How to Beat the January Blues

January 5, 2017

It’s January, all right…

The holidays are over. Ornaments are falling off your drooping Christmas tree, and the kids have tracked crunchy needles all over the house. The papers you left on your desk before the break have mated and multiplied. The snow that was so charming before December 25 is now piled so deep, you can’t lift the shovel high enough to clear your driveway. And (at least if you live in Canada) there are MONTHS of this to get through before spring.

The January Blues are here.

It’s a rough time of year. But as much as we’d all like to bury ourselves under blankets of chocolate wrappers and self-pity, life seems to insist on going on. So as my first blog post of 2017, I thought I would share some of the coping strategies I use to make it through to spring.


This is not about holiday weight, although if you manage to lose a few pounds, bonus! This is about busting through the inertia of the Blues and feeling some forward motion. To motivate you off that comfy couch, though, it’s going to have to be a form of exercise you actually like doing. For example, weight lifting bores me to tears, so I do tai chi instead. Try a form of exercise you’ve never done before. Swimming. Dance. Circus sports. Find something you love and those endorphins will help clear the cobwebs from your January brain.

Go Outside

While we’re on the subject of getting off the couch, if it’s sunny, go outside. Sunny days can be a rare thing in winter, so take advantage. Even if it’s -32C and you’re wearing three sweaters and six pairs of socks, a few minutes in the fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your outlook. And if you just can’t face the weather, talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements.

Make Your Own Spring

I used to have a parka that was sensible black on the outside, and hot, hot pink on the inside. I smiled every time I put it on, because I felt like I was walking around in my own personal spring. This year, I got purple highlights. Colour is extra inspiring in this grey season, but you don’t have to stop there. Try something new – something bright and fun and out of character. Do that thing you always told yourself was childish or impractical. Make your own spring.

Plan Something

A vacation. Fresh paint in the living room. A new class. An adventure. Schedule something you can look forward to – a reward for making it through another winter.

Be Kind to Yourself

There are days when none of these things are going to work. There are days when you just can’t even any longer. On those days, take care of yourself. Have a bubble bath. Re-read Harry Potter. Binge-watch a new series on Netflix. Do the thing you do when you just need a break from it all. And remind yourself that this day, like the January Blues, will pass.

How do you beat the January Blues?


4 Comments on ‘How to Beat the January Blues’

  1. All great advise. You could also move to Texas. It’s pretty much been spring here all winter long. I hear that tomorrow we will get down into the 40s! Winter has finally arrived. 🙂

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    1. We used to visit my Texas Grandma in the winter, but she just moved home to Denver. Where they have apparently called a snow day today! Stay toasty!

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  2. I play with my parrot. 🙂

    Reply | 
    1. Excellent tip! Watching my kitties chase the mysterious red light always cheers me up.

      Reply | 

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