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January 16, 2023 - 6 minutes

Blue Monday: Getting Over the January Blues 

Challenge those dreary first days of the new year with our tips and tricks. 

Juliette Carreiro - Tech Writer


You’re back from holiday and wow, this return is tough. Coming back from a week or two off can be difficult and we get it. Who wants to get back to work after being surrounded by family, friends, good food and maybe a trip? Not us! But life is what it is and it’s time to open your laptop, brew up some coffee, and get back to work. Here’s how.

The January Blues: what are they?

There’s a few reasons why January can be tough. December (and November, for Americans!) is full of social events, family gatherings, days off, and bright Christmas lights. And as soon as the year changes, everyone heads home, ready to get back to work. There’s fewer exciting events on the horizon to peak your interest and keep your spirits up. And for those in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are short and cold. 

The effect that the above factors have on you can result in what is known as the January Blues. There are different ways to combat it, both personally and professionally. But first, let’s see if you’re affected by it: 

You might have the January blues if you…

  • Are feeling sadder than normal

  • Can’t find the motivation for simple tasks

  • Have trouble falling or staying asleep

  • Feel constantly tired

It’s totally normal! Here’s how to fight it on a personal level: 

Get some sunlight 

Lots of places in the world are lacking abundant sunshine right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get any! Sunlight naturally boosts our spirits so as soon as you wake up in the morning, open those blinds and let your body soak in the light. If you keep your bedroom or house dark, it’ll be a lot harder to get up and motivated. 

Find regular patterns 

Our normal schedules get all messed up during the holiday season and it’s crucial to get back to a routine as soon as possible. Set boundaries with yourself: go to bed by a certain time and get up early. This will help you get back into the swing of things.

Prioritize exercise

You might be feeling like you’ve put your exercise on the side during the holidays and we completely get it! It’s hard to keep up a normal routine while traveling or attending events, but January is a great time to get back on track. Go slow and incorporate workouts into your daily routine at a manageable pace - you don’t want to overdo it! 

Try something new 

Ever heard “new year, new you?” We certainly have and there’s a reason for that: we’re in a new year and many people set resolutions to improve something they’re already doing or try something new. If you’ve been thinking about learning French, why not now? Or if you have always wanted to take a kickboxing class, what are you waiting for? The rush of trying something new can boost your confidence and overall mood. 

The January Blues at Work

There’s nothing like a return to work after the holidays to lower your mood. The January Blues can come on even stronger in the workplace but there are ways to avoid them, or at least lessen their effect. We’ve compiled some ideas here: 

Take a walk 

That 8-hour day can feel endless after vacation. Getting some fresh air and taking a walk in the morning or after lunch can help break up your day and get your brain working again. No one can just sit for 8 hours and churn out work; make sure you step away, get a coffee, or take your dog to the park to get a change of scenery. 

Limit screen time

Most of us have jobs that require us to be staring at a computer for the entire day and that can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. So when you’re done with work, try to limit your screen time. Put limits on your phone or TV time to ensure that you’re getting your chores done, spending time with your friends and family, and doing the things you enjoy. 

Socialize at work 

As remote work gains popularity, lots of people are working from home, limiting their socialization. It can be hard to motivate yourself to get up early and get to the office, but if you’re feeling the effects of working alone all day, it may help to go in at least once or twice a week. And if you’re in the office full-time, try to eat lunch or grab coffee with co-workers. This will help boost your mood and productivity

Plan for that day

There’s nothing worse than sitting down at 9:00 am and realizing all you have ahead of you is 8 hours of work. If you struggle with motivating yourself in the morning, try planning something fun or different for after work that will help you get through the day. And it doesn’t have to be something big and exciting - simply ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant or planning to watch a new movie can help improve your mood.

Give yourself something to look forward to in the long-term

Did you just take vacation over the holidays? Or are your cousin’s Instagram photos from her trip to the beach making you jealous? It’s normal and we totally get it. But planning something in the long-term can help you also get excited for what’s to come and push through these tough first weeks of the year. And again, it doesn’t have to be something huge! If a vacation isn’t in the books for you, think about planning other exciting things, like eating at your favorite restaurant or tickets to a show you've been wanting to see. 

Listen to your body 

This might be our most important tip! Only you know what you need and listening to your body is just as important as anything else we’ve mentioned. It’s good to plan on diving right back into the swing of things but if you’re feeling exhausted, cancel a workout or spend a Friday night at home to give yourself time to recharge. Even though we are on vacation, the December holidays can be emotionally and physically challenging and you need to listen to what your body needs.

January can feel simultaneously endless and incredibly short and the January Blues can really affect your mood and productivity. But use these tips and tricks and soon you’ll be unstoppable!

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