Health and Wellbeing
Amy's Blog: Coping with feeling down after Christmas
When the celebrations around Christmas and New Year come to an end, a Monday morning in January can seem quite a stark difference.
However, I don’t think this should mean continuously punishing yourself because of your inevitable indulgences over the holidays.
Here are 5 things you can very easily and cheaply do in order to make January that little bit nicer:
1. Treat yourself
This idea has become a running joke amongst my friends who seem to think I have hundreds of ‘little treats’ a day. To be honest, I do use it to justify almost everything. I am not necessarily the budgeting guru but I do believe in making daily life that little bit nicer.
I keep about 2 pounds a day for a little treat. This is enough to keep me going and motivate me to work. My favourite ‘little treat’ is buying a coffee, preferably a cappuccino!
2. Get out of your room
Work in the Library. Work in a café. Even if you’re not socialising with anyone, surrounding yourself with people makes you feel less isolated. I study English and also live half an hours walk away from campus.
However, by making the effort to go into uni, it feels more like I’m ‘at work’ and makes me more productive. Working in a cafe also combines your ‘little treat’ with getting out of your room - win-win situation!
3. Plan your day or week
If I wake up and know I have a million things to do but don’t know where to start, I will spend hours faffing. A very easy thing you can do is to make a list of everything you want to do the night before. I include social things too as it makes my list a bit less daunting! There's nothing a visit to my favourite cafe can't fix - there are cakes and amazing hot chocolates, what more could you need?
I was put off sport by scary P.E. teachers, plus I was always much better at chatting than football! So I completely did not expect to find sport so much fun at Uni. I joined the English Society Netball Team and, because it’s not too competitive, I love it! I have made some amazing friends and it’s great exercise.
When you’re sitting still reading all day, this is a welcome change. Exercise also releases endorphins which makes you feel more positive. That’s a scientific fact!
5. Social plans
Some people will have no problem with this one and others will. For me, I like to have little things to look forward to which requires a bit of planning. Although it’s great to have the flexibility at Uni, you can’t always expect plans to materialise. Having something to look forward to in the evening will also make you work harder in the day. If you haven’t got plans, it’s very easy to procrastinate with work as you know you've got all evening to do it.
So, in order to feel more positive in January, the scientifically proven approach is exercise - there are lots of social teams to join at University too - my flatmate swears by tennis.
However, I think a balance is important. Little treats and things to look forward to, has been proven by my own research to be very effective!
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