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January in Toronto means grey days, freezing temperatures, and slushy streets. If you’re feeling down, you may be experiencing the dreaded post-holiday blues. We know you’d rather be lying on the beach in Turks & Caicos than back in the office, but the good news is that the blues are highly treatable (without leaving the city) — all it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to get off the couch.

Try a new workout

Exercise is proven to benefit physical and mental health and keep seasonal depression at bay. If you’ve dreamed of trying Yoga, HIIT, Kickboxing or Argentinian Tango, now is the time to start. Not only do many fitness classes begin their new sessions in January, but you may also be able to score a free trial as many gyms and fitness centres count on this time to attract new clients. Since getting fit is among the most popular New Year’s Resolutions, it’s also a great time to make a new workout buddy. And don’t let your motivation slide because of business travel or weekends away!

Consider a dry January

If you found yourself hitting the holiday cocktails a little too hard, consider jumping on the Dry January bandwagon. A month away from the booze can work wonders — not only can you look forward to better sleep and more energy, but you may also lose a few pounds and strengthen your immune system. And, of course, your pocketbook will thank you. If the idea of cutting out alcohol for a month makes you break into a sweat, consider recruiting a few friends to embark on the challenge with you. It’s easier to stay dry when you can plan social activities that don’t revolve around drinking.

Start meditating

If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your mood, this may be the answer. There’s extensive scientific evidence that shows meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves mental focus and clarity and may even make you a kinder person. If you’re interested in making meditation part of your daily routine, a number of new apps and online resources may help you get into your groove. Or you can keep it simple — all it takes is a couple of minutes, a quiet place to sit and some self-discipline.

Clean up

The holidays often mean excess — we eat too much, drink too much, spend too much. If you and your loved ones didn’t embark on a Minimalist Christmas this year, you may find yourself with a few extra pounds around your waistline and a house full of well-intentioned gifts that just don’t… spark joy. While regifting the ceramic rooster your Aunt Susan brought you from Portugal may cause a pang of guilt in the moment, you also don’t want to start off the year with a houseful of unused and unwanted items. Sort through your Christmas gifts and decide what can be donated, regifted, or even traded for something you do need. Even though you don’t want it, chances are somebody does.

These simple lifestyle hacks might be the answer to your post-Christmas blues. Try them all to get 2020 off to a happy beginning!

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