Now that Christmas has come and gone, January has arrived… bringing colder weather, darker mornings and evenings, and a third lockdown.
The start of the year is often considered one of the gloomier months, being host to ‘Blue Monday’ (branded the most depressing day of the year). For many people, it can be even more difficult to deal with due to the restrictions on our ability to socialise or engage with hobbies and activities in the way we would like.
While being able to speak to family and friends is important in keeping you connected and being able to bring some relief from stress, anxiety and depression, it’s important to also take steps yourself to look after your mental health.
Our counsellors in Newcastle suggest these 3 important ways that you can help yourself cope better through the early months of the year.
Keep a Routine
The current pandemic restrictions, leading to reduced social interaction and lack of ability to do the things we used to enjoy, can make the days seem longer. With this, feeling of “lockdown fatigue” can intensify negative emotions.
Our counsellors in Newcastle recommend sticking to a meaningful routine as closely as possible.
This might start with waking up at the same time every day, making breakfast and getting some fresh air. Set yourself small and achievable goals, such as reading a book, building something, or learning something new each day, to give yourself a sense of accomplishment and boost your mood.
Nourish your body with healthy foods and ensure that you’re eating balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day.
This will help your body function properly and eating healthily is less likely to leave you feeling sluggish and deflated than overindulging on high sugar or high fat foods.
Also ensure that you’re drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, so that you remain hydrated too.
Though many therapists often overlook the role of nutrition and physical health on mental wellbeing, our psychologists and counsellors in Newcastle are well aware that looking after your body will also help to improve your mindset through giving more energy, motivation and focus.
Even during COVID, our counsellors in Newcastle are available, and our Specialist Mindfulness Teacher, Michael, is still able to offer one-to-one mindfulness sessions and courses in developing mindfulness skills.
As well as working face-to-face, we are also able to offer online counselling and online mindfulness sessions to help you develop effective coping skills and let go of negatuve thinking patterns and bad habits.
Taking some time out of your day to work through your emotions and learning to let go of unhelpul thoughts can help you get rid of negative feelings and put you on the right track when you start to feel low.
For Further Help
For more information or to arrange an appointment with any of our counsellors in Newcastle, call us on 07966 645 198.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling