Uggggh January. Everything we read tells us it’s time for a new start, that we should be setting goals, going on a health kick, and start living our best life. But the reality is it is damn hard to find any motivation in the thick of the January Blues, especially during a pandemic. And especially as a mum when most days are purely about survival.
This year, I’ve found the January Blues hitting harder than ever, and so I’ve skipped on putting any pressure to be or do anything massively different this year. My main priority is to get through the January Blues (with a big dose of self-kindness) and then we’ll see about the rest of the year. Particularly as there is likely to be yet more uncertainty ahead.
What I have been doing is just making little micro tweaks to help reset in very small, achievable ways. Because let’s face it. Now is not the time to tell yourself you’re going to run an ultra marathon! So today I’ve teamed up with Dare Motivation and their nutritionally complete Motivational Shakes for a healthier and happier life – to share the small ways I’ll be finding motivation through the January Blues, which will hopefully help you to do the same when all we want to do is curl up in a ball and hibernate.
Power up the easy way
While we’d all like to eat 30 different foods in a day to maximise our nutrient intake, the reality is that life gets in the way. That’s why I’ve made a little switch in my morning to routine to include a Dare Motivation Shake mid-morning. An unbelievably tasty shake available in scrummy flavours (I’m all over the Cocoa & Jaffa Orange flavour which is insanely delicious, other flavours include Cocoa & Peanut Butter, and Cocoa Vanilla Frosting – YUM!), it is the perfect easy way to get nutritionally powered up.
A nutritionally complete plant based shake, it’s an all-in-one blend of seeds, superfoods, herbs, phytonutrients, pre- and probiotics and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. It is epically nutritious, insanely tasty, fantastically filling and has become my mid-morning healthy go-to.
Made with sustainable high-quality ingredients including Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Oats, Brown Rice, Turmeric curcuminoids, Maca, Green Tea, Acai Berry and our bespoke blend of vitamins and minerals all dosed for a perfect balance of easily digestible complete protein, essential fats, Omega-3, slow-release carbs and fibre.
I am being 100% honest when I say I really look forward to having this every morning, and love that it is a super convenient way of getting such a massive powerhouse of nutrients in my body. Simply pour 300 ml of water or your preferred milk, and 2 scoops of shake mix, and shake for creamy goodness that tastes too good to be true.
Plan small things to look forward to
After all the excitement of Christmas and New Year, January can feel decidedly flat, as if we are dragging ourselves through the land of tumbleweed. It’s vital at this time to have small things to look forward to. So whether you book a movie to watch at the cinema, arrange for friends to come over, do something outdoorsy or book a weekend away somewhere, having something small to look forward is just what everyone needs right now to lift our spirits and get through the January Blues.
Get out every day
I am very lucky to have an insane 7 month puppy, and for all her sins, she gets me outdoors and into nature every day. On the days when I don’t get out until later (usually because it’s raining cats and dogs!), I can feel the dip in my mood. One of the things I’ve come to realise is that getting out every day, and as early as possible in the day as you can, is so important for our mental wellbeing.
So whether that means you get up early and go for a walk, jog or run while it’s still dark (trust me, it’s magical!), or going for a brisk lap around the park after school drop off and before you sit down at your desk. Whenever or wherever it may be, wrap up and just get out.
I don’t think anyone appreciates the cold and wetness of January like this one does….oh to be a dog! Personally I prefer a windy walk on the coast! No doggy? No drama! Try borrowing one on BorrowMyDoggy.
Get in front of that SAD lamp
I honestly don’t know where I would be without my SAD lamp. Every morning when I sit down to work I religiously switch it on for 20 minutes. The difference in my before/after mood is immense. A SAD lamp or light box (have a look at the range from the daylight company) should be part of everyone’s January Blues survival kit. I actually start using mine from November, but by January if you’re suffering with the Winter Blues – or Seasonal Affective Disorder – then having your own SAD lamp or light box makes light therapy really accessible and easy.
Avoid any unrealistic goals
Although it may feel you need a drastic change in your life, without a realistic plan for achieving your new year goals then well my darlings, I’m sorry but it’s unlikely they will be achieved. A rule of thumb for any goal setting is that they should be SMART (read more about SMART goal setting here).
The pressure to set big goals can be overwhelming, and one way to find motivation through the January Blues is to not set ourselves up for failure in the first place!
Move your body every day
OK so you may have fallen off the exercise wagon over the last few weeks (hey haven’t we all!) but you know what, that is ok! We all need to get back on track with our fitness, but slowly slowly catch the monkey. The key here is to try and fall back in love with exercise. Remember your why. For me, I love to do exercise which is fun, or liberating, and that keeps my mental health intact. So I’ve been starting off with dance workouts, small little jogs, and yoga sequences that are perfect for unwinding after a hard day. Find what you love, and do more of that.
For some fun dance workouts you can try simply searching “dance party workouts” and the choice is yours! I am currently working my way through Grow With Jo and emkfit‘s dance workouts which are so much fun to do! Regular followers will also know that I am a sucker for Leilah Isaac’s Belly Dance classes on YouTube which are perfect for shimmying your funk away.
Try something new
Trying something new is a great way of expanding our minds and also boosting our self esteem. It’s also a strong way of helping us to feel like we’re not on a never ending hamster wheel. While not entirely new, I’m resisting my GCSE and A-Level French days and have been using Duo Lingo to try and unearth the language from what seems like a lifetime ago. I can already feel the knock on benefits of doing it. I’m also going to start learning how to draw different things. There are so many new things to try. Check out this list of new things to try in your life for inspiration.
Remember it’s just a calendar
While there is so much pressure for us to make change in January and start a new, remember January is just a month in the calendar. The calendar is just a man-made creation, and the pressure is just a social construct that we don’t need to adhere to. The reality is this month is really no different to the next, or the next.
Accept this moment
You know what, if you are struggling to feel motivated right now that is totally normal, or fine. Know that this is just a moment in time, and that this too shall pass. Just like every January, we will eventually shift out of the doldrums, on through February, with our energy levels rising again come Spring. This, my friends, is the ebb and flow of the seasons.
Have you been struggling to find motivated through the January Blues? Why not share how you’ve been feeling below.
Dare Motivational Shakes are available at only £27 every 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks. Save 10% on every scheduled repeat delivery. Cancel or pause anytime.