Fight those January blues….
It was January 2020 when we first discovered a virtual event called Red January, an opportunity to kick start the year positively by getting active everyday. After an eventful and busy year in 2019 we were looking for a new goal, something to help us stay motivated and to focus on. Red January sounded perfect for us to get involved in.
Red January gave us that push to stay active and GetOutside during the hardest month in 2020, it really helped us to fight those January blues. Exercise and getting outside are things which help our family manage every day stresses. We like to challenge ourselves and set ourselves goals, there is a sense of achievement when we see it through and it is a great way for us to look after our bodies both physically and mentally. At the same time we get to encourage others to GetOutside, stay active, raise mental health awareness and help raise funds for the mental health charities Mind in 2020 and Sport in Mind in 2021 (If you can spare a penny our latest fundraiser is here)
With the holiday season over many people struggle mentally, with experts confirming that January is the most depressing month of the year. Poor weather, dark nights, finance worries all contribute to this. January is also the prime time for Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, a mood disorder that occurs with the changing season, if you think you may be affected you can find out more about SAD on the NHS website here. Living in Shetland we have long dark nights with 7hrs of daylight and an average of less than 1hour of sunlight a day, so it can be hard to get motivated to GetOutside and make the most of it.
January 2021 is probably one of the toughest Januarys we have had in a long time, not only do we have all the normal difficulties of this time of year, but we have also have the current pandemic thrown in too, with most of the UK currently in lockdown. So it is now more important than ever to look after ourselves and encourage others to stay active and GetOutside locally. Although we try to make the most of the sunlight, due to us shielding and the need to stay local and away from others, getting out during the daylight hours is particularly tough. So we have been getting our sunlight fix by sitting near an open window and getting active when it is quiet, usually later in the evening. But even in the dark, getting outside and being active has lifted our moods. We have enjoyed watching the sunset, we have done stargazing on our walks, we have listened out for the wildlife that visits in the evening, we have bounced on our trampoline in the dark and this year we also got to enjoy watching the Aurora Borealis from our back garden! If you are stuck on ideas on how to enjoy the outdoors locally, then take a look at the OS hub 30 day challenge for some fantastic ideas and where you can download a free challenge calendar.
A lot of people think that they need to travel in the car to beauty spots to enjoy the outdoors and be active, but with the current government guidelines it is important to stay local and help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. It is amazing what you can find on your own doorstep, is there a road or path that you always walk past on your walk to the local shop or place of work, but you never go down as you never have time. Well this is a perfect excuse for you to go and discover it! If your still unsure and would like to know what is out there, Ordnance Survey is currently doing an offer in which people can access the OS Map App for a month for only £1 (use code the STAYLOCAL) which is a great way to find new green places near you and you can also plan your routes.
Red January is a great way to keep active no matter your ability as you get to set your own goals. We have so much fun as family taking part and can feel the benefit of getting outside and being active everyday.
What are waiting for, why don’t you give it a try?