Tips and hints for staying healthy in January from Rugby League Cares

Loads of us feel pretty grotty in January; we’ve over-indulged on food and drink, spent far too much money, and cold, dark mornings and nights are rubbing us up the wrong way.

So, it’s more important than ever to look after our mental fitness at this time of year. Here is a Set of 6 from the Rugby League Cares Offload programme to get you started:
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Plan something fun – get something in your diary that you are looking forward to! It doesn’t have to be expensive or crazy, but it should make you crack out into a smile when you think about it!

How about catching up with a friend over a cuppa? Going to see a new film at the cinema? Getting stuck into an old hobby again? Or… making sure you have your tickets bought for the first few games of the new season?

Sweat it out – All the players are currently in the middle of gruelling pre-season fitness regimes, but exercise can do more for us than just getting us ‘match ready’. Exercising releases the happy hormone serotonin which boosts our mood. We’re not saying you must start marathon training, just try moving a bit more and pushing your body slightly harder than you have previously!

Fuel your body in the right way – eating the right foods can be a great pick me up when you are feeling a bit low. Try eating a more balanced diet this month, with plenty of fruit, veg and protein. Some great seasonal veg is really cheap at the moment and can help you feel much better about yourself. Real mood boosting foods include Salmon (full of omega-3 which boosts your brain), bananas (full of good energy) and lentils kidney beans and chickpeas which help stabilise your blood sugar to prevent mid-afternoon sugar crashes!

Give something back – giving back or doing something for someone else’s benefit automatically makes us feel better about ourselves. How about taking those left-over biscuits or mince pies down to a foodbank? Or offering to volunteer down at the club over the next few months? You’ll be really surprised at how much better it makes you feel.

Spend time with your team mates – whoever they are; friends, family, Offload mates, work colleagues, lads down the pub, old school mates – touch base with them and catch up on what you have both been up to. Having a bit of banter and spending time connecting to others can really lift your mood. Plan it in, make sure you don’t find an excuse to cancel, and enjoy yourself.

Take notice of all the great things happening for you right now – there will be lots of things, we just sometimes push them to the back of our minds. Think about the good things happening for you; whether it is that you’re in a stable job, or your relationships good, or your team scored at the weekend, or your street is looking tidy, or your new neighbours are great. Whatever it is, notice it, write it down and if you feel a bit pants, read it through to remind you of the good things you’ve got going on right now.

Lastly, remember if it does get too much, or you’re struggling to pick yourself up, drop Offload a line at and we’ll be in touch: we’re here, we know how rubbish this month can feel, and we will make sure we get through it together.