January got you feeling blue? Well, you're not alone. According to Kate Redway of Samaritans: "One in five people in the UK experience depression and this time of year can be particularly difficult, with people in debt after Christmas and finding it hard to settle back into a work routine during dark days."
With that in mind, we thought we would bring you some rainbow inspired advice, as a reminder that light shines even through the darkest rain clouds.
R stands for Recognition
This refers to a recognition of everything you have to be grateful for in your life. We often forget about the good things when negative thoughts are given prominence in our mind. The fact is we all have something to be grateful for, and most of us have a lot to be grateful for.
If your're struggling with this then spend a minute starting with the basics, for example; 'I am grateful for the fact that I can walk', 'I am grateful for my loved ones', 'I am grateful for the beauty in nature'. Gratitude is the most powerful deterrent for depression, so start thanking your lucky stars.
A stands for stay Active.
In a world where fake news and advertising bamboozlement is the norm, certain universal truths provide us with a rock in terms of guiding us to better health and wellbeing. Regular exercise is one such rock.
Whichever way you look at it and whoever you ask, staying active is good for our physical and mental health. Find things you like doing and remember that being active is more than just sticking to a once-a-week fitness class, it's about embracing movement and increasing your heart rate in as many ways as possible, as much as possible!
I stands for get Involved
Being part of something either within the community, or through a shared interest helps us to feel connected and can provide a source of contentment. Depending on where you live, there is sure to be something going on near by; a charity project you can lend a hand with, or a class you can sign up to. We are a sociable species at heart and need some level of interaction with others to feel human.
N stands for Nutrition
Your diet has a fundamental impact on your overall health, including how you feel. Forget fad diets (which can be all the more prevalent at this time of year) in favour of healthy, whole foods. The best advice is very much in keeping with this article; simply eat the rainbow.
B stands for Breath
This trick is simple, free and available to you anytime of the day or night. It is of course breathing, but how many of us actually utilise our internal mood stabiliser in times of need? There are techniques involved, so it's worth genning up, but essentially slowing down the breath and inhaling and exhaling more fully will enhance feelings of wellness.
O stands for go Outside
Fresh air, nature; these are powerful tools for flushing toxic thoughts and negativity from the mind. If there was a pill that made you feel like you do when you've just come back from a walk, no doubt people would call it a miracle cure.
The difference is that going outside, especially in winter, requires effort and unfortunately laziness is a part of the human condition. If a walk is just not happening, then force yourself to stand outside for 5 minutes and breath in and out deeply so as to clear some of the stale air out of the lungs. It's the best kind of quick-fix; one that's proven to be effective and produces no adverse side effects.
W stands for Willpower
At the end of the day, or the the rainbow in this case, a certain amount of willpower is required to overcome, or achieve things in life. In the case of feeling low, it sometimes comes down to a simple matter of just don't give up. Nothing stays the same, so this feeling will pass, January too will pass, warmer weather is around the corner. Use low moods to reflect, but not wallow, on what you can do to effectively improve things in your life.
And when persistent dark clouds seem to be blocking out the light, just refer to this advice; using the rainbow as a powerful symbol of hope and overcoming adversity.