Why can January feel like the worst month of the year?

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Let’s face it, January is probably the worst month of the year. Christmas has passed, we’re back to reality, money is tight, deadlines are looming and to top it off the weather is just a bit grey. That’s why this month we’ll be focusing on why it’s so common to feel down in January. Throughout the month we’ll be covering the topic from all angles, speaking to professionals at MIND about how we can cope with feeling low and how to get help, and we’ll be offering our best day-to-day tips and tricks for surviving January.

Understanding how you’re feeling is often the first step to dealing with it, so let’s look at why January is infamous for making us feel a bit low.

  • We’re now back to reality – The Christmas break is over, we’re back to school or college, there’s no more tubs of celebrations in the cupboard and everything can suddenly feel a bit flat.
  • Change can be daunting – Alongside all of the “new year, new me” declarations going around (read our realistic resolutions post here!) for some people, the prospect of a new year can be daunting. Whether it’s the thought of what’s coming up in the next few months, or the pressure to make this year even better, change and uncertainty can be challenging and with a full year ahead, the worry can understandably make us feel a bit low.
  • The weather – January is also just a bit grey. It gets colder as winter fully sets in, and if you’re stuck in school or college break time may be the only bit of daylight you get. We’ll be talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) next week, what it is and how to effectively cope with it if you think the weather plays a part in your low mood.
  • Money is a bit tight – We’ve had to splash out a bit in December for Christmas presents, and now there’s a long month ahead to wait until payday or to get your pocket money.
  • We can all feel a bit sluggish – With a mixture of over-indulging sprawled out on the sofa at Christmas and the gloomy weather, we can all just feel a bit sluggish in January.

The combination of these factors make understanding why we can feel a bit low in January completely understandable, but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it! Stay tuned for more blogs and content on how to cope with January throughout the month as part of our “Say why” theme.

Although feeling low in January can be completely normal, and for most of us will pass, there is a point where feeling low or depressed becomes more than that and you may benefit from speaking to a professional. If you have persistent low mood, depression or simply someone to talk to about how you’re feeling you can get in touch with any of the local service provides below;

MIND – Hull and East Yorkshire Mind Infoline
Tel: 01482 240133 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm)

Tel: 116 123


Tel: 0800 1111

Online chat: https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/

NHS 111

Tel: 111

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