January can be a grim month for even the best of us. From National Divorce Day to Blue Monday it’s the one month that seems to get everybody down.
But there’s some concrete ways to beat the January Blues. By working in a few simple, conscious habits into your daily routine, you can bust those blue and get happier (and healthier) in 2019.
The Best Tips for Happier Living
10. Get jiggy with it.
Research shows that moving the body helps to change mood by releasing endorphins into the body. HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been proven to work better than longer, less demanding workouts. You don’t need to hit the gym, though. Dancing can give you the same results and endorphins, so turn up that radio and dance like no one is watching!
9. Have a positively positive day.
Set up one day a week that’s designated as a “no moaning” day. Focus only on the positive for the whole of the day and only talk about the positive things in your life or your routine. When things get you upset, count to ten, take a few deep breaths and then ask yourself: “How can I spin this to my advantage? What benefit have I received out of this?” (Because there’s always something.) It’s easier to have a positive day when you have a positive morning, so start with a routine that makes the most of your sunny beginnings.
8. Drink water, eat water.
Keeping hydrated is great for your skin and your mood. Don’t just focus on drinking those litres, though, focus on mood-enhancing foods with lots of fluids as well. Think watermelon, pineapple and courgettes. Roughage as well offers a great source of hydration and nourishment in one.
7. Take a stroll down memory lane.
Break out those old photo albums and take a stroll through your brightest memories when you’re feeling blue. Relive your favorite moments by closing your eyes and trying to recall the sights, smells and feelings of that memory. The more you engage with the image, the happier you’ll be, so take your time and enjoy yourself.
6. Declutter, declutter, declutter.
You may not want to hear it, but decluttering that closet or garage can be a great way to relieve stress and get happy. Clearing out physical stuff helps us to shift energy and feel more positive about our environment. Excess things have a negative impact on our focus and our mood, so check out the Konmari Method and get to throwing out all that old junk that no longer sparks joy.
5. Become your own best friend.
If you’re anything like me, there’s a chance you don’t have the best inner dialogue with yourself. We can really beat ourselves up over the tiniest thing, so if you want to be happier try being nicer to yourself. Be a little kinder in your personal faults and approach yourself with the same understanding and compassion you would offer to a friend. When you come to love yourself, as much as you love others, you’ll be surprised at the changes that can come about. You’ll gain poise, a sense of self and most important of all — confidence.
4. Just smile.
Your body sends signals that your brain then interprets. When the corners of your mouth rise, that sends the signal of happiness to the brain and so it makes sense that it boosts your mood. Pull back your shoulders, lift your head and put a smile on your face. Science says you’ll feel more confident and possessed in no time at all. Like they say — fake it until you make it.
3. Let that inner child get creative.
We live in the age of adult coloring books and zen art classes for adults. Let your freak flag fly and get creative. Find that outlet that makes your soul sing and let that inner child loose with finger paints, coloring books, sketching or any other creative pursuit you can think of. DIY crafts like these are also a great way to zone out and relax.
2. Get cozy with a good book.
It’s not always feasible to just pack your backs and jetset to France, but it is feasible to open up a good book. Reading is a mood booster and helps us to escape from reality for a while (which can be a good thing in moderation.) So, if you want to get happier, you need to curl up with a good book.
1. Be weird, wild and free.
Did you know that getting in touch with nature is one of the number one way to boost your mood? Researchers at Derby University conducted a month-long nature study and found some stunning results.
According to their research, the majority of study participants reported their moods improving by 30 percent or more after embracing the great outdoors more in their daily routine. This included taking short walks in the park as well as lengthy hikes through open and wooded spaces.
So what does that mean for you? It means bundle up and get outside! Take in some fresh air and enjoy the freedom and wildness that comes as part of the human journey. Hiking not your thing? Get down and dirty with some good old-fashioned indoor gardening.
If you want to be happier in 2019 it doesn’t take a fancy planner or a strict organizing routine. It can be as simple as making a few basic changes in your routine that equal big happiness in the long run. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and hike and dance, sing and explore, relax and unwind. The new year is your oyster just waiting to be shucked!