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10 Ways To Brighten Your Mood This January

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Preparing for and indulging in holiday festivities takes up a big chunk of December.  Then, with a thud, it's over. January sets in, with the gray days of winter and a return to daily routines. Christmas is a tough act to follow and many of us have a post-holiday letdown.

Letdown -- Was this how the shepherds felt, after the angel songs ceased and they returned to their flocks?  (Luke 2:15-20)  It is not.  We read that the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  But, for many of us, January is not our favorite month of the year.  There are some things that we can do to brighten up January, however.  January does not have to be gloomy.  Here is my list of: Ten Ways to Brighten Your Mood This January.   

  1. Set a realistic goal -- and achieve it.

We make a lofty resolution in January.  We fail.  We feel bad about ourselves.  But, remember that even small successes will have huge mood payoffs. So even if that goal is NOT eating the WHOLE TUB of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter World ice cream at one sitting, you’ll still be basking in the glory of achieving it. 

  1. Listen to music. Not just any music, your favorite music.

Maybe it’s just me, but hearing my favorite songs always lifts my spirits.  Whenever I’m feeling down, I listen to my favorite songs and crank up the volume. 

  1. Treat yourself.

Had your eye on that new nail color or that new pair of jeans that you really want but probably shouldn’t buy? JUST BUY THEM.  Although, remember not to turn this into a shopping spree  – especially because it’s not even one month since Christmas and the bills are just beginning to come in. 

  1. Do something kind.

In line in the drive-thru waiting to pay for your lunch? Give the cashier the extra money to treat the person behind you or perhaps find a worthy charity and donate to it. Even if it's a tiny gesture, knowing that you've made other people happy will give you that warm fuzzy feeling. 

  1. Declutter.

Your environment affects your mood so if your bedroom is just one big heap of clothes, tidy up.  Even if you just pair up all those socks, it’ll feel good. Plus you'll save stress in the morning trying to find matching socks to wear. 

  1. Get moving.

And I mean this literally. Any kind of exercise, whether it's walking, running, yoga, dancing, or playing sports, you'll be getting your blood pumping and releasing all that tension. 

  1. Contact friends.

What are friends for?  Listening to each other share about our troubles and liking each other’s Facebook posts when no one else has, of course. So phone them or, better yet, get together if you can and laugh the night away. 

  1. Have something to look forward to.

Make plans with friends or family. Even if it's just a weekend away, going out to dinner or going shopping with your mom, it'll make you feel good to have something coming up that you’re looking forward to. 

  1. Laugh.

Watch your favorite comedy or laugh at some corny jokes.  But laugh.  As the old saying goes, it’s “the best medicine”.  Can’t think of a corny joke?  Have a few on me:

-      Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over a bay, they would be bagels.

-      “God warned a man named Lot to take his wife and flee out of the city,” said the Sunday school teacher, “but Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to salt.” A curious boy then asked, “What happened to the flea?”

-      Q: Who was the best financier in the Bible?  A: Pharaoh’s daughter. She went to the Nile bank and pulled out a little prophet. 

  1. Thank God.

This one, #10, is my favorite way.  It’s inspired by the Shepherds.  Write down of a list of all the things that are good in your life – the things you’re so very thankful for.  Praise and thank God for each one -- and for all He has done.

 

May God bless you all with a Happy January!  

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