January Mood Busters: Tips and ideas to keep positive and improve your mood in January Lockdown
Let’s face it… January is going to be a bit of a write-off and those January blues are likely to be worse than ever when we’re facing lockdown. So, here are some ideas from Rachel at North Leeds Mumbler on what to do to keep you positive, inspiration on things to do at home, and some tips on improving your mood to help keep the January Blues at bay.
Be Kind and help others in 2021
One of the biggest mood boosters comes from doing good. And this year there are plenty who are in need of help. Here are a few easy ideas that you could do to help others;
Add a few cans and packets to every food shop to donate to a local food bank. Many supermarkets have a collection near the checkouts to make it easy for you to do this.
Check on your neighbours. Do not underestimate the value of a quick call to a lonely neighbour to check they’re ok. Ask your children to draw them a picture. Just make sure you keep it safe.
Litter pick. This really has been the year of walking, with so many attractions and entertainment closed down. On your next outing, take a bag and pick up some pieces of litter you find on your way.
Use your professional skills to mentor new talent or give your advice. Many corporate businesses will have a mentorship scheme that you can apply to, or try the vocational departments of your local universities or schools, who may be looking for business mentors for your students.
Support local businesses. And newsflash- you don’t always need to spend money to do this! Support your local businesses by telling friends, giving recommendations and even engaging with them on social media.
Plan your January Mood Boosters in advance
One of the hardest parts I found of lockdown was the endless feeling of Groundhog Day. The best days were those that we planned ahead for; there’s some ideas in the following points, but make sure you make a plan, get it in the diary and stick to it. Look at your weekends; when can you schedule a zoom party with friends? When will you do that at-home bar crawl with the hubby? When will you do a Mexican themed night with the kids? Plan it in so you have something to look forward to (and try to avoid anything that might be cancelled because of changing restrictions).
Get organised and declutter
If the two lockdowns of 2020 haven’t already driven you to it, this might well be the time to start. Go through those wardrobes and find some pieces to donate to charity shops (or even sell). Clear out the junk room to make it a useable space. Get rid of those out of date packets in the kitchen cupboard.
Create Treats at Home
For the many of us stuck at home over this January, make sure you still plan treats into your week. This could be anything from Date Nights (formal dress compulsory), to Movie Nights, to Sitting Room Sleepovers, to spontaneous family parties.
If you can afford to, use local companies to inject some fun; work your way through the range of local takeaways and restaurants offering Home Specials. Try a virtual wine and cheese tasting event. Book treats with anything from Hot Tub and Bouncy Castle Hire, to Home Cinema Hire and Princess Doorstep visits.
There are so many benefits to drinking water , and even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on energy levels and moods. So the first step to a more positive January is making sure that you drink more!
Oh I know we’re all getting a bit sick of doorstep walks, but try to think of them as ADVENTURES! Especially if you have young children. Try scavenger hunts and games, and have a look at this post to make walks more fun. Getting some gentle exercise, and dare I say a bit of sun will work wonders.
The Outdoors is not just for exercise. If you have a garden USE it. Take advantage of dry days to enjoy a family BBQ, use that Pizza Oven, get round a fire pit and toast some marshmallows. Make sure you make plans so that you have something to look forward to.
Build some screen free time into your day
There are two benefits of screen free time;
It gives you time to concentrate on something else. Or practise mindfulness. Or just do nothing. I’ve become a big fan of baths over the pandemic; it’s been my literal escape from looking after two small children, a time when I can close the door and just take a breather with some time to myself. But I find myself reaching for my phone and the scrolling takes over. It stops me from truly relaxing!
You sometimes need that time to switch off. Stop comparing yourself to others on social media. Stop reading more bad news stories. Just… stop.
Recognise everyday doesn’t have to be day to perform
Dont get too carried away planning a month of fun for the family. You all need downtime. If you have children, read this post on things to do with the kids when you’re shattered.
Prepare for a return to normality
Whilst it may feel like it at times, remember this wont last forever. Think about what you want to do when restrictions ease. Make a wish box. We’ve already started pencilling in dates for summer camping trips. Where have you always wanted to go? Who do you desperately want to see? Get excited for all the additional pleasure you’ll feel!! Have a look at our inspiration for holidays here.
Be Realistic… and take it one step at a time
Let’s take a moment to realise what a totally shockingly crap year 2020 was. There are of course some people who have had some great successes, who have accomplished their dreams or have been able to celebrate despite the challenges of the year. But for most of us, simply getting through 2020 was an achievement in itself. So well done! And 2021 doesn’t need a huge shock to the system. If you decide that 2021 is the year to make changes, be realistic about what you will be able to do on the back of a pandemic. It might not be the best time to start a diet.
It might be that you start with small positive changes; one step at a time. Once you’ve cracked one positive change, whether it’s a lifestyle change, a change to diet, a change to bad habits you can move onto another one.