How January might be different
Without fail, at this time of year we will hear again about the "January Blues" or something similar. Why do people say that January is the most depressing or "least happy" month of the year? Well, the facts are debatable of course, but many would agree to at least some of the following characteristics about January. For instance:
it follows an exciting and fun filled holiday season;
we take on New Year's resolutions that may not be much fun!;
it follows a very expensive month (December) so financial pressures are a concern.
The list goes on.
Does January make me feel down?
These characteristics are pretty clear and might make January unique; but do they really cause us to feel down or sad? No, not really - but they can affect us by setting the stage for negative or irrational thoughts which could in turn lead to negative feelings and moods.
Also, for some people, these external factors can add pressure to an already vulnerable state of mind, and therefore make it very difficult to feel optimistic or positive about their life.
How can I get through it?
Our thinking patterns need to be taken seriously, as our thoughts are directly connected to our feelings and states of mind. If we don't see this connection, we may become overly susceptible to the unique "features" of January, and start to lose a reasonable view of our situation, reading too much into these elements and resulting in a negative perspective.
Also, it is important to try and counteract some of these external factors by making the best of the month, i.e., keeping up with our New Years resolutions; getting light and warmth as much as possible, following a budget but still getting out and doing some fun social activities.
If you do still feel that you are struggling emotionally during this difficult month, then seek help by talking about how you feel with someone close - family or friends. You may also want to get help from a professional counsellor who can help you look at psychological factors and offer you strategies to help you move forward.