Beat the “January Blues”!

It may have been the season of goodwill, but the festive season is accompanied by a variety of stress factors, including alcohol, changed sleep patterns, increased debts and family conflicts. Losses during the year, be it the death of a loved one or economic setbacks, are also experienced more acutely during this time.

After the rush of the holidays, January can be a difficult month. The festivities have ended; its cold and a long wait until pay day. It is little wonder that Monday 21st January has been adopted as “the gloomiest day of the year.”

For many already living with mental health issues, the season of goodwill may have been a far cry from the ideal of family gatherings overflowing with gifts. The problems are far more serious and distressing, and January can be a very isolating period haunted by disappointment, anxiety, sadness, depression or even suicidal thoughts.

At this time of year, we all need to talk more than ever.

It is important for individuals to acknowledge the difficulties during this period and seek professional help with severe ‘January blues’ when needed. However, staying active and not isolated, reducing alcohol consumption and being aware and mindful of difficult family dynamics can lessen the blues.

There are also a few simple steps that can help minimise the risk of mental health issues arising this January:

Beware of drinking to excess

  • Remember that alcohol is a depressant and can worsen the symptoms of depression
  • If you are worried about being alone, find out what is going on in your local community or join a local group
  • See whether there is a good time to visit friends or relatives
  • Sharing your feelings with others, such as friends and family members, who can help you identify and work through any emotional challenges you may be experiencing.
  • Regular physical activity has been shown to have antidepressant effects in people with mild to moderate depression
  • Do not be afraid to seek professional help




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