DR. MITCH: Tips for Beating the January Blues

This is often a tough time of the year. The holiday bills come due; work and school restart; and with the short, cold dark days it’s easy to become sad. Here are some suggestions for how to beat the post holiday blues.

  1. Find something (no matter how small) that’s positive each and every day. You can start or end your day that way.
  2. Look forward. The New Year is blank slate. Almost anything can be done. If you are going to look back at the year that was, focus on what went well. Don’t  dwell on the past.
  3. Volunteer or buy a plant. Helping people or growing things help to raise your spirits.
  4. If you have a specific something that is worrying you (for example, losing your job) have a backup plan and write down what needs to be done to make it happen. Hope for the best but plan for the worst!
  5. If what you miss from the holidays is the socializing, schedule activities with the people you enjoyed spending time with. If family or friends live far away and you miss them, schedule time to call, Skype or otherwise stay in touch.
  6. Exercise. It can be as simple as walking over to your colleague’s desk but get up.
  7. If everything looks dark and you’re depressed don’t hesitate to get help. Many work places offer confidential employee assistance plans; schools have counselors and your local CLSC has an input process for people needing psychological support. The first step, recognizing that you need help, can be the toughest but do reach out.

Hopefully these thoughts can help us all make it through the dark days of January!