It’s OK To Say... What you can do to beat the winter blues after the seasonal slump

Make 2019 the year you look after yourself.

Make 2019 the year you look after yourself. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As part of the ongoing It’s OK To Say campaign, which aims to encourage people of all ages to speak out about mental illness, confiding in others and surrounding themselves with supportive networks who are there to help, founder Stacey Turner looks at how to beat the January blues.

Separation anxiety expert Stacey Turner.

Separation anxiety expert Stacey Turner. - Credit: Archant

It’s normal to slump at this time of year! Just stop for a few minutes and catch your breath now that the silly season is over.

Stop and consider where you are with the seasonal slump. What do you notice? Pay attention to what you are feeling and acknowledge this so you can accept it in order to navigate your way through. With this, you can start putting things in place to support this journey.

What do you mostly need right now? You might like to consider what is helpful for you personally and create a little happy plan without resolutions.

Resolutions add pressure and unnecessary intimidation rather than focusing on where you are right now and what you are feeling. If you do make one resolution, say yes more. Say yes to creating a lifestyle of doing things that make you feel good and happier with a more positive view.

It's OK To Say logo

It's OK To Say logo - Credit: Archant

It’s OK to feel wobbly at this time of year, it’s kind of like a new beginning, but it doesn’t have to be that way, January 1st was just another day.

Work on flipping those thoughts to create your happy plan to guide you through the winter blues with tiny steps.

Most Read

You might like to think about a way to release your worries, whether that’s through writing, meditation, visualisation, talking therapy and/or exercise. How do you feel about making it apart of your daily and weekly routine?

You might like to consider what causes any stress and anxiety. Is it environmental? Struggling with family/work/life balance? Unhappy at work? Kids going through a tough time? Dare I say it, people in your life causing stress? Please ask yourself this question: what can I do to improve things?

Work out what will help you and create your plan, for example, you might decide to hire a cleaner and outsource to lift the load. Whatever it takes, don’t be afraid to give it a go and make necessary changes or improvements that can always be reviewed and amended.

When feeling wobbly, it is important to reflect on what you are grateful for (this is a healthy daily habit), rather than focusing on the negatives and what’s been hard.

Hard times allow growth and with this technique, you are able to look at the bigger picture and establish what requires support, changes and even reaching out for help to guide you through. It’s OK To Say! It’s OK to seek help and it’s even better to face up to things and surround yourself with love and support. Create a happy calm kit. Your kit should appeal to the senses, such as your favourite photo for vision, the calm app or soothing/happy music for hearing, essential oil on a tissue for smell, a soothing lozenge for taste and finally, a textured notebook (to write your worries/happy plan in) for touch. Your kit is unique to you.

Look at things holistically, view your life like you would clean out your wardrobe. Consider things carefully, what is no longer essential? Does it still fit? Do I still like it? Does it make me feel good? How is your sleep and nutrition?

You are important, and in fact you’re irreplaceable really!

The goal of the It’s OK To Say campaign, soon to achieve charity status, is to encourage people to make lifestyle changes to offer support and consider their well-being on a daily basis, instead of waiting till things escalate.

To ensure people understand that it’s OK to obtain help and talk to someone. To be a reassuring hand to give you the little nudge you might just need. To know you are not alone, what help is available and to know how to guide your children for better mental health and understanding.

So, what makes you happy? How can you be kinder to yourself? What are you grateful for? Make this year the year of being happy, sharing kindness and saying yes to a happier you.