My January blues survival kit

Sod the new year’s resolutions. That can wait until spring. Here’s how I’m surviving winter and sticking two fingers up to the January blues.

If you suffer from January blues, you probably have a familiar feeling right night – here we go again.

The decorations have come down. The mornings are dark. And suddenly, it’s not socially acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast.

So how can we get through it and breeze past the ominous ‘blue Monday’ that’s looming?As a lifelong sufferer of winter blues, I’ve learnt a few tricks along the way that help. Read on if you’d like to find out what helps me and I’d love it if you can leave a comment with your own tips.

So here’s what’s in my personal January survival kit:


It was only last year that I discovered the benefits of porridge, which include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Stable blood sugar levels
  • Minerals and vitamins galore

I wanted some of this. 

And I discovered that eating a bowl of porridge every morning stopped me from feeling hungry mid-morning and raiding the biscuit barrel. Fab when you’re trying to shed a few Christmas pounds.

The only downside I’ve found was that I don’t always feel like eating it first thing.

If this is you, I’d say persevere. It is hard if you’re not naturally a breakfast person – but the benefits of doing so outweigh that first, slightly forced, spoonful.

As well as feeling more full and the knowledge that I’m benefitting from all the above, I definitely feel less anxious. My mood is more balanced – I’m a better version of myself with porridge.

Winter walkies

This one’s obvious, I know, but it works. Again, the hard part is taking that first step. It’s cold outside. And gloomy. Don’t let that put you off.

Dress appropriately and the cold won’t touch you. If you can run to a pair of decent hiking shoes you can walk pretty much anywhere. I’ve gone for some Merrell Sirens which were just £45 in the sale from Amazon, so pretty affordable. But wellies or trainers will do, depending on where you want to walk.

Winter doesn’t have the obvious beauty of the other seasons – but it is there if you search for it.  The gloomy weather is perfect for capturing moody, atmospheric pictures – your camera phone is perfectly adequate if you don’t own a camera.

Adding a creative element to your wak is bound to lift your mood and give you incentive to keep getting out there. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA EPL8 Photography by me Alison R Bowyer

As a Freelance Copywriter living in Milton Keynes, I’m fortunate to have open countryside on my doorstep and I have to walk our Labrador every day, January blues or not.

It’s harder if you have the choice (I remember those pre-dog days) but imagine how great you will feel after – promise yourself a treat when you get home, a big mug of hot chocolate or your favourite soup.

Walking is underrated in my opinion. It’s not a tough workout but it gets you moving and is a good start to your fitness regime  if that’s what you’re into. For me, walking aided my recovery when I injured my ankle last year and I now walk approximately 5K every day.

And it makes me happy – a negative or anxious mood is completely turned around after just 45 minutes in the great outdoors.

Vitamin D supplements

I only discovered by chance last year that most of us in the UK are deficient in this vitamin. It’s obvious really – but why does nobody tell us this stuff? I take a supplement from Boots every day but there are other things you can do to up your intake.

Getting outdoors during daylight is probably the best way to do it. This is a challenge when the days are so short but you can also increase your intake in the food you eat. 

A quick Google search shows that vitamin D can be found in fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel), orange juice, cheese, liver and egg yolks. 

If you’re really worried about your vitamin D levels, as with any other issue, consult your GP for advice.


Treat yourself!

I’m not talking about reopening the Christmas chocolate tin (although I  won’t judge you if you do…) 

A bubble bath is a good place to start – that works for me. But it could be treating yourself to a trip to a coffee shop, reading a book, listening to music or starting a new hobby. Something that makes you feel good.

And be kind to yourself too. It’s a great time of year to set goals and measure achievements but give yourself a break.

This is winter! We’re all in it together.

Let’s just do what we can to overcome the January blues and we’re more likely to come out the other side ready to smash spring.

Then we can talk goals and resolutions.

I’d love to hear your tips for surviving the January blues. What works for you?

I’m open to ideas.



Enjoy this post? Feel free to share on social media and with fellow sufferers of the January blues.  

About me: I’m a Freelance Copywriter based in Milton Keynes offering website copywriting and business blogging.  You can read my story at Who am I?

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I'm a Freelance Copywriter, specialising in website copywriting and business blogs.

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