Combatting the January blues

Grace Dean discusses how to kick your new year off to a good start.

Grace Dean
5th February 2017
As we launch into February, the excitement of New Year has finally faded; the Christmas Sales have stopped, festive bakes are no more, and, despite the biting-cold winds, there isn’t a patch of snow in sight. The early months of the year can a struggle for everyone, especially in the aftermath of January exams, however there are many things you can do to add a little spark of joy into your daily life and motivate yourself through ‘til more summery times.

While you may not have set one as your New Years’ Resolution, the new calendar year is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby. With societies holding taster events through Give It a Go, the idea of sampling a new hobby seems much less daunting. NUSU has a range of societies catering for all interests, including charitable, recreational, academic and musical societies, and the wider Newcastle community also offers facilities for an eclectic range of interests. 

The strong correlation between a healthy lifestyle and positive mental health is indisputable; countless researchers have proven the many benefits that healthy eating, exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep can bring. With Grainger Market on your doorstop, offering insanely cheap prices, healthy eating has never been easier, particularly as we progress into the springtime with an increasing range of delicious seasonal fruit and vegetables. Sleep is undoubtedly important, and, whilst it may seem tempting to dedicate the post-exams weeks to Sinners, Swingers and shots, doing this on a regular basis can play havoc with your sleeping pattern, making it all-the-more difficult to wake up for your 9ams as we approach summer exam season. While having a good social life is important for your mental health, sometimes you just need to prioritise yourself and have a Lush-infused bath, hot chocolate and early night, instead of another night downing trebs and crying because you can’t afford post-Digi chicken nuggs. In addition, while we may be busy adjusting to new modules and the return of lectures, maintaining regular exercise is important to boost our motivation, concentration, and just to clear our heads. Even if you don’t want to join one of the Athletic Union’s sports clubs, there are many other ways to shift those post-Christmas pounds and get some fresh air; take a gentle stroll down to the Quayside or around Jesmond Dene, or go further afield and spend the day exploring round Tynemouth or Durham.

New year, new me. You see that all over Facebook, right? And what better way to get yourself in a positive mind-set to embrace the changes the New Year may bring than by redecorating your room? A tidy, tranquil bedroom can make you just that little bit more motivated to get out of bed in the morning, and just generally serves as a positive source of motivation. Clear out your room of clutter you no longer need and donate these to charity in the spirit of RAG week, and introduce new decorations such as fairy lights, candles and cushions (Primark and Wilko are great places to stock up on these). And above all, fill your room with happy memories: gig tickets, framed photos of loved ones and holiday souvenirs. What better way to beat the January blues than reminding yourself of all the good times you had last year, and of all the good times that are to come?

Image: Pxhere

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AUTHOR: Grace Dean
Editor-in-Chief of the Courier 2019/20, News Editor 2018/19, writer since 2016 and German & Business graduate. I've written for all of our sections, but particularly enjoy writing breaking news and data-based investigative pieces. Best known in the office for making tea and blasting out James Blunt. Twitter: @graceldean

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