Happy New Year!
It’s time to bust out the clean calendar, the blank to-do lists, and the new notebooks. A new year means a fresh start — but that can feel equal parts exciting and overwhelming.
It’s natural to feel a little bummed in January.
Not only is Seasonal Affective Disorder a very real thing, but January is also a long, cold month that comes right on the heels of two short, fun, festive ones.
So if you’re feeling less “OMG so motivated!” and more “Ugh, I don’t wanna,” that’s OK. Here’s how to get yourself back on track, physically and mentally.
1. Drink a ton of water and cut back on the salt and sugar. If you’re feeling a bit bloated after a month straight of eating mostly holiday cookies and gravy, we’re right there with you. Don’t worry about post-holiday weight gain. Your body will stabilize soon, so try not to stress (that doesn’t help!). Instead, make sure you’re staying super hydrated, and try to cut back on sodium-heavy foods as well as sugar. You don’t have to go on a crazy juice cleanse to get back on track. Just be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking, and try to make the healthiest possible choice 80% of the time.
2. Prioritize sleep. As busy as you may be with new classes, new homework, new routines, and the competition season kicking into high gear, it’s absolutely crucial to make sure you’re getting enough shut eye. Eight hours is key. Strive for it.
3. Take it one day at a time. This seems simple, but stop agonizing over next weekend’s convention or next week’s test or next month’s audition. That puts a lot of pressure on you, which can feel agonizing. Make a list, and tackle one task at a time.
4. Kick up your wardrobe. Being cold is the worst. Invest in some sweet cold-weather gear for your commute to school and the studio, and you’ll be so much happier. (Never underestimate the power of a little retail therapy — cozy sweatshirts and sweatpants for everyone!)
5. Say no. Don’t overcommit yourself. Yeah, you want to help plan the spring dance and run for student council president and go on that volunteer trip to Nicaragua — on top of regular school and dance commitments. But master the art of saying no in order to save your sanity.
Stay warm. Get happy. You’ve got this.