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Beat the blues

Posted on: 16 Jan 2023

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Alex Ryley
Site Editor
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Experienced counsellor, Alicia Dawson, from Ocean City Counselling – based at Royal William Yard – understands how January can be a difficult month for many. Here, she shares her tips on how to banish the blues and move positively into the year ahead.

"January is a time of reflection for the year that’s passed and wishes for the year ahead,” explains Alicia. "The buzz and bustle of Christmas has gone; there are now fewer distractions and more time to think. We tend to have fewer people around us, after the parties end and visitors go.

"Added into the mix, fewer daylight hours and inclement weather means we spend less time outside pursuing the activities we enjoy. All these elements pose challenges, but when combined, it can feel particularly tough. Self-care is always important, but especially so at this point in the year."

These simple steps from Alicia can really help:

  • Check in with yourself about how you are feeling, just as you would a friend. Identify your feelings, so that you are not avoiding or suppressing them. Doing this in the moment is part of listening to what you need and can stop the feelings becoming overwhelming.
  • Be kind to yourself, including how you think and talk about yourself. This includes if you have not managed to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions! Change can be hard, and patience with new routines is key.
  • Do things you enjoy as part of your routine; they don’t have to cost much money. For example, get outside and spend time in nature or with others. Social connection with family and or friends is really important for our wellbeing.
  • Make rest and relaxation a priority and not a luxury squeezed out by a busy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep is important for emotional wellbeing, as when we are tired, we are less resilient.
  • Try something new - even if you're apprehensive about it, just try one small thing and acknowledge if you manage to do it. Whether that's a new skill, activity, place to visit, recipe, or hairstyle; new experiences make us feel good and can be really rewarding. They also help you live in the moment and create things to look forward to.
  • Write down or say things you are grateful for. This is a way of reminding yourself what you do have, which helps you relish good experiences and reduce stress. Doing this in the morning can be a positive way to start the day.

Ocean City Counselling provides counselling and psychotherapy services for adults, including those experiencing low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, panic, depression, difficulties from childhood, problems at work, and trauma. Alicia helps her clients to make sense of their feelings and provides support to feel differently.