January blues hit us all hard. From October to the first of January, it’s one big festive period: this October, three of my best friends turned 21, so I was out pretty much every weekend celebrating with them; Halloween; both my parents’ birthdays in November; and then you’re launched into Christmas, an excuse to get drunk and eat whatever you like at any time of the day. Suddenly, the rug is pulled from underneath you, and you’re left in the bleakness of January, with looming university exams that you haven’t started revising for yet as you were too busy eating cheese and watching shit telly.
I’ve really been struggling this month with my head state: of course, exams didn’t help matters (there’s only so much revision you can do without going totally insane), but aside from that I’ve just been feeling really down. I’ve been trying so hard to beat my (January) blues that it’s actually driving me crazy, so I’ve decided to write this post to help myself (and maybe some of you guys) out.
- January Blues no.1- feeling lonely
I’m currently fifth-wheeling in my house, which is never ideal, and I’m inexplicably finding myself missing my ex. I don’t miss BEING with him, but when you live in what can only be described as a tent (my window’s so thin that the Mersey winds take no notice of the glass and just blow into my room anyway), having someone to sit in bed and watch hours of Dexter with is certainly appealing.
Solution to the problem: there was a REASON I dumped him in the first place- that being that he’s a serial cheater, but would always be accusing me of doing the cheating. Plus we had nothing in common. Like, at all. I know how much happier I’ve been without him, so it’s time to stop dwelling on the past/thinking of reasons to text him at 2am when it’d be nice to have a human hot water bottle.
- January Blues no.2- body image
I don’t know about you lot, but after over a month of ‘treats’ (you can’t just have one ‘cheat’ day over Christmas, it’s illegal), I’ve been feeling pretty rubbish about myself. In my quest to get fit and healthy (check my blogpost on that here), I follow about a million ‘health and fitness’ instagram accounts; and seeing some of their ‘clean’ Christmas dinners just made me want to shove a fork in my eye/another roast potato in my mouth. Now that January’s come around, and my 21st birthday’s in March, every time I look in the mirror I just see imperfections. Add to this a foot injury which is only getting worse as I continue to force myself into the gym everyday (someone please tell me what a rest day is), and I’m just feeling a bit self-conscious, and frustrated that I can’t see results as quickly as I would’ve hoped.
Solution to the problem: since writing that blog post back last April, I’ve lost a further two stone. I try and play it down, but I know deep down that I’m doing well and I’m not (and more importantly, never again will be) the person I was before I started this whole journey. I need to stop beating myself up over minor set backs, or calorie counting to the point that it just becomes mentally unhealthy: I’m going to TGIFriday’s tomorrow for my little sister’s birthday, and last night I spent two hours googling how many calories are in certain meals. Which is just absurd. Pushing yourself to work harder and be the best version of yourself is fantastic; but you have to adopt the mantra of ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Sometimes it’s good to just sit down, relax, and look at how well you’ve done/are doing.
- January Blues no.3- working in the big wide world
I think this is something that potentially every 20-something year old can relate to. Unless you’re doing an apprenticeship, or are studying a vocational subject at university, then a clear career path may be hard to find. My best friend text me the other day to say she’d just applied for a job (she’s in her third year doing Paediatric nursing), and while this is incredible and I’m so proud because she’s amazing at what she does, I can’t help feeling a little jealous that her career has been mapped out in front of her. She knows exactly what she wants to do, and she will achieve her goals because she’s the hardest working and most driven person I know. And then there’s me: one minute I want to be a journo, then I was looking at joining the police, and then there’s an underlying ambition to just sing as my career. Also, doing an English degree means that you’re asked ‘do you want to be a teacher?’ every two minutes, until you just want to scream ‘NO. NO I DO NOT WANT TO BE A TEACHER’ in the face of the inquisitive stranger/friend’s mum/your grandma.
Solution: erm, I don’t really have a solution to this one actually. I definitely need to start working harder at uni, and looking for work experience in different fields is a good way to work out what you do/don’t want to work as when you ‘grow up’. Part of the reason I started this blog was to give myself some practice at writing articles and perhaps broaden my networks- the Internet’s a big place, so maybe a kindly editor will see my posts and hire me. Or maybe not, but one can always dream.
And that’s that. I’m sure I could think of more problems if I put my mind to it (I’m always complaining about something), but these are the biggies that are bothering me. Hope this helps some people- just remember that you’re not alone and everyone has down days!
What are your January blues? Have you found solutions to your problems?