Looking up

53782388_S 2017Have you found yourself feeling a bit blue as 2017 has gotten underway? If so, you aren’t alone.

One common cause is the “back to work blues.” After enjoying the festivities – and time off work – getting back to the grind can be tough. Another cause is seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD) or seasonal depression. In fact, some research has shown that about 25% of Americans feel depressed after the holidays.

No matter the cause, finding ways to handle those feelings is important.

First, take care of yourself.

If you ate too much, slept too little, and overindulged in general, it is time to get back in the routine of a healthy lifestyle. Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Make sure that you include fresh fruits and vegetables. (Did you know eating them will help your complexion?) Also, make sure that you incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Whether you join a fitness club or exercise on your own, the important thing is to get moving. Don’t forget the importance of getting plenty of sleep. You’ll give your immune system a boost and help your heart stay strong. Finally, find ways to relieve your stress. Exercise will help. So will getting enough sleep. Massage therapy is another great way to relieve tension and relax.

Second, make an effort to reach out to others.

It may be a natural tendency to want to hide away at home for a Netflix binge when we are feeling down, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice. While having some time to yourself is important, if you find yourself avoiding others and isolating yourself, then it can be a problem. Let a friend or family member know that you are feeling down. Arrange to get together for a cup of coffee or a movie. Plan a spa day for manicures or pedicures or head out on a hike to enjoy nature. Another great way to combat the blues is to make someone else feel better. Whether it is through a random act of kindness or a regular volunteer opportunity, you’ll find that when you help others, you help yourself.

Don’t let the blues keep you down. Taking the first step is sometimes the hardest, but once you do, you’ll find things are looking up!