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14 ways you can beat those January blues

If you aren’t jumping out of bed full of excitement for the working day ahead these January gloomy mornings, we don’t blame you. We share your pain. To help you (and us) face 2018 with a little more enthusiasm, we have asked some positive PR professionals for their top tips for beating the January blues.

Fourteen ways to improve 2018

From Paul Stallard, international MD at agency Berkeley Communications:

  1. Junk the junk. “I clear my inbox by unsubscribing from all junk mails I get. The first weeks of the year are the perfect time to do this as the office is quiet. Spending half an hour each morning unsubscribing can dramatically reduce the number of emails to your inbox for the rest of the year. With fewer emails, the world can feel like a less hectic place.”
  1. Quit booze. “PR in December can be hard work on the liver. There are journo drinks, client drinks, Christmas parties and bottles of booze delivered from suppliers. Without trying, you can quickly end up like the character Father Jack from the excellent TV comedy Father Ted (showing my age). Cut out the booze for the rest of Jan and you'll think clearer, sleep better and hopefully lose those couple of pounds you put on over the holidays…”

From Sandie Maylor, head of consumer lifestyle team at agency Cherish PR and qualified hypnotherapist:

  1. Don’t be alone. “If you’ve spent time with family but usually live alone, try to see friends to keep a sense of belonging and community. If money is tight after Christmas, each take a plate and get together – a meal shared can be just the antidote to sitting alone feeling gloomy and its likely others will be in the same boat.”
  1. Set realistic goals. “If the year before wasn’t a great one, see January as the start of a brand new chapter. Write down what you would like your year to look like  and set manageable goals to achieve it – it’s time to look forward and ditch any unhappiness or bad luck associated with the past.”
  1. Exercise. “Exercise is a natural antidote to low mood, however you don’t have to join a gym, or do a marathon to reap the benefits, try walking to work, or taking a walk at lunchtime if you’re feeling down, you’ll be surprised how much of a boost it is.”
  1. Be kind to yourself. “Don’t force yourself to go on a huge diet, as depriving yourself will make you even more miserable, instead apply an 80/20 rule, where you eat healthily the majority of the time, but weave in treats, perhaps for each time you achieve one of your year’s objectives “

From Sarah Murray, associate director (PR) at marketing agency You Agency:

  1.  Invest in some good coffee. “This will work out cheaper than buying from a coffee shop. If you buy a large French press you’ll be in the good books of your colleagues, but also it’ll give you the boost you need to tackle that inbox.”
  1. Reach out to journalists now. “You can be certain they won’t be booked up yet and are likely feeling just as daunted by their upcoming workload, so will be happy to meet for a coffee to discuss, clients and feature ideas.”
  1. Suggest a key idea to clients. This will give January some focus, whether it be the typical ‘New Year, New You’ or another theme for January
  1. Preparation is key. “Get all templates and reports ready, so there’s no end-of-month scrabbling.”

From Eleanor Willock, client services director at agency Mantis PR:

  1. Use a mindfulness planner. “The one I use is The Positive Planner, which was crowdfunded and is the product of two women who were finding things tough, mentally, and needed some structure. I started using it before Christmas and it's been ace. It has helped me to understand that even the smallest of things should be seen as a goal, when you are feeling anxious or low.”

From Simon Turton, owner of agency Opera PR:

  1. Plan to do something fun and different before the end of January. “It could be an overnight stay in a luxury hotel or just a weekend walking in the hills. It doesn’t matter what floats your boat (you may even have a boat to float), just plan to do something that you can look forward to before the end of the month.”

From Brendon Craigie, co-founder of agency Tyto PR:

  1. Tell as many people who will listen about your goals and be accountable for them. “A goal is a great motivator and if your entire team shares their goals as well, that is a lot of collective purpose. It’s like rocket fuel.”
  1. Make work fun. “We have three Hackweeks a year where we work from a different European city which keeps us all fresh, curious and gives us something to look forward to. More generally you can get an enormous sense of purpose and satisfaction from striving to be better and more innovative than everyone else.”

Never mind if you have already given up on those new year resolutions you set yourself, your new year/new you can start from today. Or maybe next week…. At the very least you can get started by booking your next holiday. Whatever you do don’t hand in your notice (well at least not until February).

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