Winter Blues

Photo by Adrian via Creative Commons


The holidays have come and gone. The presents under the tree have been unwrapped and put away. The holiday parties are a memory. The New Year entered with a wave of relief from most people. The gyms are full of new resolutions with people still trying to stick to their new plan. Yet, there is something that happens after the New Year that people don’t anticipate – January. The highs of the holidays can leave people with a load of bills, work that needs to be finished, and fewer gatherings with friends and family.


January is the best. January is also the worst. Some days it feels like you can conquer the world with all of your resolutions. Other days it feels like you are carrying the world. The dichotomy of two opposing feelings can lead to sadness, depression, lack of hope, or burn out. How can you survive the slump? Make sure to try these six practices:


1.Schedule time to get inspired. Depending on where you live, January is often cold, dreary, and gray. This weather can cloud our perspective, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a reality. However, living inspired requires you to go outside of your normal, everyday activities to add a fresh perspective to your day. One of my favorite ways to get inspired is to drive the country road home instead of the highway. I drive by horses, cows, and even goats, and the open space is a breath of fresh air.

2.Make an effort to connect with close friends. Over the holidays, it may seem like you got your fill of fellowship. Even so, it is important that you feel connected to people who know you, not just in a boardroom but in a living room. Make a call to schedule lunch this week.

3.Do something that you enjoy everyday. Frankly, this one can be the most challenging because it takes effort. Maybe you really enjoy 30 minutes in the morning before the sun comes up to think, but you never have enough time in the morning before work. Make the time to do it. Read a book; call a friend; go for a run; dance in your kitchen while making dinner. It doesn’t have to be fancy; it just needs to fill your soul.

4.Talk about it. Other people in your life may be experiencing the same feelings this time of year. Saying nothing does very little to help others feel supported. Now, there is a difference between complaining and stating. Use the conversation as fuel to find creative ways to help you look forward to each day.

5.Turn on the lights. When the amount of daylight is limited, it can impact how you feel. When I was in graduate school, I had a professor from Asia that always would say to turn on all of the lights when you feel sad. I can still hear him saying it in my head! Light therapy has even been used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Bright lights can help brighten your mood.

6.Plan something later in the spring. Maui? Bora Bora? Weekend at the cabin? Your budget or schedule may not allow you to take an expensive vacation, but we all need something to look forward to in a couple of months. Anticipation can be the hope we need to get through the short winter days and long winter nights. Plan something that works for you in the next 90 days. It could even just be a day at the spa!

You can only lead others as well as you can lead yourself. Concentrated self-care this month could propel you into a productive year. It can be one of the best investments to forget the winter blues.


Did you try one of these strategies this week? Have another strategy that keeps you away from the winter blues? Leave a comment below!


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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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