After all the excitement of Christmas and New Year, getting back into work and routine in January can be tough.
But if you are feeling particularly sad as 2022 rolls around, know that you are not alone in suffering from what is commonly referred to as the "January blues".
"The January blues is another name for situational depression and is associated with the way we think and feel. Symptoms of the January blues are things such as low mood and sadness, lack of motivation, tiredness and low energy," explained Dr. Will Cave from The Fleet Street Clinic in London. "These are all normal feelings, if temporary. Most likely, your negative mood will be brought on by the anti-climax of reality after the exciting events of December and the New Year. Ever heard that old phrase, 'Don't cry because it has ended, but smile because it happened?' Find comfort in knowing that you are absolutely not alone in feeling blue in January."
While the January blues are experienced by many people around the world, with many facing debt or anxiety over returning to work, cases tend to rise in the Northern Hemisphere where the weather is cold and gloomy and days are much shorter.
"The good news is that the January Blues are temporary and typically only last a couple of weeks. You don't need to take any medication as your thoughts and feelings should naturally return to normal," Dr. Cave continued. "If it doesn't and you are experiencing prolonged or worsening thoughts and feelings, you may actually have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, which is different. This is clinical depression caused by a person's biology. It is much longer-lasting, sometimes months on end and likely to occur every year in winter. You should see a doctor to discuss your symptoms as if you have SAD, a range of treatments are available to assist recovery. Remember, please be kind to yourself and know that you're not alone."