Student News and Events

News and events for University of Brighton students

New year, new cheer: tips for combating the January blues

By Katie Roberts, SSGT, School of Health Sciences (Falmer)

It’s normal to feel mixed emotions at the start of a new year. You’re probably excited for the year ahead, but you may also be struggling with the short days and finding it hard to get back into a routine.

Here are a few tips and resources to help you banish the January blues and start the new year with some good cheer.

Focus on self-care

The new year brings lots of opportunities, but it also comes with cold weather, grey days and the pressure of new challenges. Now is a good time to reflect on how to tackle the difficult days with some self-care strategies:

Register with a GP

It’s important to register with a local GP to ensure you can get an appointment in an emergency, and to get vaccinated against meningitis and measles.

Use self-care apps

The Headspace app is great for getting into meditation and mindfulness. Or you might want to check out the NHS list of digital tools to help you manage and improve your health.

Get an endorphin boost through exercise

How about braving the British weather and getting some exercise outside, maybe with a friend? It’s tempting to stay in, but getting out and active will have a positive effect on your mood by giving you an endorphin boost. Or, if the weather really is too bad to be outside, how about doing a Sport Brighton class?

We also run “Walk My Dog” throughout the year, which is a chance to take part in a guided walk in the countryside around your campus. Anyone who fancies a bit of fresh air is welcome to join. You can also bring along a friendly, well-behaved dog if you know any. Just ask your Student Support and Guidance Tutor when the next one is.

Here are some recommended walking resources:

Stay social

Brighton Students’ Union runs more than 100 societies for students, so why not see if you can find a society that you’ll enjoy being part of.

Swap resolutions for SMART goals

Resolutions can be a fantastic prompt for self-reflection and goal setting. However, it’s not uncommon for resolutions to fall by the wayside after a few weeks, leaving you feeling worse than before.

Instead, how about setting some SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable Realistic and Time-based – goals.

For example, you could commit to decluttering your home for 10 minutes every Sunday for two months to see if it makes your environment less hectic. Or you could switch off your mobile WIFI 30 minutes before bed every night to see if it improves your sleep.

By turning resolutions into SMART goals, you’re more likely to stick with them throughout the year.

Plan something positive

In January, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit deflated after the festive period. So it’s important to schedule in some positive things to look toward. They don’t need to be costly. You could plan a dinner or movie night with friends, a weekend away, or a catch up with a loved one. Having things to look forward to can keep you motivated during the gloomier days. Plus, you deserve it!!

Don’t ignore financial worries – talk to us

Surviving January, financially, can be difficult and stressful. The Student Advice Service can offer advice and help you get some clarity around any financial worries. Drop in to see them at your nearest Student Centre, follow their Money Matters advice blog, or email

Talk to your SSGT

Every school has a Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT) for you to talk to about anything impacting your university experience. Your SSGT can give you impartial and confidential information and advice, and can help you access more specialist support if needed.

Get further support

For further information, visit My Wellbeing. Alternatively, if you need a bit more help dealing with ongoing issues, you can get support on a range of issues from experienced staff in Student Services.

We hope these reminders and tips help a bit with starting back after the winter break. There’s plenty of support at the university, if you ever need to talk things through, and there’s no such thing as a silly question. So just pop into your nearest Student Centre or contact your SSGT and we will be happy to help.

Welcome back and we wish you a very happy 2019!

Marianne Halavage • 8 January 2019

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