- Christy Alfaro
Fighting the January Blues
Updated: Jan 19
I've been starting at this screen for the last couple hours, on the screen next to me is CNN showing live footage of a coup attempt. When I woke up this morning I knew that I wanted to write a blog post that was all about the peace that I've found in myself after my time with my family, but I'd be remiss to write that without acknowledging the lack of peace that's happening in America right now. So, I will write about fighting the January Blues and all that jazz but first I want to address what's going on right now, and what's going on in my mind.
I am pretty lucky to live in the area that I do, I don't see much discrimination or hatred. For the most part, I live in a peaceful state. Most people wear a mask, most people are decent human beings. What we're seeing going on in DC is appalling and unfortunately shows how divided our country is because of a horrible sad man. I want to make this clear: Trump Supporters (both ones who are storming DC and those who "just" voted for him) are weak minded human beings. To be able to hear and see the vile hatred, stupidity, and divisiveness that Trump calls for and stands for - to be able to see all that and rationalize all that in some way to draw your support for him makes you a weak minded human being. Our world has no room for hate, and that's all that Trump spews. I know, I'm not supposed to get political on a growing platform but I honestly don't care. I can't just sit and watch what's happening and be quiet. So there it is, that's my (short) thought on what's happening. Now I'm going to move on and talk about the January Blues and try to find the peace that I had found earlier to finish this post.
It's interesting that one of my last posts was about navigating the holidays with your family, because going home to see my family ended up being exactly what I needed. Don't get me wrong, it was hard. Some of the boundaries that I tried to set were definitely pushed and broken, but in the overall it was a great trip. But one of the best parts was this feeling of resetting that I was able to achieve. Connecting with my family again was almost like connecting with a younger part of myself. Living here in LA, away from my family, and having to be independent sometimes makes me feel as though I have to be older than I am, that I have to have all the answers. But being home reminded me of the girl I used to be, the one who would lay on her floor for hours and read magazines and have concerts in her room. While I was a very depressed teen, I still was able to find these consistent moments of joy and I realized that, that's something that I've been missing lately.
January, I feel like, is always the longest month of the year. Mainly because we were just surrounded with joy and love and family and now we have to come in and know there's no big holidays anytime soon and we feel the pressure of resolutions (hopefully we didn't make any this year). I was feeling really sad to come home, sad to leave my family, but also sad to be coming home to all the responsibilities of adulthood, knowing that there would be no "break" for the foreseeable future. The thing is, I really don't want to fall in to the January Blues this year, I feel like there has to be away that I can manage to find those little joys I had back home and as a child while still navigating the adulthood responsibilities I need to tend do. So what can we do to fight it?
Me to January
What I realized was that I like having things to look forward to. Little joys, checkpoints to give myself constant joy. Knowing that I have something that I'm looking forward to on the horizon makes my days go by faster and happier. But, I feel like whenever I hear about finding happiness it's always like, practice self care: read a book, take a bath, drink more water and then I do all those things, and I don't actually feel any better. When I was at home with my family, I had a conversation with my sister about the changes we wanted to make in the new year and one of the things that I realized in our conversation is that I have been trying to make myself happy through all the ways other people find joy instead of just listening to myself.
So, what's the best way to fight the January blues? Try out things and figure out what actually brings you joy! Try something different everyday, or try one new thing a week and write down at the end of each activity how these things make you feel. Some of these things won't bring you joy, some will bring you more joy than others. But what you'll find is that there are things that you do all the time that might not bring other joy, but is actually your favorite thing. These little checkpoints and activities will give you something to look forward to all month, and write them down! Actually schedule these events, just like you'd schedule meetings or events. I have my list written for the next two weeks and I've found that it has made me so excited for every day, knowing that I have something fun to look forward to each day.
Need some ideas for your list, here ya go!
Watch an old school movie
Watch a movie in a genre you usually don't watch
Read a new book for 30 minutes
Listen to a new album
Take a bath
Go for a walk without your phone
Take an online yoga class
Take an online Zumba class
Schedule a zoom call with your best friend
Listen to a new podcast
Re-organize your room
Light some candles
Find a new recipe to make
Make some cookies
Try a new restaurant
Learn a Tik Tok dance
Have a solo dance party
Watch another Christmas movie
You may already do some of these, you may think that all these are silly. But hopefully some of them gave you ideas of things that you think could bring you joy. Something as small as setting aside time each week to do a thing that can make you happy will not only be a great way to beat the January blues but it will be a great way to make it feel like the joy of the holidays aren't gone. And don't be ashamed of the things that you look forward to, if you look forward to watching a new movie every week do it! It doesn't matter if someone online says that reading is better than watching TV. If you look forward to eating pizza on Fridays, even though your supposed to be watching what you eat this year, fuck it eat the pizza on Friday! Life is all about balance, and life is all about joy, life is too short to not d the things that make us happy.
That's all for me this week folks, it's been a doozy of a day but I hope that you find a way to get some joy this week!
Until next time!
A Whelmed Christy