Most of us start the new year with all the enthusiasm in the world. Fuelled with fierce determination to lose the extra Christmas lbs you put on or get back into shape etc. However after only a few short days this can often turn into a real struggle. Your bank account is constantly screaming at you for mistreating it in December, your weight isn’t dropping quickly enough, the days are short, the air is chilly and your motivation suddenly reaches an all time low. Sound familiar? We all become a little bit obsessed in January with self improvement and then we beat ourselves up when we can’t achieve the things that we originally set out to do. I have put together some tips to help shake that dreary feeling and get your momentum going again.
The importance of Vitamin D.
I suffer from a disorder called S.A.D and it is really important for me to binge on Vitamin D foods during the short, dark days. Our skin mostly manufactures vitamin D through exposure to the sun. Did you know that during the dark winter months, we probably aren’t getting our recommended daily dose. I find that treating myself to a Vitamin D sunbed can raise my mood (though I am not recommending this for you because obviously, risks and that!) Luckily there are some foods that can help us out during this period which I will recommend. Things like dairy, eggs and fish such as salmon and sardines are all good natural sources of vitamin D.
Increase your Omega 3 intake.
It has been a topic of discussion for some time that Omega 3 is good for your heart and good for the soul. Did you know that studies show adding extra Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet can also treat some types of depression. I am currently adding a tablespoon of milled Flaxseed to my morning smoothie as a good source of Omega 3. I am also including more oily fish, soya milk, pumpkin seeds and spinach into my diet.
I know this seems so difficult to do right now and all your motivation disappeared around the 10th Jan when you realised your new gym plan was a tad to optimistic. But I promise its just the thought of doing it that is miserable. Get yourself in the gym, do a home work out or even just a brisk walk after dinner, you will feel better before you know it. Exercise releases happy hormone’s such as Endorphins & Serotonin and I promise once you get going you will forget you were even doubting it. For great exercise tips subscribe to Diva’s with dumbbells weekly newsletter for some great inspiration.
Allow yourself treat days.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a sneaky bar of chocolate. Everything is good for you in moderation. Life would be boring if we didn’t allow ourselves small amounts of the things we love from time to time. I try to designate 2 days a week where I can either have an alcoholic drink or a low fat, sweet dessert. It keeps me sane and helps me stick to my plan during the rest of the week because I know I have those days to look forward to. We are only human after-all.
Ask yourself questions.
A lot of people feel down in January and instead of pushing your feelings to one side, try addressing them head on. Ask yourself; What is getting me down? I find that completing the Wheel of life exercise is a great way to figure things out and is often used by coaches to find out what is making their clients unhappy. The idea is to draw a wheel with 8 spokes, each spoke should represent an area of your life. These should include: Health, money, social life, relationships, work, friends/family, home life and personal growth. You must give each area a mark out of ten, if you have any sections with a mark of 5 or lower, these are the ones that you need to focus on.
Restructure your goals.
If none of my mood-boosting tips or guilt-free treat days are doing the trick, you may need to reassess your goals. Sometimes introducing a new challenge could give you the boost you need. Think about it, maybe you set your sights to high in the first place setting yourself up to fail. Don’t panic you are not alone, we all do this to ourselves. Whatever stage you’re at, reminding yourself of your goals and making sure they’re realistic will only help you accomplish them.
Blow your own trumpet.
Write a list of the things you are good at and the things that make you happy. Then make a point of doing at least one thing each day from said list. You will be so wrapped up indulging in things that you enjoy doing that you wont even notice the time passing. Before you know it, it will be February and you can give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the January blues.
Thanks for reading.
Hopefully I can change the way that at least one of you are thinking/feeling right now.
Do you have anything to add? If so, I would love to hear it, so drop me a comment below.