10 Ways to Alleviate the New Year Blues

I have mixed feelings about the concept of the “new year.”

Part of me loves it. The thought of hitting the reset button, having a “blank slate,” even if it’s just in your imagination. The chance to start fresh. The chance to be better.

But, woah. That’s a lot of pressure. What am I going to be better at? Will I, in 2017, have time to get a new hobby, get really good at one thing, be healthier, happier, more productive, save more money and stay sane?

Probably not. The pressure of the new year often makes us think we have to be better at everything in our lives all of a sudden. It’s as if at the strike of midnight on January 1st, we feel like we’ve undergone some phenomenal change.

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We haven’t. We’re more gradual than that.

So, I beg you–take a second to breathe. You don’t need to be perfect in 2017. In fact, I think one of the smartest resolutions is to try and be a little bit happier if anything.

I’m one of those people who cannot live without lists. They keep me organized and help me feel a little less anxious and more in control of my life.

In the spirit of feeling calm and in control, I’ve compiled this list of small things you can try to do in 2017 to be a little happier.

Again, there is no pressure to do all of these, just read to see if any could fit into your life. Also, if you have any other tricks you use to start of the new year right, feel free to share in the comments. Enjoy.


Clean/organize
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I’m one of those weirdos who actually enjoys cleaning, with the exception of the bathroom.

But I’m not talking about every day cleaning.

If you have one free afternoon, take some time to go through your things. Do you really need this? Have you worn it in the last six months? If not, donate some stuff.

Research shows that cleaning can alleviate stress. I personally feel that knowing what I own puts my mind at ease. That feeling of hitting the reset button is more concrete once you do some Spring cleaning.

Rearrange your space
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Ahhh that blissful feeling when you’ve moved your furniture around in a new way. This makes so much more sense than how you had it arranged last time. You’re a genius!

Science shows that being the designer of your environment is highly satisfying.

“An impact on the environment, whether an imprint or a removal, lifts mood, provides concrete satisfaction, and instills a sense of effectiveness. Inner and outer harmony happen when pieces are placed in a way that makes sense for you,” according to an article in Psychology Today.

Drink lemon water when you wake up
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I’m including this one because I’ve just started it and am loving how I feel. I think I like it because I know it’s good for me, and helps me stay hydrated. I also love that it’s a small, attainable goal I can meet every day.

Science shows that drinking lemon water when you first wake up can help keep your immune system strong, freshen your skin, strengthen your brain and cleanse your liver.

Stretch
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Think of that long, yawn accompanying stretch when you first wake up. Doesn’t it feel good?

Luckily, stretching is something that you need no equipment for. You can use it at any time of the day to boost energy, alleviate stress and help you move more gracefully.

Try a Bullet Journal
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I’m sure we’ve keeping a journal or diary before. But a bullet journal is sort of a journal meant to help organize your life while giving you the satisfaction of checking things off a to-do list.

According to a recent Buzzfeed article, the concept of the Bullet Journal can be a bit overwhelming, but they’ve taken the time to break down the process of keeping one.

Keep a calendar
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This one is pretty simple, and I’m sure a lot of us use a calendar in some way for work. But, it’s always good to keep a personal calendar. Here, write down dates to look forward to, like when your bestie is coming to town.

Exercise
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I’m not going to re-hash all of the benefits of exercising on our blog. I’m sure we all know by now that it’s pretty well-documented.

I felt obligated to put it on this list because I strongly believe in it’s powers. But, if you’re not someone who likes the gym, that’s okay too. Just try to add little things to your routine like taking a sunset walk after dinner, or a scenic bike ride on the weekend.

Schedule a girls night
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When nothing is going right in your life, or you just need someone to vent to, nothing is better than a good old-fashioned girls night. Get together, have a home-cooked meal or pick a craft to work on and just talk. Best free therapy ever.

Set monthly, attainable goals
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This goes hand in hand with a journal. If you really want to feel accomplished, be proud of the little things you do.

Did you get around to spring cleaning? AWESOME! Goal accomplished.

Pay all your bills on time? YASSSSS.

File your taxes? YOU GO GIRL.

You get the idea.

Meditate, or just put away your phone at night
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Meditation, mindfulness and yoga have been popping up on my Facebook feed lately. And, while I haven’t personally tried meditation on the regular, I’ve read a lot about the benefits.

I think I will start small by getting into the habit of putting my phone down while I’m laying in bed. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m addicted to screens.  I stare at them all day, and when I’m in bed it’s habitual to play around on my phone to the point of exhaustion. But, I challenge myself and you–just put it down.