January can feel like an incredibly long month. It's cold, it's dark a lot of the time, the weather's usually miserable, you're feeling a little poor after Christmas and New Year, and it's even home to the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday.
All of this means that the January blues can be unavoidable and you can be left feeling gloomy and down, especially as you know the summer months and brighter weather are still a long way away.
Self-care is extremely important when you start to feel this way, even more so if you've been medically diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. If you're concerned about your health and wellbeing, you should always speak to your GP, but if you're after a quick fix to make yourself feel a little brighter, pampering yourself could be the option.
This doesn't have to mean waxing yourself from top to toe or giving yourself a mini makeover, pampering can also be the little things you do for yourself to make life that bit easier when you're struggling with the January blues. Here are a few ideas:
Make life easier for yourself
If you spend all day at work looking forward to coming home and curling up on the sofa in your pyjamas, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving away in the kitchen to prepare yourself a healthy meal.
We know that once you're sat down, it can be a challenge to make yourself get back up, so make things a little easier for yourself by preparing your dinner in advance. A slow cooker can be a godsend during the winter, and it's really easy to cook up nourishing, warming, comforting dishes in it.
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Use stock or chopped tomatoes as your sauce base, add whatever meat, fish or legumes you like, as well as tonnes of vegetables and your choice of seasoning, and leave to cook on 'low' while you're out at work all day. Doing all of this in advance is the perfect way to pamper the future you.
Then, when you come home, all you'll need to do is boil some rice or steam some veg to serve alongside your dinner and you'll have a healthy meal ready within a matter or minutes.
Be kind to yourself, eat well and make sure you're getting plenty of nutrients to keep yourself feeling as healthy and well as possible throughout January.
Look to the future
Making plans for the summer and the future in general can be another way to get you through those bleak January days, giving you something to look forward to and work towards over the next few months.
Remember that there are fun times such as Pancake Day (Tuesday February 13th) and Valentine's Day (Wednesday February 14th) just around the corner, but if you feel that having a little adventure to plan would be useful to keep your mind busy, get planning your holiday for this year.
If money's still tight after Christmas, look for travel bargains in the sales, or plan some free days out at museums or other local points of interest for the next few weeks and months for something to look forward to. Having an idea of some of the fun experiences you're going to have this year and the memories you're going to make with loved ones can help to make January feel that little bit brighter.
Treat yourself - you deserve it
January is a time when many people restrict themselves from eating their favourite foods or try to go on a detox of some kind, but we think you should indulge yourself if you need to in order to get through the month.
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This could be something as small as letting yourself enjoying a cosy night in instead of committing to a social engagement you're not sure about, or treating yourself to some pampering goodies to give yourself something extra special to look forward to during your 'me time' at the end of each day.
You need to look after your mind and your body if you're feeling blue, so run yourself a relaxing bath where you can enjoy some peace, clear your head and even meditate if you want to.
Let one of our Shea Butter Bath Melts fizzle in your bath water for a super-nourishing soak. They're packed with moisturising shea and cocoa butter, which is just what your body needs with the cold weather leaving your skin feeling dry and cracked, as well as natural dried petals to add a touch of beautiful soothing fragrance.
Make your skin feel even more silky smooth with one of our gorgeous scented sea salt and bamboo Body Scrubs too. They leave your skin feeling so dreamy and their lovely aroma lingers, giving you something to smile about and a reason to feel a little less blue even hours after your soak.
Always make sure you're treating yourself to enough sleep too - you should never underestimate the power of a good night's rest in making you feel perkier. If you've been having trouble nodding off, add our soothing Citrus & Lavender Reed Diffuser to your bedroom, and keep a lookout for our Sleep Easy Reed Diffuser to help you through future sleepless nights.