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You’re not imagining it: January always feels like it runs forever. Here’s why

Why does January feel like it’s been going on for a thousand years? Are we the only ones who feel like we’ve been stuck in this month forever? Well, turns out it’s not just you feeling this way – it’s a thing!

Many people find this very relatable phenomenon quite funny, hence the memes.

According to clinical psychologists Chloe Carmichael and Pauline Wallin, a combination of psychological factors and cold weather was causing this phenomenon.

Clinical Psychologist Wallin stated, “January also brings a return to mundane routines that can depress individuals.” This means that the sudden shift from festive holiday gatherings to work responsibilities creates a sense of emptiness that makes time feel like it’s standing still.

Similarly, the impact of weather, particularly the gloomy conditions that often accompany January, adds to this temporal puzzle, fueling the sense of emptiness to longing.

The cultural and societal pressure of New Year’s resolutions also contributes to the perception that January is a long and arduous month. Carmichael pointed out that some people feel a “sense of pressure regarding awareness of the passage of time since January is the start of a new year.” With this, it feels like carrying an extra burden of self-improvement on your shoulders, and it’s weighing you down.

So, what can we do about it?

Well, both Carmichael and Wallin advised slowly getting back into our usual routine. Thus, finding ways to combat the holiday blues by planning travels, communicating with loved ones, or simply by getting extra sleep. Importantly, easing the pressure of those New Year’s resolutions by taking things one step at a time. And who knows, maybe we’ll even start to enjoy this elongated January instead of dreading it.

So, as we push through, hoping that the end of this seemingly endless month is better. At least, we have now a better understanding of why January feels like it does.


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