single mom

the blahs of january

January. It’s pretty much a never-ending Monday, really. Following the excitement and busyness and stress of the holidays, I always expect I’m going to be super chill and find inner peace or some magical shit when January hits.

I should know by now that never happens.

With the month half-gone, I feel weighed down with the miserable effects of the January Blahs, and shaking them is almost as hard as finding an extra hour in the day just for me. Something tells me there’s a direct correlation between the two.

Since adding an hour to the day every day isn’t possible, finding little ways to squeeze some goodness into my day sometimes means I need to get creative. But sometimes, it means I need to plan ahead. While lying in the bathtub with a big glass of red wine and some candles would certainly be relaxing, I know keeping the January Blahs at bay requires more than my lush bath bomb.

Eat well

One of the first things to drop off when I’m stressed? My appetite. I struggle to eat well when I’m feeling ragged, but fuelling my body with good foods helps enormously. I can’t control how my day will go, whether it will be -19 degrees, or if work will suddenly go sideways but I *can* make a smoothie packed with greens and fruits to start my morning right.

Some other ways to ensure you’re eating well:

  • Plan ahead by washing and preparing fruits and/or vegetables to grab for a healthy snack
  • Make double (or triple!) when you’re cooking dinner on Sunday, and pack leftovers for lunches or grab-and-go dinners

Get sweaty AF

It’s generally the last thing I feel like doing after spending eight or nine hours in the office, but sweating it out is my go-to answer to stress-busting. I don’t currently have a gym membership, but I have arms and legs and the ability to turn on the music and move… so that’s exactly what I do.

If you want to workout at home, check out these YouTube channels for free and fun workouts you can do without any fancy equipment.

Tune out

Sometimes, you just have to close your ears to all of the noise. From chitter-chatter in the office to the friend who’s spewing negativity all day long, tuning out unnecessary noise and distraction can help you focus on your tasks, your well-being, and your own positivity. Pop headphones in your ears if need be and listen to a guided meditation or some music for mindfulness.

Triage

If like me you wear a few different hats, you probably feel like you’re being pulled in 10 directions at any given moment. You’ve got laundry, dinner dishes to wash, lunches to pack, clothes to iron, homework to help with, work emails to open, kids to read to, and maybe a partner who’d like to have a conversation… triage that shit! What’s critical: washing the laundry or tucking your kid in?

Don’t waste your energy on unnecessary tasks and instead focus on the things that matter most. The other stuff? It can wait (unless you’ve run out of clean underpants).

A few things to add to your critical list? Eat well and Get sweaty AF – I promise, you won’t regret it.

Reach out

When it’s cold, we tend to hibernate — who wants to go for a walk in the frigid temperatures? Polar bears, that’s who. With dark evenings and frosty winds, it’s hard to find the motivation to go out and socialize… but it’s key. Really can’t handle the cold? Skype. FaceTime. A phone call – talk to someone. Talk about how you’re feeling. Laugh. Cry if you need to. Just reach out to someone you love and trust; it’s always what the doctor ordered.

 

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