How to Overcome January Blues in 5 Easy Steps

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by Jessie Ace |

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31 Days of MS, MS episode, certainty, gratitude, unique, symptoms, the circle, affirmations, fatigue, depression, progress, presentable, disclose, dog, temperature, end of the year, uncertainty, online community, conflict, bloated, enabled, caffeine

Can January March? No, but April May! 

OK, well, I thought it was funny. 

Nothing beats the January blues like bad puns, right? Let’s face it. For most people, January sucks.

The end of the year is full of excitement. There are Halloween costumes, fireworks, and turkey with stuffing. There are Christmas presents, food all around us, champagne, music, and dancing. Everything is exciting. It is the only socially acceptable time to spend days in our pajamas watching back-to-back terrible films while stuffing our faces, and why? Well, because it’s Christmas, obviously. 

And after the festivities are over? What then? Hangovers (the after-party kind and the exhaustion-from-the-holidays kind), feeling lousy from overeating, and the pain of the relentless cold weather all make it difficult to adjust. Depression is two to three times more likely to occur in people with MS, but we can change this. 

To sum it all up, if you’re feeling down right now, it’s OK. It’s called January, and it’s the uncool uncle in the 12-month family. 

This weird, smelly uncle creeps around once a year, encompassing you in vile-smelling, toxic breath while boring you with its depressing, thousand-year-old story on repeat. Ever notice how January feels like it goes on forever? 

Today is your lucky day, because you know someone who has figured out how to embrace this smelly uncle. Today, for the price of absolutely nothing, you get free access to the following five top-secret strategies. These strategies will help you find “you” again and feel positive about heading into a new year like the gladiator you are. 

The secret double duo

The magic duo includes goals and targets. If used correctly, this pair will see you right through to the safe zone of March.

I think we need more instant gratification in January than in other months. Setting short-term targets each week will get us closer to our overall yearly goals and provide us with a sense of purpose.

The targets you set need to bring you joy and give you something to look forward to. Set a task for yourself each week that allows you to feel accomplished.  

Take it easy

The first few weeks will be tough as you try to return to a “normal” routine. My MS does not like routine disruption.

If you’re like me and need to hear this today, go easy on yourself. Some people have the ability to snap their fingers and become supercharged overnight. For most of us, it doesn’t work that way. 

Munch on the good stuff

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are generally when healthiness flies out the window.

To get your life back in order and your MS symptoms under control again, get those treats out of sight and into a cupboard. You can still treat yourself every so often, but make vegetables the king of the show.

I find it so much easier to make healthy meals by having a meal box delivered. All the ingredients are in the box, and all I need to do is follow a recipe. (But I feel like a bona fide Michelin-starred chef!)  

Wake up the right way

Regain control of your life by establishing a morning routine the night before. 

Following is an example of my routine to give you an idea.

Morning: Wake up at 6 a.m. (on weekdays), do a 20- to 30-minute yoga routine, drink peppermint tea, journal my thoughts, meditate, shower, and start work.

Establishing a routine helps you feel grounded and in control. It provides certainty for your day and helps you achieve your goals and targets.  

Tip: If you’re a snooze button-presser, you could be making your fatigue worse. Put your alarm clock outside your door, and ban your phone from your bedroom. Your sleep will greatly improve. 

Where you at?

When we feel down, something is often triggering those feelings.

Write down (perhaps as part of your morning routine) what you’re doing and how you’re feeling so you can start to build a pattern and learn what’s triggering your low feelings. Get in touch with yourself, and try to also discover what lifts you out of those feelings.

I highly recommend reading “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero to crush those low feelings for good. 

Let me know in the comments below if you give these tips a try. Remember: You are the one in control of your feelings.

You can find more help and support here. I hope you feel better soon.

Want another terrible joke before we part?

Next January, I will only be watching videos in 1080p. It’s my New Year’s resolution!

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Comments

Kimberlee D. avatar

Kimberlee D.

Very good advice and I liked your puns. Great job.

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Jessie Ace avatar

Jessie Ace

Thanks, Kimberlee :) glad it helped. Hope you're feeling well. #StayENabled - Jessie

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