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How to deal with January blues

Well, this week kicked off with what is known as ‘Blue Monday’. January is notorious for being a difficult month with people recovering from the excesses of Christmas, trying to keep to their new year resolutions, attempting to stabilise their bank balance and maybe more significantly some people are fighting depression and anxiety, trying to find the motivation to carry on.

This year the challenges of January feel even more momentous, people face feeling lonely, socially isolated, anxious about the future and possibly overwhelmed with the challenges of home schooling the children alongside working from home. Some will be going through or will have gone through relationship difficulties in the last year, so in addition to the responses to continuing lockdowns, they will be tussling with the plethora of emotions attached to the ending of a relationship.

Unfortunately, I am speaking to too many people at the moment who are worried about “burdening” others, so are not talking about how low or overwhelmed they are feeling - please don’t join those ranks. Psychological research has shown that just by voicing how we feel to someone we trust can be really cathartic, relieving the intensity of negative emotions we might be experiencing. I am aware that a lot of people are experiencing their own struggles at the moment but sharing emotions with a friend or family member can be reciprocal, so both parties can experience the beneficial effect.

In these times of restriction, it would appear that not only are we being deprived of some of the things which may give us pleasure and a distraction from daily tasks, there are also increasing pressures, particularly for parents and single parents. Parents are being asked to make sure the children receive adequate education, eat healthy, nutritious, balanced meals even when the budget is tight, get sufficient exercise and not to spend too much time on electronic devices to name but a few. I was watching an interview with Olympian and Mum of three, Helen Glover, who was discussing the challenges of lockdown and how stressful it can be. She recognised how amazing parents are, but how easy it is for them to forget that when they are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. This highlighted to me the real need to talk to each other, tell trusted friends and family if negative emotions are getting the better of us and create opportunities for others to say, “You are doing a great job”.

If your relationship is struggling or if you are going through relationship and family breakdown it is only natural that you might need some additional support and advice. The family team at Brethertons understand the extra stress that relationship troubles can bring so please contact them on 01788 579579 if you feel you would like to talk things through with a professional; I can offer emotional support and advice on the emotional effects of relationship and family breakdown on adults and children so please contact me elizabethheadley@brethertons.co.uk

Take care and stay safe.