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Struggling with the January blues? Learn to love the new year by embracing it as a chance to reenergise, relax and restore mind and body for the year ahead

Reenergise: embrace exercise

Long associated with releasing feelgood endorphins, reducing stress and anxiety and even helping you sleep better, exercise is exactly what we need in January. Not naturally inclined to fitness and squats and running? Turn it into something fun that you’ll look forward to by pairing up with an ‘accountability buddy’. Kickstart the new year with some fresh activewear (looking the part makes you feel the part) and then get creative with your workouts. Try brisk walks, gentle jogs or Pilates. Set small and achievable goals to keep yourself motivated. Most importantly, dial down the pressure and just enjoy it.

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Black funnel-neck fleece
The funnel neckline helps keep out draughts
Pink Merinotec crew-neck workout top
Made with sustainably sourced moisture-wicking fabric
Go Perform compression gym leggings
Leggings with clever compression technology
Goodmove black lace-up trainers
Go the extra mile with these running trainers

Relax: make time for yourself

After a season of excess, relaxing is key to beating the January blues. There’s a reason why animals hibernate throughout winter – we mammals have an instinct to curl up, get warm and preserve energy in the colder months. Though it’s not always possible to completely check out from work and the demands of everyday life, we can indulge in pockets of downtime. So make it a ritual. Appoint your favourite scented candles, run a bath with indulgent salts and soaks and envelop yourself in a snug dressing gown. Check out our guide to the ultimate cosy night in for more self-care tips.

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Apothecary Sleep bath salts
Lavender-infused salts for your evening bath
This Works Stress Check Breathe In rollerball
Roll on a stress-free night
Apothecary Calm scented candle
Sweet orange essential oils help relax the senses
White feather knit wrap
Choose a cosy wrap for cloud-like comfort
From £15

Refresh: get outdoors

There’s nothing more invigorating than a stroll in the fresh air. The hit of daylight ups your levels of serotonin (your body’s very own feelgood chemical) and vitamin D, which help boost your mood and immune system. It’s great for your mental health, and can help with seasonal affective disorder. Plus, one Japanese study found that ‘forest bathing’ (basically walking in woods) decreases levels of stress hormones and increases intracellular anti-cancer proteins. Wrap up warm to fully prep: stock up on base layers like women’s thermals, men’s thermals and kids’ thermals.

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Shop kids’ coats


Dark khaki feather and down belted puffer coat
Diamond quilting creates a smart look
Metallic Stormwear padded coat
Choose patterned, plain or metallic
From £16
Black men’s thermal long sleeve top
Maximum-warmth thermals keep him snug
Striped polo neck thermal top
Slip this polo-neck thermal underneath dresses

Rejuvenate: sleep better

Nearly half of adults in the UK admit they don’t get a decent night’s sleep; not great news when sleep has so many health benefits, from lowering stress to boosting our immune systems. A minimum of seven hours a night is recommended for an adult, so what do you do if you don’t feel like you’re getting enough? It could be your bedroom setup. Simple changes, from choosing the right pillow for your sleeping style to making sure you have the correct duvet for the time of year, all help. Another tip is practising good pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath filled with sleep-inducing essential oils – it’s said that the temperature drop our bodies experience when we get out of the bath mimics the natural cooling we experience when we’re ready to fall asleep. Clever.

Shop beauty & wellbeingOur secrets to sleeping better


Light pink cotton-rich percale duvet cover
Made from sumptuous cotton-rich fabric
From £12.50
M&S Apothecary Sleep reed diffuser
A perfectly chosen blend of essential oils
This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray
Nod off with a relaxing pillow mist
Kally Sleep anti-snore medium pillow
Ergonomically designed to help banish snoring

Replenish: eat yourself happy

After the indulgence of Christmas, a healthy diet is a great way to feel better come January – and it really doesn’t have to be complicated. “First, think about getting your five fruit and veg a day,” says M&S senior nutritionist Laura Street. “Choose wholegrains to add fibre and a source of protein every day. Keep it varied – choosing seasonal fruit and veg can be a great way to get lots of different vitamins and minerals.” During chilly winter months, vitamin D is also important. Look out for our special vitamin D mushrooms and bread enriched with vitamin D in store. Another easy step to making healthy choices is to pick foods with the Eat Well sunflower on the pack – it’s been developed by our in-house nutritionists with guidance from the British Nutrition Foundation, and “makes following a healthy diet easy and delicious,” says Laura.

Fresh food inspiration here
Discover Eat Well


Cream cast aluminium 3L casserole dish
Expertly made from high-performance aluminium
Joseph Joseph 2-piece food preparation set
Grate, store or serve veg with ease
From £15
OXO Good Grips vegetable chopper
A handy gadget for super-fast food prep
Microwaveable steamer
Cook veggies in minutes with a steamer

Words: Michelle Chai and Claire Askew

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