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January Blues – How to Overcome Them

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So here we are again, a new year has begun, we are all back at work and the Christmas festivities are a distant memory. Naturally many of us begin to feel a little depressed or de-motivated as it feels like we have nothing to look forward to, not to mention that the weather is often miserable. Here is how you could brighten up your January and start to feel energised and motivated again…

1. Have something to aim for – This could simply be a day off, a long weekend, a personal treat or similar. For example myself and my girlfriend are going to Paris at the end of the month to visit the sights and see David Guetta in concert. This is something that we are very much looking forward to and we keep in our minds during this busy month. If you have an event, treat or similar to aim for then there is light at the end of the tunnel and it can break up your working month.

2. Work goals – Make sure these are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). I’m sure that many of you will have targets set by your line manger but why not give yourself your own micro goals to make your working day that little bit easier. These could include targeting yourself to create a daily/weekly structured plan of the things you aim to do at work.

3. Exercise – Although this may not be the solution for everyone, exercise is proven to release endorphins and act as a stress relief. If you currently do not exercise or do not exercise often then build yourself into it gradually and don’t make the mistake that many January “gym-goers” make by trying to do too much too soon and end up getting bored or over-fatigued. Start by exercising twice per week and gradually increase the frequency of exercise and workout time after an initial 2-4 weeks of exercise. You can exercise wherever you like…outdoors, the gym, your own home.

4. Eat & drink more healthily – Many of you will be familiar with the term “you are what you eat”. This is often true and you will tend to find that if you eat a lot of sugary, high carb foods and drinks you will experience mood swings, fluctuations in energy levels and motivation levels. To combat this aim to eat 5 balanced meals a day, consisting of Breakfast, Mid-Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack and Evening Meal. Each one should contain some form of protein (meat, fish, eggs etc.), Fats (this can come from the meat, cooking oils etc.) and Carbohydrates (you can have unlimited amounts of water based carbs such as lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli etc. but limit heavy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and cereals). By eating a healthier, more balanced diet you will find that your blood sugar levels will fluctuate less hence fewer mood swings and sustained energy levels. Also true to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day and try to limit caffeinated drinks such as coffee to 2 per day.

5. Book a holiday – Whilst feeling a little down post-Christmas, why not book yourself a Spring or Summer holiday? Many companies have good offers in January and you will find that having something to look forward to in the medium term will brighten your mood. This is something I try to do personally. Having gone 2 years without any form of holiday at one point in my career, I found myself feeling highly unmotivated, stressed and fatigued. My manager at the time suggested I should try booking a holiday or at least some time off work every 3-4 months and to this day I still feel that this is some of the best advice I have been given with regards to keep myself motivated at work. 
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