Self-Care Tips to Try at Home

Today - 18th January - is the “most depressing day of the year,” or so the theory goes. The concept of Blue Monday, which falls on the third Monday of January, has been around for a while now. Supposedly it’s based on a formula which takes into account the weather, our motivation, debt levels and time since Christmas - though many put it down simply to a long-lived PR stunt.

Whichever way you look at it, the dark January days can certainly take their toll, not least under lockdown. We’ve already shared our slightly different approach to new year’s resolutions this year, and so this week we’re turning our attention to small things you can do to feel good in both your body and your mind.

Let’s face it, there are an increasing number of buzz-worthy wellness trends out there - but how to tell the fad from the fact? This Blue Monday, here’s a few ideas for small, proven and accessible ways to help yourself feel as good as possible.

Ice ice baby

Cold water therapy is having a bit of a moment right now. This is partially thanks to Wim Hof, also known as the ice man - an extreme athlete who has set World Records for swimming underneath ice.

Sound appealing?! Perhaps not, but there’s one element of the so-called ‘Wim Hof Method’ that’s a little less daunting, and can be done for free inside your own home: namely, taking a cold shower.

Having a daily cold shower has been shown to reduce stress, stimulate the immune system and aid concentration - all benefits we could probably do with during January. And the good thing is, even a 30-second cold blast at the end of your regular shower will do the trick.

Catch up on sleep

Okay, so sleep could hardly be described as a breakthrough wellness trend, but with The Times listing sleep tech amongst its top 10 health trends for 2021, it’s clear we’re waking up (no pun intended) to the importance of getting enough rest.

Currently, many of us simply aren’t getting enough zzz’s. Research from the British Sleep Society shows that, in the UK, less than half of us are getting a refreshing night’s sleep during the pandemic.

The solution? The self-care hacks are many and varied, from infrared sauna blankets to pre bed-time ‘sleep workouts.’ We’ll probably be sticking to some simpler tips: getting as much exercise as we can during the day, an evening bath, and having at least an hour of device-free time before bed.

If you’re following our lead and switching off your devices, make sure you turn everything that’s in standby mode completely off, in order to save around £30 a year. You can buy power strips that allow you to do this at the push of a button.

Shine on

Lastly, pay attention to your lighting at home. We all know that the short days and lack of sunshine can make January a particularly difficult time, but there are small things you can do at home to give your body the dose of the light it’s craving.

Start by using this as a time to reassess your set-up. If you work from home, could you move your desk space closer to a window, for example? Not only is natural light proven to boost productivity, you’ll save on your electricity bill too.

As for artificial lighting, cosy is key. Dimmable overhead lighting will avoid that office-style glare, and choose energy saving light bulbs - both use less energy, and therefore reduce the carbon footprint of your home. If you already have a smart meter and in-home display (IHD) installed, you’ll be able to monitor your usage in real-time to see what’s costing you money, and any changes you could make as a result. If you don’t already have a smart meter, find out more about why they're great and how to get one installed for free here.

Header image: Simon Migaj, Unsplash

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