The Christmas holidays are long gone and Blue Monday is now here, which might explain why some of us are feeling a little down and dispirited from time-to-time… But don’t worry, here are 5 easy ways to put a spring back in your step:
There is no better method to blow the January cobwebs and chase the blues away than getting out and doing a little exercise. The Christmas holiday, for most people, is largely a sedentary time, so small bursts of exercise can help you physically feel better and also release endorphins to help boost your mood and mental wellbeing. If you’re not fond of exercise or don’t like sports or going to the gym, try incorporating it into your daily routine by walking to lectures instead of getting the bus. You’ll start to feel better in no time.
- Communicate with friends & family
For many students, the Christmas holidays have been surrounded by constant interaction with other people and so January can feel like a lonely time now that you’re back to studying away from home. Therefore, it’s really important to keep in contact with people that care and support you, whether that be with your immediate housemates at university or keeping in contact with other friends and family away from Reading. January exams and essay deadlines will bring new academic pressures, so the value of social interaction increases at this time as it is really beneficial to your happiness and great at keeping you feel settled and supported.
- Eat well but indulge where necessary
Pretty much everyone will be thinking about how much they’ve overeaten during the Christmas break, so it’s quite common that many people will be aiming to eat healthy food during January. Make sure that you try to cook your own healthy food as much as possible, or even batch cook your favourite meals and then freeze the rest to eat healthy food when you don’t feel like cooking (see our Student Stories Blog for many student-friendly healthy recipes). Whilst it’s important to eat healthy food to restore all the vitamins and other goodness that have been lost over December, it’s still ok to eat that packet of biscuits or tub of ice cream on the odd occasion. Try and aim for a balance in your diet: healthy food to keep you well, but indulging on the junk food every now and then for comfort, ensuring that your foodie habits are guilt free.
- Ask for help
It can be tricky coming back to university for a new academic term after a long Christmas break. Studying and fending for yourself are once again a reality, which can be very daunting and overwhelming for some students. Make sure to ask for help if you’re struggling with something, such as speaking to the Counselling and Wellbeing team, or talking to your Personal Tutor on how to improve your essay grades from last term. It’s important to always ask for help when you want it, not just as a last resort when you absolutely need it. Getting ahead in your academic and personal life will certainly help you feel organised and on top of things. Your Personal Tutor or your Support Centre will be able to assist you with any queries that you may have, or take a look at the Reading Essentials pages for general university advice on where to seek help. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.
- Have things to look forward to
One of the easiest ways to boost your mood is to have nice events or occasions put in your diary in advance. Nothing works better than having something fun to look forward to during a long and tiring week, such as a music gig or a local comedy night. However it doesn’t even have to be something expensive, you could leave a day in your weekend for yourself to go on a walk or bike ride that you’ve always wanted to do, or even book out an hour or two to call that friend that you keep meaning to get in touch with. These small events act as mini goals and rewards to keep you motivated throughout the coming weeks.