Doesn’t Christmas already feel like a distant memory? The skies are grey, the credit card bill is high and January feels like the longest month of the year! With little to look forward to, news reports have us believing that the third Monday of the month is the gloomiest day of the year, when we will be feeling incredibly dreary and ‘blue’.
So how can we lift ourselves out of the fog? How can we lighten the mood, and beat the January blues this year? Well, I’ve put together some of my top tips for fighting the drudgery and giving ourselves something to look forward to…
#1 Ditch the Diet
Whilst many of us make New Year Resolutions, it’s well known that they are incredibly hard to stick to and by February we have fallen off the wagon or ditched the diet in favour of a glass of wine and our favourite take out. So why put yourself under that pressure? If you join a gym and then find you only turn up 3 times in a whole year, don’t do it again then next January. Give yourself a break. Make some ‘mid-year’ resolutions instead when you’re feeling more motivated and energised.
#2 Energise Yourself
Talking of exercising and going to the gym, whilst that isn’t always the best kind of resolution to make at this time of year, getting outdoors and doing a little exercise is a great way to fight that glum feeling. With sunshine levels at their lowest this month, it’s all too easy to stay indoors, snuggled on the sofa watching your favourite box set. Outside it can be cold, wet and windy (and sometimes even snowy) but a brisk walk can clear the mind and reduce your stress levels. You might even burn off a few calories, so that’s got to be worth it, right?
#3 Plan a Holiday
Okay, so maybe you still have a few bills to pay following your Christmas spending, but there’s no harm in looking for a holiday! Get yourself out to the travel agent and pick up a few holiday brochures and start dreaming, even if it’s for next year. More than anything it gives your mind focus – something that many of us lack at this time of the year – and helps you look forward rather than dwelling on the current. Better still, if funds allow, get yourself off to some winter sun or take a skiing trip with family and friends to really blow away the January cobwebs!
#4 Do Some DIY
It may not sound too exciting, but why not plan some decorating, do a room redesign or go large, and plan a whole renovation? As you know, we’ve got loads of great DIY and renovation tips on this blog – have you seen our DIY Plant Pots tutorial? You don’t necessarily have to pick up the paintbrush this month, although the activity and focus would be good, but making plans and looking forward with ideas for later in the year is a great way to lift your mood. And you never know, this could be the time you come up with your best work!
#5 Take Up a Hobby
I mentioned it’s not always a great time to make resolutions, but what about taking up a hobby or learning a new skill? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, or teach yourself piano, or cook a few new recipes. Why not give it a go now! Focusing your mind on something fun and creative will definitely help you feel brighter about the time of year, so why not try it out.
January is a great month for all kinds of reasons. After the hustle and bustle of Christmas it allows us an opportunity to reflect and plan for the coming year. Taking on some of my recommendations and retaining a positive frame of mind will easily banish the January blues. With a little determination we can find pleasure in the dreariest of days!