January is tough for a lot of people. We’re tired after the festive period, struggling with cold weather, dark mornings and the back to work vibe. Lots of people are setting goals or making big plans and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, sad or ‘blue’.
Perhaps you know that today (January 20th) is known as Blue Monday- the ‘most depressing day of the year’?(what a title) For many, the day has turned into a time to promote mental health awareness, however, it was actually started by Sky back in 2005 as part of a holiday selling campaign. Very noble eh?
Rather than naming a single day ‘the worst’ i’d rather direct you to Time to Talk Day on the 6th February. This awareness day, organised by Mental Health charity Mind encourages battling isolation by getting conversations about mental health going. My work is actively taking part in the day and maybe your community, workplace or friends could too?
Be Kind to yourself
It’s pretty simple to be kind to others when they’re feeling low, to give them a bit of your time, a small gift, your words. It can be a whole, lot harder to be kind to yourself. I find this tough personally, so i’m trying to set little social dates like online gaming with friends, days I say i’m going to have the old cliche of a bubble bath and a read. Self care is different for everybody. It includes trying to do the things you need to do to be healthy and safe along with things that feel like treats. Just trying to catch the nasty things you might think about yourself and question them is self care.
I’m trying to get back into regular yoga and keeping more active, which is a bit interesting with chronic illness, haha. Don’t ever let anyone shame you into activity, but working out what little you can do comfortably is great for feeling healthier and getting your endorphins going. I will very easily tell people I don’t like Januaries- it’s a month filled with some bad anniversaries for me but i’m doing my best to keep on.
Check in with your friends
We’re always telling people to reach out. We tell them here are numbers to call, say they can talk to us when they need to- and this is great. But we also need to ask people how they are- and not just in the British ‘Good, you?’ way. When you’re struggling, asking for help can seem like the hardest thing in the world. Or you may not even realise you’re struggling until someone asks you. So please ask your friends how they are and listen. Make it easier for someone to say they’re not doing so well.
But also, here are some useful resources
- Childline – (for children and young people under 19),Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill
- The Silver Line – for older people,Call 0800 4 70 80 90
If you’re like me and finding January tough, we’re already over halfway through it, and February is nearing us- when I certainly, will be breathing a big sigh of relief. You can check read more about my thought on mental health here.
Laters, Ruthy xo
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