Get out of your comfort zone and overcome the melancholy of January (2023)

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Psychreg News Desk, (2022, December 29). Get out of your comfort zone and beat the January blues.Psychreg in Positive Psychology.

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For many, the January blues kick in after the festive season is over. And we begin to feel low, energetic and morale. The cold weather, dark mornings, and returning to our daily routines aren't helping, but here's what is.

Lee Hawker-Lecesne, Counselor and Principal Therapist atA cabineput together the following advice to help you get back on track.

January blues signs and symptoms

  • Sit in your comfort zone
  • discouragement and sadness
  • Anxiety and depressive feelings
  • low libido
  • keep a motivation

the comfort zone

It definitely pays off when you try to do something difficult every day. everyone has onecomfort zone, and we love being involved, whether it's going to school or having a job where we do what we're asked to make ends meet, but not necessarily more than that. Spend all day with quick dopamine fixes on our phones or other devices. Spending weekends with the same people we used to hang out with. Holding on to the same beliefs we've had for years and not considering different opinions.

Basically, it means taking the path of least resistance. Life becomes a predictable routine with no real challenges and we stagnate. And it's easy to see why most people spend most of their lives here. As the name suggests, it's comfortable here as we don't try too hard. Although our comfort zone is really comfortable, it also has a big drawback. People who are stuck here for a long time not only stagnate, but also regress. When you keep doing the same things in the same way, your comfort zone itself starts to shrink. The things you were comfortable with last year may become less comfortable this year. For example, someone who is socially anxious and fearful of social interaction generally doesn't like the idea of ​​meeting new people.

Experiencing this is out of your comfort zone. Instead, they prefer to spend time alone or socially with people they already know well. But let's say that person spends less time with their current friends and even more time alone. Your current comfort zone is slowly shrinking. Since they don't face the fear, the fear gets even bigger. And even the idea of ​​calling her current group of friends can get more difficult.

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If a muscle isn't used for a long time, it atrophies and gets smaller because there's no reason for it to stay big. The same happens when we don't challenge ourselves. We become less able to deal with the obstacles that life throws at us. And that's the number one reason why you should try to do something hard every day in January. None of us want to be stagnant, and we don't want the things we're comfortable with now to become uncomfortable in the future.

Push yourself into the growth zone

When we push ourselves and do something that is a little more difficult or challenging for us, we step out of our comfort zone and enter the growth zone. This is where we struggle, but this is where the real progress is made. To improve and see progress, you need to step out of your comfort zone and rise to the challenge. This could mean adding weights when you lift at the gym, or reading something new and trying to remember that information without help. To do anything worthwhile, you have to go through it because the things that pay the most always seem difficult right now. There is no improvement without challenge. Keep this in mind when we leave the house.Christmas timeand in the new year.

But if you're not happy where you are, there are some ways to move from comfort to growth. Chances are you already have a specific area in mind that you're stuck on and want to improve in the coming year. There are ways to do this. The first way is to do what you want to change more consistently. The second way is to do it with more intensity. And finally, the third way is to do this for longer periods of time. They all increase the difficulty of what you want to improve.

The area where you want to feel uncomfortable must have a long-term benefit. For example, when you're studying something, you might feel a bit stupid at the moment, but because you're absorbing new concepts, you'll get smarter over time. Eating healthy and resisting sugar can be difficult, but it's what allows you to get in and stay physically fit. While it may seem odd now, we know your behavior will pay off in the future. It's only by entering the growth zone and putting in the effort that you can reap these long-term positive benefits.

Positive change requires stepping out of your comfort zone, but nowhere does it say it has to happen all at once. A much more effective method is to proceed step by step in small, manageable steps. Another benefit that comes from you creating a positive feedback loop. Because you can do what you set out to do, you are proving to yourself that you can really improve and change. And that proof of progress, even a small one, makes you feel good and more confident in your abilities. This, in turn, encourages persistence to face more challenges along the way. Basically, success starts to feed on itself and you push yourself further and further out of your comfort zone. When you get a positive feedback loop in one area, it slowly spreads to other areas as well.

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Whenever you can, do something outside your comfort zone in January, even if it's just a little, this starts the positive feedback loop. And just like dominoes falling, success breeds more success. Think of the comfort zone as a temporary retreat as you start the new year, not a permanent residence.

Lee Hawker-Lecesne explained: "Unfortunately, many people give up at the first sign of failure or discomfort and never see what they're capable of. If you never cross your limits, how can you know where your limit is?

“Only those who consistently go beyond their comfort zone and embrace the struggle can reach their true potential. So in January, do something that you find a little more challenging. Read a few more pages, do a few extra reps at the gym, and learn some new words. Start now, try to do something hard today and you will be better than yesterday.”

Exercise to feel better

Lifestyle changes such as For those struggling with mental health issues, health issues such as increased physical fitness can be of great importance and can help improve your mental fitness. A key part of changing your lifestyle is exercise. Try to improve your physical condition through aerobic exercises such as jogging,Swimming, cycling, walking and somatic movement (meditation and mindfulness).

fitness improves mental health; Exercise-induced increases in cerebral blood flow affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and therefore the physiological response to stress. This physiological influence is mediated by the HPA axis communicating with multiple brain regions, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which produces fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory formation, as well as mood and motivation. The health benefits of regular exercise include the following: improved sleep, reduced stress, improved mood, increased energy and stamina, and reduced fatigue can increase mental alertness.

(Video) Rick Renner — Moving Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Eat well to stay sane

There is a wealth of knowledge about what nutrients the body and brain need for healthy function, and by comparing foods to see which ones contain those specific nutrients, we can understand which foods are likely to improve mood. Remember that certain foods, while not individually mood-altering, can improve your emotional state as part of an overall eating plan. So what foods can help improve your mood?

  • paranus. A great natural source of the mineral selenium, necessary for healthy brain function. Studies have shown that people with low levels of selenium have more anxiety, depression and irritability.
  • Sardines or other fatty fish. Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent depression.
  • Oat.With a very low glycemic index, oats slowly release energy into the bloodstream and contribute to a stable mood. They also contain selenium.
  • bananas.Packed with vitamins A, B6 and C, potassium, phosphorus, iron and the amino acid tryptophan, bananas are a nutrient-rich source of energy. Bananas also contain carbohydrates that help the brain absorb tryptophan. Tryptophan is used to treat conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and depression.
  • lenses. Lentils are rich in protein as well as a complex carbohydrate, so they provide a steady source of energy and create a calmer mood.
  • chicken and turkey.Both chicken and turkey have been found to increase the absorption of the amino acid tryptophan, which aids in the body's production of serotonin. Serotonin affects mood.
  • Spinach.Spinach and other leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of B vitamins like B3, B6, B12 and folic acid. This helps with the production of serotonin, which is associated with a healthy mood.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Even when consumed in moderation, alcohol wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies over time, and by the holiday season many of us will have had too much to drink. Alcohol can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression and now is a good time to review your drinking habits and make positive changes. Did you know that even a temporary break from alcohol can greatly improve brain function, clear skin, and reduce the risk of various types of cancer? Even detoxing from alcohol for a period of time can dramatically improve your life - and the results are immediate.


Winter never seems to end, so beat the winter blues by doing something special. After all, anticipating something can help anyone stay motivated. Think of something that can turn a frown upside down. Maybe it's a day at the spa, a weekend getaway, or a special event. In fact, planning something exciting can completely change a person's mood. It allows for anticipation and excitement even today; after that it can provide happiness and relaxation for weeks or even months.

Psychreg is primarily for informational purposes only; The materials on this site are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Do not ignore professional advice or delay seeking treatment based on what you have read on this site. Read ourfull disclaimer.

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How do I get out of the January blues? ›

Managing SAD
  1. Keep active. Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. ...
  2. Get outside. ...
  3. Keep warm. ...
  4. Eat healthily. ...
  5. See the light. ...
  6. Take up a new hobby. ...
  7. See your friends and family. ...
  8. Talk it through.
Jan 4, 2023

Why do I always get sad in January? ›

The lack of sunlight may stimulate an overproduction of melatonin in some people. You may feel sluggish and sleepy during the winter. Negative thoughts: People with SAD often have stress, anxiety and negative thoughts about the winter.

What is comfort zone in psychology? ›

“The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.” Within the comfort zone, there isn't much incentive for people to reach new heights of performance.

How do you survive emotionally in the winter? ›

Getting outside and exposing the body to sunlight while exercising can improve energy, mood levels and lead to better sleep. To combat isolation, connect with others in person, by phone or email, she said.

Why is January so hard? ›

Experts say it's because of personal finances and the weather. While December is when people are in a joyful and giving spirit because of the holidays, January is reportedly the time they have to pay for it. The average American racks up an average of $1,300 of debt during the holidays.

Why does my anxiety get worse in January? ›

For many, the winter season can cause an increase in anxiety symptoms due to reduced sunlight and colder temperatures. It can be difficult to cope with the decrease in energy and motivation during this time, leading to feelings of depression and anxiety.

What is January known for in mental health? ›

Lincoln – January's Mental Wellness Month highlights the importance of integrating both emotional and physical health.

How can I stay happy in January? ›

How to have a happy January: Always try to stay positive
  1. Get more sleep.
  2. Say "yes" more.
  3. Stop putting things off.
  4. Treat yourself.
  5. Do something you loved when you were a child.
  6. Be kinder.
  7. Make time for friends.
  8. Always try to stay positive.

What happens psychologically when you are leaving your comfort zone? ›

A comfort zone can be described as “a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.” Therefore, it can be assumed that stepping out of one's comfort zone will raise anxiety and generate stress to a ...

What are the 3 comfort zones? ›

Ryan and Markova developed a theory concerning learning processes. Within learning processes we can discriminate 3 different zones: the comfort zone, the stretch zone and the panic (or stress) zone. The comfort zone is the zone in which an individual feels comfortable. There is no fear or discomfort.

What do you call a person who stays in their comfort zone? ›

1. COGITATION. People with the characteristics of a cogitation comfort zone have extremely low tolerance for any change. They would rather stay in the situation they know about even if they're unhappy.

How can I stop feeling lonely in winter? ›

Keeping yourself busy can be an effective way to combat loneliness. It doesn't have to cost anything; it could involve learning a new skill, taking time out for self-care or hanging out with friends or family. These moments of enjoyment offer opportunities to distract yourself and make social connections.

How can I make my winter less miserable? ›

10 Easy Ways to Make Winter a Little Less Miserable
  1. Take a hike. OK, hear us out. ...
  2. Make healthy versions of comfort foods. ...
  3. Start a nightly tea ritual. ...
  4. Invest in legit snow boots. ...
  5. Switch up your skincare. ...
  6. Keep a candle burning. ...
  7. Get fleece-lined pants. ...
  8. Keep an allover skin salve on hand at all times.
Jan 9, 2017

Why am I so emotional in the winter? ›

The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD . This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body's internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD .

What is the most stressful month? ›

Stress levels are highest in December and lowest in July (a vacation month in Scandinavia). The result is based on Firstbeat Life heart rate variability measurements that are used to analyze stress and recovery.

How long does January Blues last? ›

January blues tends to last a few weeks maximum, but people with SAD can be affected for months at a time. Some people might start feeling sluggish and depressed as soon as the days start to get short in autumn, and it can last until the following spring.

Why does anxiety worsen with age? ›

Anxiety becomes more common with older age and is most common among middle-aged adults. This may be due to a number of factors, including changes in the brain and nervous system as we age, and being more likely to experience stressful life events that can trigger anxiety.

What season is anxiety worse? ›

With the onset of winter, people with anxiety face increased mood relapses and greater irritability. This is paired with changes in their sleep cycles. Research also indicates the people with panic disorder become more fragile with changes in seasonal factors.

Why does cold weather make me depressed? ›

This particular type of depression is thought to be caused by a lack of sunlight; symptoms include feelings of despair, difficulty sleeping, and isolation.

Why the month of January is important? ›

January was named after Janus, the Roman god of all beginnings. This is the month of the new door of the beginnings of the new year with new things, and possibilities and provides the ability to see all things past and future.

Why do people get January blues? ›

In our bodies, light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up. “It's thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.”

Why is January so important? ›

According to tradition, during his reign (c. 715–673 BCE) Numa revised the Roman republican calendar so that January replaced March as the first month. It was a fitting choice, since January was named after Janus, the Roman god of all beginnings; March celebrated Mars, the god of war.

How can I ever be happy again? ›

Things that might make you happy:
  • Working out.
  • Eating healthy.
  • Meditating.
  • Doing yoga.
  • Journaling.
  • Having a positive support system.
  • Taking self-care seriously.
  • Being optimistic.
Apr 26, 2022

How can I go back to being happy? ›

Get Back to Happy
  1. Do rely on a supportive network of family and friends. ...
  2. Don't check out. ...
  3. Take Small Steps and Be Persistent. ...
  4. Exercise Regularly. ...
  5. Don't Take Things Personally. ...
  6. Be Flexible.
Jul 2, 2010

How do you solve a problem when you are forced out of your comfort zone? ›

The 10 Steps That Will Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone and into Your Growth Zone
  1. Show up. ...
  2. Reflect. ...
  3. Write down your goal. ...
  4. Shift your identity. ...
  5. Build up your confidence and growth mindset. ...
  6. Reframe fear into excitement. ...
  7. Move and take one baby step after another. ...
  8. Surround yourself with a supportive group of people.
Aug 20, 2020

How do introverts get out of their comfort zone? ›

How an introvert like me is stepping outside her comfort zone
  1. Step out with people and places that feel good, right and safe. A few months ago I did my very first Facebook Live, after swearing I'd never do one. ...
  2. Speak on topics you are passionate about. ...
  3. Go ahead and over-prepare. ...
  4. Baby steps are totally fine.
Nov 9, 2020

What does stepping out of your comfort zone look like? ›

If you really break down the phrase “Stepping out of your comfort zone,” it means doing things that you don't feel comfortable with doing. Getting outside of your comfort levels. I encourage you to push yourself in unfamiliar places, to do things that you wouldn't normally do.

What are the dangers of comfort zone? ›

Your comfort zone is a dangerous place. It prevents you from improving, it stops you from achieving all the things you are capable of achieving and it makes you miserable. So, make a decision today to change something in your life that you are unhappy with and start experiencing positive changes.

What are the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone? ›

6 mental-health benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone
  • It can lower your risk of depression. ...
  • It may improve your performance. ...
  • It supports personal growth. ...
  • You could feel more creative. ...
  • It naturally increases your adaptability. ...
  • You'll likely feel less bored.
Dec 17, 2021

What is comfort zone trap? ›

They are unique for every individual, but essentially they're a place where our subconscious puts all of our habits. The things we do without thinking, the things we enjoy, and the things we find, well, comfortable.

What are the two types of comfort zone? ›

Kinds of Comfort Zones

Whitworth and Tamblyn identify two types of comfort zones: habits of action and habits of thinking.

Why is it so hard to get out of your comfort zone? ›

People stay in their comfort zone to avoid feelings of anxiety or stress, and pain. Anything outside the comfort zone creates uncertainty, and uncertainty makes us feel anxious. Naturally, human beings are wired to avoid these feelings. This makes them reluctant to leave their comfort zone.

What is the opposite of a comfort zone? ›

The opposite of the Comfort Zone is the Danger space — personal growth happens in between both: in the Learning Zone. Stretching beyond your comfort zone is not about being courageous but curious. Only by crossing the line of certainty and familiarity, you can grow.

Why do I feel blue in January? ›

In our bodies, light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up. “It's thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.”

How long does winter blues last? ›

If you're feeling blue this winter, and if the feelings last for several weeks, talk to a health care provider. “It's true that SAD goes away on its own, but that could take 5 months or more. Five months of every year is a long time to be impaired and suffering,” says Rudorfer.

How do I get out of the blue mood? ›

15 Things To Do When You're Feeling Blue
  1. Take A Shower. Believe it or not, taking a shower can be the most therapeutic and healthy way to combat feeling blue. ...
  2. Practice Meditation. ...
  3. Watch A Nostalgic Show. ...
  4. Read A Positive Book. ...
  5. Hang Out With A Friend. ...
  6. Do An Act of Kindness. ...
  7. Try A Creative Activity. ...
  8. Plan A Vacation.
Dec 29, 2020

How can I make January more fun? ›

We've had Christmas and New Year, but this could mean the January blues have hit.
Top Ten Activities for Fun Things to do in January
  1. Find a New Place to Walk. ...
  2. Discover New Recipes. ...
  3. Change What You Eat. ...
  4. Have a Film Night. ...
  5. Have a Games Night. ...
  6. Try a New Form of Exercise. ...
  7. Visit a Free Museum. ...
  8. Embrace the Winter Weather.

Does vitamin D help with winter blues? ›

In mild cases of seasonal depression, vitamin D supplementation demonstrates improvements in daily mood, fatigue, and other symptoms.

How can I be happy in January? ›

Happier January
  1. Find three things to look forward to this year.
  2. Make time today to do something kind for yourself.
  3. Do a kind act for someone else to help to brighten their day.
  4. Write a list of things you feel grateful for and why.
  5. Look for the good in others and notice their strengths.

How do you break the Blues? ›

Rather, take charge of yourself right away. Perhaps taking a day off and doing some favorite things will restore you. Get more exercise: walk, garden, cycle, swim. You might not feel like it, but exercise is one of the best depression breakers and preventers.

Why do people get depressed in the winter? ›

The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD . This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body's internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD .

How do you beat the winter blues for seniors? ›

You can exercise indoors or dress in layers and take your exercise outdoors for some fresh air, if the temperature isn't too cold. Stretching, walking and lifting light weights are a couple of ideas to get you started. Maybe now is a good time to get a treadmill or stationary bike for your house!

What vitamin is good for winter blues? ›

Vitamin D is possibly the most studied vitamin for the treatment of SAD, and it's an essential hormone for bodily processes, especially mood management. Vitamin D appears to play an important role in SAD since levels drop during the winter as sun exposure decreases.

Which mood disorder is worse during winter months? ›

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.

Does vitamin D help with seasonal depression? ›

Low levels of vitamin D, caused by low dietary intake of the vitamin or not enough exposure to sunshine, have been found in people with SAD. However, it's unclear whether vitamin D supplementation can help to relieve SAD symptoms. Very little research has been done on dietary supplements other than vitamin D for SAD.

How do you not let your moods bring you down? ›

How to avoid absorbing other people's emotions
  1. Create boundaries. You may find it helpful to set appropriate boundaries with others, says Turecek. ...
  2. Establish your baseline. ...
  3. Determine what's yours. ...
  4. Practice grounding activities. ...
  5. Ritualize separation. ...
  6. Spend time in nature. ...
  7. Make time for self-care. ...
  8. Process it with someone.
Aug 20, 2021

How do you restart your mood? ›

10 Tips to Reset Your Mood
  1. Remember to breathe. We can become stressed from a life event, like a death or illness, or an accident, or just everyday life. ...
  2. Take a break. ...
  3. Count your blessings. ...
  4. Find a trustworthy listener. ...
  5. Take a step back. ...
  6. Seek out laughter. ...
  7. Change your scenery. ...
  8. Write it down.
Apr 15, 2021

How do you release sad emotions? ›

What you can do
  1. Acknowledge what's happening. It is okay to not feel okay. ...
  2. Prioritize taking care of yourself. ...
  3. Be mindful of how you're feeling. ...
  4. Maintain connections with others. ...
  5. Seek help from a professional if your sadness becomes overwhelming or feels unmanageable.


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