2022 is here and with it comes all of the potential promise that a new year brings. As the hours of daylight lengthen (at least, for those of us here in the Northern hemisphere), motivation to burn off the excesses of the holidays, and leave behind 2021’s baggage, is high – or is it?
At The Corpus we’re lucky to work in a supportive environment, with employee wellbeing high on the company’s agenda – exactly where it should be. As one of The Corpus’ trained mental health champions, I wanted to explore the frequently felt ‘January blues’ and share some of my thoughts on some easy ways to combat them.
For many, the new year signifies new beginnings and the chance to start afresh. For many others, though, January is a stressful time of year.
Without labouring the point too much, there are a myriad of reasons why a person might feel low. They could be financial, related to social pressures, work, feelings of isolation, failure to stick to a New Year’s resolution, seasonal changes… The list goes on.
Fortunately, now more than ever, there is a growing list of resources and services available to those in need of support during stressful periods. In addition, there are many at-home solutions and small lifestyle changes that can be great as “quick fixes”. Here are some of our top picks:
Are you sleeping enough?
Research has found a link between anxiety, sensitivity and the effects of insufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation can create a vicious cycle of worsening anxiety, leading to increased trouble sleeping, and so on. Lack of sleep has been shown to directly affect a person’s emotional health. Long-term sleep problems are something that should be talked through with a physician but in the first instance, going to bed earlier and not looking at a screen for at least one hour before you sleep, are good places to start.
Get your heart pumping
Exercise, such as a brisk 10-minute walk, can help shift those stressful feelings and clear the mind. Even something as simple as a 15-minute stretching session during lunch hour can help! Here at The Corpus, we’ve been trialling walkabout meetings in the morning, with great success. Constantly being sat down on video calls can be mentally and physically draining, so every morning we have our team catch up whilst walking around our local areas.
Take up a hobby?
As we get older, many people stop being involved in the fun activities we once took part in as children. Rekindling a love for an old (or new!) hobby can be a great way to engage and stimulate your mind, and act as a release from the stresses of everyday life. Finding a hobby you enjoy could also assist with increased production of hormones that keep you feeling happier.
Music is an integral part of our everyday lives and listening to it, whatever your taste, is a simple and effective way to elevate your mood. Traditionally, music with a slow tempo is thought of as having a relaxing effect, but it’s important to find the track, artist, or genre that works for you. Try to find somewhere quiet to sit back, close your eyes listen to your chosen tunes for a quick stress-busting session.
A good clear-out
It’s important to occasionally do a purge of old, unworn clothes. You may not realise it, but living in a space that’s cluttered could unconsciously be causing you more stress. How about taking some time at the weekend, or an evening, to organise your space and de-clutter? Whether that means throwing things away, putting them into storage or donating them, you’ll be glad of the increased space.
We hope our short list of quick- fixes may be of some help this January! Of course, these are all short-term strategies and if you are still regularly feeling very stressed, anxious or down, you should seek further advice ; whether that’s from a physician, a charity, a friend, a relative, or anyone else.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to 2022, from The Corpus team.