is a strange one, but the best way to beat the blues is to get dirty, literally. Get in the garden or be around earthy environments. It has been proven that there is some kind of bacteria in the earth/ soil similar to products found in anti depressants. It sounds strange, but you can't argue with scientists. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, volunteer your services in doing something green fingered. You will feel great that you're doing something good, as well as being surrounded by the country, earth and nature. 

Try these tips and see how you feel by the end of the month!

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