Wellness tip of the week
January often brings feelings of melancholy and dreariness. It’s a far cry from late November and December, when the approaching holiday season provides us with added energy and goodwill.
So why does January feel so ‘blue’?
There are several reasons:
- the holidays are over, and we are facing another year of hard work and long hours;
- debts need to be repaid;
- we tend to eat more and exercise less over the holidays, which can make us feel sluggish; and
- days are shorter and colder.
We also have COVID to contend with, with rising case numbers, another lockdown, and remote learning for students of all ages.
Also thrown into the mix are continued travel restrictions, which meant that many of us were unable to connect with family as we normally would this time of year.
So, it’s no surprise that in 2021, January might be particularly challenging.
What can we do to fight the January blues? Here’s some general advice and some COVID-specific developments that might help:
- Exercise and outdoor activities. Getting outside, exercising and soaking up some sunshine are all beneficial for your wellbeing and mental health. Simply a walk around the block can be beneficial.
- Actively gauge and reduce your screen time on all devices. I’ve been surprised that every week since early December, my screen time has increased. My aim is to decrease my nonwork-related screen time in the coming weeks. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
- Do something that brings you joy. Clean one area of your house; read that book you’ve been meaning to finish; start a “January hobby” that you can ditch on the 31st if you want (I’ve started experimenting with a form of poetry called ‘cento’).
- COVID developments. Over the coming months, the vaccine will become available to many of us, bringing a greater sense of safety and the first step to increasing social activities and the ability to see family and friends more easily.
- Last but not least, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine has prioritized wellness, so an emphasis on your wellbeing will extend well beyond COVID.
I wish everyone a healthy, safe and productive 2021, and encourage you to reach out to friends, colleagues or mentors to share your thoughts and experiences.
On Behalf of the Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee