What’s there to be cheerful about in January? Payday is miles away, your credit card bill is astronomical, you can’t even head to the pub with your friends because everyone’s doing Dry January and to top it all off, travel fares have increased. It’s safe to say we could all use a little cheering up in the most abstemious month of the year.
It’s not always about a huge changes, (though we wouldn’t say no to two weeks in the Maldives, thank you very much). There are plenty of little pick-me-ups you can try to reinvigorate yourself that’ll boost your mood and outlook.
Here’s Stylist’s uplifting wellness ideas…
Get a yuzu hit
Yuzu is a lesser-known member of the citrus family (in the West anyway – it’s been popular in Asia for aeons) that has some pretty impressive properties. A 2013 controlled study found that sniffing the essential oil of yuzu decreased mood disturbance and negative emotional stress on a biological level. Find it in Diptyque ‘Oyedo’ and Chloe Love Story Eau Sensuelle, or nab the neat essential oil.
‘Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!’ Lest we forget the immortal words of Elle Woods, who taught us the importance of exercise and boosting one’s moods. Countless studies have linked the endorphins produced after you work out to a generally sunnier outlook, but we’d suggest you take things a step further and try an exercise that’s enjoyable all the way through. A spin class, like Psycle, with booming tunes and fun instructors, or a dance-based class like BLOK’s Blokparty that’s more like a rave will perk you right up.
Coral tones aren’t just warming to your complexion – a 2009 study found that the colour orange can actually boost your mood. Bright colours are generally felt to be conducive to energy and productivity, but orange in particular made the women in the group feel more upbeat. Try a slick of MAC ‘Morange’ Lipstick, or H&M Matte Lipstick in ‘Spessartite’ for a lip that makes you feel as good as you look.
Check your B12
B12 is an incredibly important vitamin for lots of things like nerve functions and memory, but deficiency in B12 has also been linked to depression and low energy levels. Luckily, it’s not too tricky to find: eggs, poultry, cheese and other dairy products are all rich in B12 which can pay dividends for your mood. If you need a vegan source, try fortified cereals or Marmite, or consider supplements.
Have a cuppa
Your mum was right – a cup of tea really does fix everything. There is something about a warm brew that immediately makes you feel relaxed, but there’s some science behind it too. Black and green tea leaves contain theanine, which is an amino acid that research suggests reduces anxiety by modulating mood-boosting serotonin and dopamine. Matcha is particularly high in theanine, but good old fashioned tea has it too.