Lets face it, January can be a pretty bleak month. The days are short, the weather is grey, the excitement and fairy lights of Christmas seem a very long time ago, and it seems even longer until payday. January also just seems so long, dragging out the days and feeling as though spring will never arrive.
So you have two choices: sit around hating January and feeling poor, fat and fed up, or realise that we all have an extremely limited time on this planet, and we need to seize the day and make it count, and other inspirational quotes.
Im not going to advocate getting up at 4am and running 20 miles in the snow (unless thats your thing, in which case go for your life, I salute you from beneath my duvet), but there are little things you can do to make January more bearable, and make you less inclined to simply sit and stare at your wall until April.
- Get outside
This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do at this time of year. Yes, it seems counter intuitive; it’s bloody freezing out there and rains 5 days out of 7. it’s dark when you go to work, dark when you get home, and grey in between. But just trust me on this. Wrap up warm, grab a dog (probably ask permission first if it’s not yours; cute as they are, I’m not advocating dognapping) and just get some fresh air. Your Vitamin D level will improve (slightly; lets face it, theres not much sun), and you have a chance to blow away the cobwebs and move your body, and you will be surprised how much your mood improves from being cooped up in an artificially warm, central heated house in front of a screen
2. Get organised
It sounds like a cliche, and anyone who has followed me for a while will know I dislike New Years Resolutions on principle, but January is an excuse to treat yourself to some hideously overpriced but gorgeous stationary, and get thongs sorted. Physically write down all of your appointments; this helps to cement them in your brain in a way which putting them on your phone doesn’t. Don’t just include boring stuff like bills and MOT’s, schedule in some quality ‘me time’, and stick to it. Whether you go for a walk, indulge in a bath, play a video game or meet your friends, treat yourself like an appointment, and put it in the diary so you can’t ignore it.
3. Set some goals
Look to a life beyond January: what do you want to be doing this time next year? The same thing? In which case focus on what is making you happy and keep doing it! Something different? In which case how can you get there? What baby steps can you take to achieve that? It might be tiny – finally get to the end of a book, or something huge – in a new job, location, country…everything can be broken into smaller steps to make it seem more achievable. Set a year, 6 month, month and weekly goals to make it seem manageable.
4. Create things to look forward to
Which Christmas over, it can be easy to see nothing exciting in the future in January. So be proactive, and create things you are looking forward to. Make plans with friends and loved ones – “we must go to the cinema next week and see that film!” “Lets all go to yours for wine and movie night next Thursday!” “Want to come over one day and slob about and pretend we’re teenagers with no responsibility and eat potato smilies in our PJ’s?” Make it a date, and give yourself exciting things to look forward to to break the routine.
5. Get a head start on your spring clean
Use the days stuck inside to get your shit together. If you have to be in the house and have run out of things to do, start a serious declutter ready for the spring. Look out clothes, shoes, books, nick racks, that thing you had to have and have never used…create space in your home, allow it to breathe. It sounds boring, but you’d be surprised how much an organised environment, filled only with things you need or love, can boost your productivity and mood.
6. Finally binge watch that show, or start that book
If all else fails, head to Netflix, turn to Episode 1 of that show you’ve been meaning to watch, pick up and open the book that’s been on your stack for months, snuggle down under a cosy blanket, and enjoy it. After all, soon you’ll be worrying about bikini bodies (that’s another post!) and moaning that it is too nice a day to waste inside in front of the TV…so make the most of it while you can, and embrace the comfort.
Happy January guys, we can make it through!