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Beating the January Blues

I don’t know about you all but January is my least favourite month. The weather outside is cold, dark and rainy. The fun and excitement of the Christmas and New Year period is over. That means that all we have to look forward to are exams and assignment deadlines. All in all, it can be a very bleak month. Never fear, however, as I’m here to provide you with some helpful tips for overcoming those January blues!

  • Get cooking

I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly accomplished cook but there is something very satisfying about trying out a new recipe and having it go well. Whether you have New Year’s resolutions about health, are trying Veganuary, or just want to prove to your mum that you can look after yourself, now is a great time to start experimenting with your cooking. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a class, check out the Residence Life One Pot Cookery sessions (you can find information about the next one here). If you’d rather have a go in your own kitchen, there are hundreds of recipes available online to suit every dietary requirement imaginable. Now… ready, steady, cook! 

  • Discover something new 

If you’re new to Sheffield like I am, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to see and do everything that the city has to offer. Maybe you’ve been meaning to check out the Winter Gardens, the Moor Market or Weston Park Museum but you haven’t quite managed it yet. If that’s you, then now would be a good time to do it! You could even try a new restaurant or coffee shop to get you inspired to try out my first tip. There’s also the added bonus that walking around the city will give you some sunlight exposure, which is a natural mood enhancer. 

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  • Embrace organisation 

It might just be me, but personally I feel a lot better when I’m organised. There are many different ways to embrace organising. I have a diary where I can keep important dates and lists of all kinds (shopping, to-do, Christmas presents), which I combine with a to-do list app on my phone. Between these two, I always know what I’m supposed to be doing and where I’m supposed to be doing it. If that sounds like a bit too much hassle, then start small. Maybe you could just commit to filing away all your lecture notes so that they’re together and out of the way or rearranging the stuff that’s piled up on your desk. No matter what level would suit you, give it a go. You might be surprised how much better you feel. 

  • Take care of yourself 

There’s no getting away from the fact that January can be a very tough month academically. This means that self-care can often slip by the wayside. Unfortunately, this time of stress is also the most important time for looking after yourself. Getting enough sleep, drinking water, moving your body and eating your vegetables will all improve your mood and keep you healthy in this stressful time. You can find more advice on how to maximise your study breaks here

Finally, on a more serious note: if you find that your January blues turns into February, March and April blues too, please seek help from someone you trust: a friend, family member or medical professional. You can find more information about accessing support at Sheffield here.

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