It’s a gradual slump that starts on January 2nd and begins to peak around Valentine’s Day. At first you tried to sleep it off – that general sense of lethargy - only to find that no amount of sleep leaves you feeling rested.
Next thing you know, you’re back at work, and you notice that completing your daily tasks takes more mental energy than it should. You don’t feel like socializing. Food doesn’t turn you on. And speaking of not being turned on – the thought of using your vibrator seems like an epic amount of effort.
Here are 3 reasons why:
It’s Post-Holiday season.
You just made it through the holidays, which is physically exhausting because of the additional responsibilities, emotionally exhausting because of the family obligations, and financially draining because you spent money you normally wouldn’t. Also, you ate like shit for about a month.
Even if you’re a garland-tossing, brownie-baking, gift-obsessed, holiday lover like I am, the comedown after the holidays can hit you like a brick. Not only are all the festivities over, but you may have packed on some pounds. And everything that sucked in October still sucks in January. Only in October you had November and December to look forward to.
What to do. For this one – nothing. Following the steps below will help in an overall sense.
We’re sun deprived.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere (you’re not dumb - I had to Google it), you’ve just passed the shortest day of the year (December 21st), which is (sadly) still months away from any meaningful increases in daylight. A lack of sunlight will induce feelings of depression, including all of the symptoms in the second paragraph of this post.
What to do. Unfortunately, going outside isn’t going to do it if you live north of Georgia (the state) because the sun never gets high enough in the winter months for the ultraviolet B rays to penetrate the atmosphere. Take a vitamin D supplement – but make sure you buy it from a store that demands third-party lab verification of its contents and strength (like Whole Foods), because the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements in America and some outlandish percentage of supplements sold in the states don’t actually even contain the ingredients listed on the labels. That’s a whole other article.
Your self-care is non-existent.
I know, I know. January is the height of gym season. Still, even with that spike, less than 1 in 100 Americans will work out in the month of January, according to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association. Which means, in all likelihood, your self-care has been nosediving since October and is currently non-existent.
What do to. Start small. Schedule a massage, or engage in an activity that feels less like you’re climbing Mount Everest and more like someone nurturing is giving you a hug. Increase your water intake so you’re drinking half your body weight in ounces daily. Spend 5 minutes right now thinking about your food choices for the next day – and notice how little thought goes into those choices lately. Map out a plan for meal prepping every week. If you can, hire a service to deliver food. I’m a big fan of throwing money at problems that I don’t have the cognitive bandwidth to solve.