Winter can be a pretty gloomy time, especially January, when all the merriment of Christmas Time is over and the next thing we're looking forward to is probably our Summer holiday. Let's be honest, we all tend to start dreaming of days on the beach at this time of year, especially when we have to spend half an hour scraping ice from our cars before we can drive to work. No ones idea of fun.
It can be a tough time to find motivation, and we often experience feelings of failure when our New Year's resolutions don't pan out the way that we hoped. It's a tough time of year for Mental Health and feeling the top of your game. I know I've been struggling, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how to keep a positive mindset and ways to enjoy the gloomier months, instead of pining endlessly for the Summer.
New Years Resolutions: Expectations vs. Reality
At the start of the New Year lots of people set themselves ambitious goals; 'I'm going to go to the gym every day', 'I'm going to eat no sugar', 'I'm going to always be positive at work' and so on.These things are, in theory, really great. But, when it comes down to it, it's very hard to change our habits in a short space of time and to motivate ourselves to stick to a strict regime, particularly if it's something completely new for us.
This means that, as January drags on, we start to falter a little bit and find our resolutions hard to stick to and we blame ourselves for this. I know I've definitely been guilty of this in the past, and it always leaves me feeling like I've failed and like I've let myself down. These kinds of negative thoughts can be really toxic for your Mental Health, and general well-being, and the more you feel this way the harder it then becomes to fulfil our New Years goals. It becomes and endless spiral, and it really is unnecessary.
So, I think it's important at this time of year, to accept that we need to go easy on ourselves; don't set yourself impossible goals. Yes ambition is wonderful and setting goals can be a great motivator, but there is no need to change your entire lifestyle just because we are in a New Year. As we loom towards the end of January I think it's time to take stock, look back on the Month and focus on what we have achieved and not what we didn't. Set smaller goals and reward yourself when you achieve them; give yourself the credit you deserve and always know that you are doing the best you can, and you know what? It really is enough.
Always Have Something To Look Forward ToI think most of us spend January looking forward to warmer months, but what I mean by this is something on a bit of a smaller scale. Summer seems absolutely ages away, and thinking about that can be a bit of a downer in itself. So, I think it's important to give yourself things to look forward to that day and that week and maybe something at the end of the month.
If you're having a down day at work and feeling a bit flustered, think of something to treat yourself to that evening. It could be anything; your favourite dinner, a fun workout class, a nice bath with a fancy bath bomb you've been saving or even just phoning up a friend to have good chat with someone who gets you. Planning a little something for yourself can really help you keep a more positive mind-set as you go through your day, and you'll probably feel a whole lot better the next day too.
It's also a good idea to make plans with friends for your next day off, even though sometimes when you're having a bad MH week this can feel a little daunting. Reaching out to friends at times when your feeling down can be really hard, but when you do it and you make plans it really is the best thing you could do for yourself. True friends will always be understanding if you're going through a rough patch, and having people like that around you really lifts your mood and is a great way to keep yourself feeling a little more positive. Plus I know from my own experience that when I'm feeling down and it stops me reaching out to my friends, I always end up feeling a million times better when I finally make plans to have a phone call with a close friend or actually organise to meet up.
Have you been struggling to keep a positive mindset this Month? What are your favourite ways to treat yourself and improve a bad day? Leave a comment below if you have any other tips - we could all use a bit of extra sparkle and positivity in January!
Pictured in this post: Oliver Bonas Jumper, Jack Wills Coat, Topshop Jeans, Accessorize Scarf, Oliver Bonas Bag.