Dark days, post-holiday burnout and the stress of going back to work make January a super-difficult month. Loads of us can feel down in the dumps at this time of year, and it’s very common to struggle with exhaustion or low mood now that the Christmas festivities are over.

It’s not all doom and gloom though: Simple things like indulging in some self care, popping into the salon or changing up your skincare routine can all help to get things back on track, and research shows that simple tricks – like drinking more water – could also help to banish those bleak moods.

Keen to kick things off too a good start? We’re passionate about helping you to realize your best self, so we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite blues-busting tips right here:

Go Outdoors

It might be simple advice but it’s also super-effective. According to the experts, spending just 20-30 minutes outside can instantly lift your mood, as well as:

  • Increasing creativity
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Nourishing your skin

This is because spending time outside exposes your body to natural light. Natural light (or UVB light if you want to get technical) helps to regulate happiness hormones and encourage the production of vitamin D in our skin. According to the experts, this means healthier skin and a more positive outlook, which is definitely something we could do with in January!

Be careful though: While spending time outdoors might be great for your mental health, cold winter weather can really do a number on your hair. a protective treatment like Amika’s Vault shampoo will shield you from some of the damage. We’d also recommend something like Redken’s All Soft shampoo, which designed to replenish and rejuvenate damaged hair.

Try Something New

Whether it’s learning a language or experimenting with a bold new hair color, research shows that trying something new can have a huge impact on your mental health. In fact, some experts say that breaking out of a tired routine is one of the best ways to lift your mood and shake off those January blues, so why not seize the moment and try something new?

If you feel like a makeover is what you need, head to your local Regis salon and talk to one of our stylists about trying a brand new look. Coral, platinum-white and purple are all popular colors this year and there’s no shortage of new cuts to try too. Alternatively, you could just try out a new shampoo like Amika’s super-luxe Reset Scalp cleansing treatment. If you chat to our stylists, they’ll be able to suggest something fabulous.

Detox your hair

A thorough detox will always lift those January blues. Washing out the buildup from your regular hair products is a therapeutic experience in its own right and the fact that you look a million dollars afterwards certainly doesn’t hurt. In our opinion, a really deep clean is one of the things that makes a professional salon experience so rewarding and there’s no getting around the fact that squeaky-clean hair has a real feel-good factor.

If you’re struggling with low mood, we’d definitely recommend popping into your local salon to chat about a deep clean. Our stylists will be able to talk you through the benefits and get you booked in for a pamper session. They’ll also be able to suggest products like Designline’s Teatrree Shampoo so that you can detox in the comfort of your own home.

Set realistic resolutions

There’s a reason people set New Year’s resolutions: according to experts, pursuing a goal will help you to focus your energies and stop you from dwelling on any negative thoughts. It’s important to keep your goals realistic though. Lots of people set themselves up for failure by not giving themselves achievable resolutions and while it is important to push yourself, it’s worth remembering that aiming too high can have negative consequences.

Instead, we’d recommend thinking of an achievable goal and focusing on the small things that will help you achieve it. Try to celebrate your successes and remain positive in the face of failure. That way you’ll maximise the mood-boosting benefits and avoid any negative thought spirals.

Need some inspo? Veganuary is a popular choice and a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Pop into your local Regis salon and our stylists will be able to recommend eco-friendly products. Alternatively, why not try committing to a new hair color or resolving to keep up with regular trims? As long as there’s a good chance you’ll see them through, these simple resolutions should help to keep those blues at bay.

Re-hydrate

Nothing will get you down like dry or limp hair. It ruins your look and it can also play hell with your self-esteem Unfortunately, winter is prime-time for bad hair days, what with the abundance of cold air, static-inducing hats and stiff wind.

Know the struggle? You’ll also be pleased to know that there’s a simple solution: You just need a hydrating shampoo. These specialist shampoos actually lock moisture into your hair by sealing any cracks in the cuticle layer and deliver a good dose of healthy oils. They repair and replenish – which makes them ideal for cracking down on flyaways or split ends – and they’re the perfect antidote for winter conditions.

Want to know more? Just pop into your local Regis salon and ask one of our stylists.

Self Reflect

Did you indulge in enough self-care last year? What about relaxation? Chances are that you pushed too hard and didn’t spend enough time taking care of yourself. According to many psychologists, the overwhelming majority of people neglect their own mental health and wellbeing to focus on work, family life or money-making ventures, which can have a really negative impact when we run into a difficult month like January – with its dark days and association with post-holiday burnout.

To remedy this situation experts recommend making some time to sit down and think about how well you’re looking after yourself. If you realize that you haven’t actually spent enough time focusing on your own wellbeing, they then recommend making some more time for a bit of a pamper. This could involve popping down to your local salon for a pedicure, or just kicking back with an indulgent face mask.

These pamper sessions will help you to stay positive and supercharge your self esteem. More importantly, they’re the perfect remedy for seasonal depression and a great way of tackling low mood.

Exercise

Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping the fact that exercise can be the perfect remedy to mild depression. Numerous studies show that doing 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise can perk up your brain and kickstart the production of serotonin, which is also known as “the happiness hormone”.

Regular exercise can also boost your circulation, which improves the quality of your skin and leaves you feeling completely revitalised. That’s not to say that you should rush out to buy an exercise bike though: Experts are quick to point out that you’ll only keep up with an exercise regime if you pick a sport (or activity) that you actually enjoy. Fail to do this and there’s every chance you’ll give up after a few weeks, which can actually exacerbate issues with low mood.

Our advice? Choose something that’s nice and simple – like running, strength training or walking – so that you don’t struggle to stay motivated. Remember to pick up a good shampoo too: regular exercise will make you sweat, and if sweat is allowed to build up on your scalp you will end up fighting with itchy and irritated skin. Amika’s The Kure Repair Shampoo should do the trick, and you could also consider using the matching Intense Repair mask from the same range if you really want to keep your hair soft and supple between sessions.

Plan a holiday

Scientific studies show that planning a holiday can do wonders for your mood. In fact, research shows that the process of researching flights and looking at hotels actually prompts a flood of positive hormones that rival our brain’s reaction to events like marriage or engagement so if you’re looking for a foolproof way to lift your mood, jump online and get planning!

You don’t actually have to book your holiday either. According to the study quoted above, people got 60% of the benefit from the planning process alone, which means that you can use this handy little trick to boost your mood without emptying your bank account in the process.

Relax with a hair mask

Speaking of mood-lifting life hacks, did you know that pamper time was scientifically proven to reverse low mood? According to the folks over at the Journal of Social & Cultural Geography, taking the time to “withdraw from daily life and engage in self-care routines” provides your brain with space to process events and let go of any residual stress. There’s also evidence to suggest that pamper time also helps to boost self esteem which is also strongly correlated with happiness and a relaxed state of mind. The question is, what’s the best way to pamper yourself? We might be a little bit biased but we think hair-care is definitely the way to go. Your hair is one of your most important assets but it’s often overlooked in favour of face masks or pedicures and we think that’s a real shame. If you’re keen to eke out 30 minutes for some proper relaxation, we’d strongly recommend something like Amika’s Reset scalp cleansing treatment . This is a leave-in treatment that’ll let you kick back and relax while it works its way down into your hair, and breathes fresh life into tired follicles.

Book some ‘me time’ at your local salon

You could also pop into your local Regis salon, and let one of our expert stylists treat you to a pamper session. Few things beat the feeling of relaxing in the chair; eyes drifting shut as a seasoned professional massages high-performance hair treatments into your hair, and you’ll also be able to experiment with a brand new style too. Some of our salons also offer deep conditioning treatments, which are perfect for anyone suffering from winter hair damage.

Struggling to kick those blues? Use our salon finder to locate your nearest Regis, and book an appointment today.

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Found a way to beat the January blues? Tell us about it @Regissalons using the hashtag #Regissaslons!