As a month January is given a hard time. If we are honest with ourselves it is just another month. 31 days no different than any other. Yet it seems that little bit colder, darker, bleaker. The excitement from Christmas has gone, the social activities have died down, money is a bit tighter and we are all really trying to be a little bit healthier than we were over Christmas. With money having to stretch an extra week and everyone taking a mini-hibernation, it can feel there is no joy in January. These are the little things I have done to help me through the most miserable month.
Talk to friends –There is a good chance if you need a bit of a mood boost a friend does too. Use January to get in touch with friends you haven’t spoken to in a while or reach out to that friend who is always sure to make you feel better. Arrange to meet up, January can feel pretty isolating after all the gatherings in December.
Do something non ‘January ish’ – This January I have tried to fill my diary with things I would usually avoid at the beginning of the year such as going out for meals, going out for drinks, or taking trips away. All these things have given me things to look forward to and made the month feel normal and fun.
Set easy goals – Blue Monday gets it’s name because it is usually the point everyone feels the pennies are dwindling, Christmas is long gone, the healthy eating is boring and we have begun to give up on our New Years Resolutions. This year I set myself little monthly aims with the help of my diary to achieve throughout January, such as reading before work, having a healthy breakfast, starting the day with green tea and making sure I could run so many miles in half an hour.
Treat yourself – For many of us, we feel we really have to throttle back spending in January because December was a little bit too extravagant but denying yourself things only makes you feel worse. Put a bit of money aside for treats and let yourself have them, I don’t know who doesn’t feel better when a parcel lands on the door step?
the whole bar of giant Toblerone chocolate if I want to – Whilst January is a good opportunity to start being a little healthier, being super strict and not letting yourself eat anything ‘naughty’ isn’t going to help your mood. I know often many of us can feel guilty if we have a treat when we are trying to be healthy. For one, don’t feel guilty, you will never stick to a healthy eating plan. Secondly, find a middle food where you feel as though you are enjoying a treat without feeling as though you have ruined your whole diet.
Start a project – Apart from the ‘new year new me’ we rarely start a new project at the beginning of January or book anything exciting. Although planning and revamping the kitchen has been a huge amount of stress this month it has given me something to focus on and it made January feel rather exciting. Ticking off such a big project so early in the year feels great even if there have been a few tears.
A cup of tea can help many things – The biggest thing I remembered in January is that a cup of tea can help a lot. (Easy to say when the kettle is covered in paint and dust from the builders and there are no clean mugs). Often we can feel a little bit down about things, but I try to sit down with a cup of tea and mull it all over and it really can do wonders.