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Getting through the January blues

By Nancy Nzalambi | January 9th 2021 at 23:54:23 GMT +0300

December and January have the same number of days but the latter feels like the slowest month of all. From the festivities and social events of December, January forces us to rewire our minds from the festivities; only with money hangovers.

Many employed people are paid early in December, so the next payday seems too far away. This is the time you have to be stress-aware. Know what triggers foul mood and work your way around it. So what do you do?

Attaching misery and brokenness to this month might make you believe January is darker than any other month. Do not let not your mind create a 31 day period full of artifical uncertainty and confusion.

Treat January like July or any other month and push through with your agenda for the month as you had planned. Setting January as an unhappy month will definitely result in exactly that.

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Be grateful

The festivities have that “staying in my pyjamas until lunch” feeling. But January is here and we have to bounce back to work. It is time to get organised, get your children settled in school. Sort our emails and prioritise responses.

By now, we all know someone whose income was severely affected by the global pandemic. If you still have a stable source of income, cheer up and dig for more. And if your income took a hit, dig in and get back on the grind.

This is also the time to evaluate what makes you happy. What issues do you battle against when you are feeling low? Strenuous times bring to the forefront issues we need to address and separate needs from wants.

Be it family, money, career, health; build up those aspects that matter most for your wellbeing. Update your resume. If you desire to change your career, start planning as early as now.

Start your day right

How you start your day has a big impact on your mood. Wake up early to calmly carry put your morning routine and keep away unwanted stress caused by rushing around. Have a sound breakfast and dress to impress yourself. Listen to some cool music or read a chapter of a book on your way to work. You will think more positively throughout the day when you start your day right.

As you go through your day, remember that being busy keeps the mind occupied, creates purpose and sends boredom away. Keep your tasks achievable.

Even though it is possible that there could be a lot to be done, overloading your day is totally a bad idea. It’s not news that it will contribute to stress and burnout. Stay in control of what you do. It is paramount for your general well-being.

Deal with your assumptions

Perhaps you are feeling quite unmotivated but January is not really to blame. You may be suffocated by a toxic work culture that keeps you perpetually obsessed with your job. You assume you are the only one who can do your job best.

You feel so because all your eggs are in one basket and should anything happen to your company, it will throw you into total disarray. Break free from that closed mindset and challenge yourself to seek alternative income streams.

Also, challenge yourself to find your desire for impact. Do you have an unmet desire? Probably you feel quite short of what your potential can achieve. Finding meaning in what you do should be a continuous journey.

You could lose sight of what impact you make when you do not make an effort to engage those who are set to benefit from your efforts. You cannot afford to take it for granted.

Otherwise, you may soon start asking yourself, “Why I am spending too much time on this? What is it all for?” The best person to answer these is you. Find the cause of your discontent and rethink your professional path.

Blow off some steam

Are you among the half-baked resolution makers who join a gym in January and fall off the wagon prematurely?

Science has explained the benefits of regular physical activity. Pick up a sport or an outdoor activity and make it a habit that will give a boost of feel-good hormones after every session.  

Finally, be considerate of colleagues who had to work through the holidays, if you did not. No one likes to be at work when the rest of the team is at home or on holiday.

Whether you have January blues or not, your colleagues must have more to deal with. Thank the unsung heroes. Acknowledge them, appreciate their time holding down the fort to keep business flowing. Gratitude is an instant mood booster. It keeps the work momentum going.


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