We all do it. Over Christmas we can't seem to help but eat and drink that little bit too much. Come January, with the Christmas cheer behind us and the summer still far off, sometimes we feel a little down. So, we've asked Jane Plant and Janet Stephenson, co-authors of Beating Stress, Anxiety and Depression (out 20th Jan), to give their tips on how to beat those January blues.
1. Try to get some exercise, ideally in green space.
2. Maximize exposure to sunlight which is in short supply at this time of year. Take some vitamin D3, the sunshine vitamin and if you think you might be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD), talk to your Doctor about getting a lamp with the right waive lengths to make you feel better.
3. Try meditation and mindfulness techniques which help to balance the mind and the body, as well as encouraging a good night's sleep and generally helping to lift the spirits.
4. Treat yourself to a warm, soothing massage which eases tension, goes straight to the emotional brain and makes you feel better.
5. Make some time for yourself and do something you really enjoy, like listening to soothing, relaxing music or reading an absorbing but not demanding novel.
1. Avoid too much coffee or strong tea because the caffeine in it can make you feel anxious and it can deplete levels of some essential B vitamins in the brain.
2. Take some Brewers Yeast which contains all the B vitamins that are good for the brain as well as some beneficial minerals such as chromium and zinc.
3. Try to avoid foods full of saturated or trans fats which can block the electrical flow in the brain and make us feel awful. Make one of your New Year Resolutions to give up fatty, salty and sugary foods.
4. Moderate your alcohol intake. It makes you feel good in the short term, but then depletes the body of vital neurotransmitters and is a depressant.
5. Steer clear of crash and faddy diets, but do try to follow the ten food factors in Jane Plant's book Eating for Better Health which is based on sound science and won't cause damage to your mental or physical health.
Here's a selection of keyword-matched articles that you might also find interesting: