As winter winds rage outside my window, I watch the trees bow low and the snow swirl like mini sand storms. January is a tough month. Not only does the bitter cold make my bones ache, but the let down after the holiday frenzy leaves me feeling frazzled and empty. Throw a nasty virus into the mix leading to burning lungs, a pounding head and gunk-stuffed nose and the month becomes unbearable. Add to that an election result that filled so many with anxiety and a sense of doom that the January blues seem insurmountable.
I have been down and out every January for the past decade. Here are some ways I have devised to survive and thrive during the season’s darkest hours.
- Scrap the to-do list. Check out mentally. Give into your body and rest.
- Read a book or a magazine or anything to take you outside of yourself.
- Drink lots of lemon water.
- Do something mindless. Zone out watching a favorite team or Netflix series.
- Call an old friend.
- Walk even if it is only around the house the tiniest bit of exercise can lift your spirits.
- Make a gratitude list.
- Turn off the news.
- Light a candle. Build a fire. Burn a log.
- Meditate or pray.
Then remind yourself – this too will pass. There are brighter days ahead. Before long spring will be tap dancing at your doorstep. Daffodils will soon be waltzing in the wind. While trees turn green overnight, flower gardens will burst into a riot of color. When your health falters, bad weather hits and the sad, dark days of January bring you down – rest, reach out and remember gratitude.