Today is apparently ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday of the new year is apparently the peak day for us to experience a low mood.
After all the busy-ness and excitement of Christmas, many of us feel tired, drained and overwhelmed; and not really in the mood to be bombarded with constant messages of New Years Resolutions and the idea that we need to somehow better ourselves by adding more commitments to our already packed lives.
Christmas is usually a period of over indulgence – more sugar, more alcohol, more everything; except perhaps, exercise!
Then, January rolls around and we have a battle with ourselves to try to make massive changes. Coupled with short days and cold weather, it’s no wonder many of us struggle at this time of year.
Our body takes some time to re-acclimatise after the over indulgence of Christmas. Our guts are likely feeling somewhat over worked and upset and take a little while to calm back down; the knock on effect of this is that our mind is likely feeling less than sharp, we’re likely feeling tired, our immune system takes a hit and our hormones get knocked out of balance.
Often, it feels like getting through the day is an achievement, let alone making massive lifestyle changes!
So how about three simple solutions for helping us get back on course and allowing us to cope with the demands of our already busy lives?
First up, you don’t have to change your entire diet at once. Work out what would give you the biggest change; is it adding more variety to you diet? Is it adding more veg? Cutting the sugar? Whatever it is, start there. Make it the one diet-related change you focus on. You might be surprised how far this takes you.
Next, find a way to increase your exercise. This doesn’t have to be joining a gym or doing a particular piece of structured exercise; just do something which is better than what you’re doing at the minute. This could be as simple as joining in with the children in the park after school rather than sitting on a bench; or it could be making an effort to get a little more activity in during the day – park further from the office, use the stairs not the lift, get a walk at lunchtime – etc.
Then, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to think about how you can get some more downtime. Perhaps you could turn the TV off a little earlier in the evening and instead read a book, have a go with a meditation app, have a soak in the bath – or just get an early night; or perhaps you could build your exercise and downtime together by joining a yoga class. If you’re feeling totally exhausted and stressed out, this is likely more beneficial to you than trying to force yourself into high intensity exercise.
Making a start of any kind, however small, is massively underrated. It greases the wheels to change. The initial changes add up, and you’ll find yourself gaining the inclination to make further changes.
I can help you make the first steps to change. We can discuss your nutrition, lifestyle and exercise and put the right plan in place for you to achieve change at the right pace for you. Get in touch and we can have a chat about where might be the best place to start.