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Ten tips to beat those January blues

How is it going so far? If 2020 isn’t quite turning out as planned, here are ten top tips for cheering yourself up and getting back on track.

1. Reset the clock

Rachel Bradley, founder of agency Gossip Girl PR, says: “We all come into January less jaded and worn out so more open to new ideas and energised for the time ahead. I also love that the counter is set to zero so all my timings, that ran slightly askew the previous year, have been reset. I will be chunking my time across the weeks and months making sure that all my clients get their designated amount of time, and the time they’re paying for, and that way I feel in control, productive and most of all positive about my projects.”

2. Look ahead

Lisa Wlodyka, director at agency Cherish PR, says: "In January, I use the time to set my intentions for the year ahead with the team, which is very cathartic. The first few days are used to settle back in and recalibrate. Having plans completed by the end of the previous year means the team are focused on pushing forward. As January is a long month and short days, I make sure I go to the gym regularly to kick the blues. I also focus on the possibilities of the year ahead, which includes a happy and harmonious team, clients and not far off the start of spring, my favourite season."

3. Count your blessings

Drew Salisbury, senior account executive at agency The PR Office, says: “I believe that the value of gratitude on both a personal and professional level is extraordinary. I regularly practise the notion of gratitude and use the new year in particular as a time to reflect upon the things for which I am thankful and the success that I have had. I am very fortunate to be working in an industry that I love: this makes every day meaningful, fosters creativity and allows me to connect with so many interesting people on a daily basis.

“All in all, it is important to stay focused on your success, surround yourself with inspiring people and be grateful for what you have – life is amazing! This will keep you energised and ready for the year ahead. Embrace the joie de vivre!”

4. Look on the bright side

Elena Davidson, CEO of agency Liberty Communications, says:“ Rather than dwell on what you feel you lack; be happy and proud of all the positive attributes you have. Also, try where you can, to find the positive in a situation. It’s hard at times but asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done can be helpful in finding positives in difficult situations.”

Cat Barrett, communications manager at finance provider Octopus Real Estate, says: “Positivity and energy are infectious, so be the positive influence in the team to brighten up your colleague’s day. If things aren’t going too well then find the silver lining, even the trickiest work situation can provide a fantastic professional development opportunity.”

5. Nourish your mind and body

Liberty’s Davidson says: “Look after yourself – eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and limit your use on social media. We are only starting to see the impact of social media on people’s mental health. Be careful with who you surround yourself with and if someone upsets you with a comment, stop following them and take a break. 2019 shone a spotlight on some of the darkest aspects of social media. I hope 2020 will see a change for the better with influencers promoting positive social media behaviour to inspire those around them to feel more positive about themselves.”

Octopus’s Barrett adds: “You need to burn energy to make energy, so make sure you physically get out and about. It’s also important to switch off in the evenings and have a focus outside of work – be it reading, running, yoga, swimming, crafts or cooking, find your ‘thing’ and a carve out the time to enjoy it. A positive mentality will follow.

“Don’t just see new year resolutions as the only opportunity for a productive reset, use every day as an opportunity to come back into the office rebooted and ready to start fresh.”

6. Give to others

One way to be feel good about yourself is to help others. Barrett advises: “Kindness, especially random acts of kindness, go a long way to creating a positive work environment.”

7. Keep a diary

Rebecca Lockwood, NLP master coach and NLP and hypnosis trainer, says: “Journaling is amazing at helping to reduce that anxiety and overwhelm over what you might face that day, particularly when done first thing in a morning before you do anything. There is no right or wrong way to journal, you write down whatever it is you feel or want to write down and don’t stop until everything is out of your mind and on the paper.”

8. Take it day by day

Lockwood advises setting an intention for each day. “Being clear on what you would like to achieve daily will help you feel more accomplished and focused. It could be something as simple as make someone laugh.”

9. Be kind to yourself

Leigh Greenwood, founder of specialist health PR agency, Evergreen PR, says: "We're often quite tough on ourselves in January. We're encouraged to brutally assess where we are and what we can do to improve and it's also really bloody cold! My advice is don't be so hard on yourself. You're almost certainly doing better than you think.”

Charlie Bush, client executive at agency Milk & Honey PR, says: “We make sure each employee gets a boost in the New Year with a ‘bee good to yourself’ voucher to spend on something that will make us feel great. Anything from a massage, exercise class or even concert tickets.“

10. Make that leap!

Evergreen’s Greenwood suggests now is a good time to be brave: "If you're not happy in what you do, don't be afraid to change it! I struggled through a three-hour commute for a couple of years, but took the decision a few months ago to set-up by myself closer to home and use my passion and expertise in health to be my specialism. I'm genuinely (genuinely!) excited about what 2020 holds. Looking forward to it getting sunnier though..."

My top tip for boosting your mind and body during this miserable month? Take a day off and spend it doing absolutely nothing. I am not saying you should throw a sickie of course, but you are probably not feeling your best anyway, so it’s not exactly being dishonest if you do!

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