Health: Avoid the slump and make 2015 a bright next step

PIC: PA/thinkstockphotos
PIC: PA/thinkstockphotos
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Blues be gone: Settling into a New Year can be a real trial so let’s try and be positive, says Susan Griffin.

So, the holiday hangover is well underway and now you can’t help but think that the fun is over.

January is here; the feast has been cleared away, the party is over, and for many, it’s been replaced with a big fat anti-climax – possibly a large credit card bill, bulging waistline and ongoing hangover too.

But you don’t need to put yourself through the ringer – here are some top tips on seeing off the inevitable January slump.

Appreciate the norm

So you haven’t won the lotto and another year of work is beckoning, so what? Take a moment to note down all the things you appreciate but take for granted. You can physically get out of bed. You have people who love you. It’s not really so bad is it?

Fake it ‘til you make it

Even if you feel down in the dumps, try walking tall and slapping on a smile an A-lister would be proud of. Chances are you’re going to feel better straight away as your brain will think you’re happy, release some feel-good chemicals, and voila, you do actually feel happier.

Change your aim

“Stop setting your sights on ‘getting through the week’ or ‘surviving until my next holiday’. Raise your game,” advises Andy Cope, co-author of Be Brilliant Everyday and founder of The Art Of Brilliance “Set your aim to ‘enjoy the week’ or ‘to inspire people’. And when setbacks occur, ask yourself, ‘Where is this issue on a scale of one to 10 (where 10 is death)?’ If it’s death, you are allowed to feel down. Anything else, get over it.”

Stop unhelpful internal chatter

“Remember it’s ‘how’ not ‘what’ you think that most effects your mood,” says Lisa Turner, an expert in human transformation and evolution and founder of Psycademy “Change that voice in your head that you use to give yourself a hard time – and change it to sound like Daffy Duck. Next time you are beating yourself up – all you need to do is ‘shut the duck up’.”

Get planning

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use the dark and miserable days to hatch a plan on how you’re going to spend the rest of the year. Then whenever you’re feeling down, you can take a look at the list and look forward to everything you’ve planned.

Make it to the gym

We all know exercise releases those feel-good endorphins and you don’t have to slog away for hours – a 20-minute blitz will do. Failing that, treat yourself to a sauna twice a week. Feel amazing – minus the effort.

Get herbal

“If you’re feeling tired after the festive period, it can often make you feel more down than usual,” says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at NutriCentre. “Magnesium is an excellent mineral to take to increase energy and help us to feel better about ourselves, while St John’s Wort is a licenced herb to support feelings of mild depression.”