The relatives have been dropped to the airport, the mammoth turkey and hams have been eaten, the Christmas tree is shedding, you have a serious hole in your pocket and all that drinking egg nog and eating selection boxes has left you a little curvier around the edges. And worst of all, you’re back in college/university. Yes, it’s January and you’ve got the blues.

Remember that this too shall pass, but to help it pass a little quicker, here are some top tips for banishing the blues.


Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, gives you a natural high and puts you in a good mood – simply taking a brisk walk once a day will give you that feel good factor.

Eat well

It’s not terribly exciting, but eating well is a great way to make us feel better, particularly after the excesses of the Christmas period. Eating healthily is not about going on a fad diet, it’s about eating a variety of foods in moderation, so enjoy plenty of fruit and vegetables. And of course you can have a dessert. Well, now and again.

Sleep well

During the Christmas period it was late nights and lie-ins, so getting back into a proper sleep pattern is important, but can be difficult. Swapping your latte for decaffeinated coffee and drinking camomile tea before bed will be of great benefit. Also, try having a bubble bath with lavender oil before getting into a freshly changed bed to help drift off into a peaceful slumber (if you are pregnant check with your doctor before using any essential oil).

Preparation is key

Mornings are tough enough without having to pick an outfit, iron it and make your lunch, before having to race out the door without breakfast or a shower because you have to run for a bus. A bus that you inevitably miss. Prepare yourself the night before so you’re not feeling pressured in the morning. It will make it much easier to face a day of studies if you have had a good breakfast, arrived on time and aren’t feeling stressed.

Have something to look forward to

January is synonymous with staying in, feeling a little miserable and feeling the pinch. Most people are in the same boat so don’t feel guilty for saying no to offers of drinks or swapping the pub for a takeaway and Saturday night television. But it is important to have something to look forward to, so arrange a trip to the cinema or an early bird dinner for February, so you know there’s light at the end of the house-arrest tunnel.

Sunny afternoons

Granted it’s not Barbados, but there still is some sunshine out there. Even natural daylight can give you the daily lift you might be craving for. Just ten minutes in the sun a day can help fight off SAD (seasonal affective disorder) as well as helping your body to make Vitamin D.

Fight the boredom

Sometimes the same routine during these dark and cold winter nights can make you feel bored or even down. Try to change it up by finding a hobby or an activity that would blow the boredom clouds away. As the weather is not your friend this time of the year, try to pick up something you can do inside while keeping warm and dry. Have a get together with family or friends for some board games, get into the groove of solving crosswords or other puzzles, bake, sew, or any other activity that you find enjoyable.