The January Blues – anyone else feeling them? Like a lot of people this week was my first week back at work after a long Christmas break full of big meals, duvet days and lie-ins, and it’s really kicked my ass. I have my birthday in January but it’s still my second most hated month of the year (first is February – it’s still bloody cold, and no birthday), so it can be hard to get through it without post-Christmas fatigue setting in. Here are the things I do to fend off the January Blues…
Make lots of plans
One of the nastiest quirks about January is that many of us get paid a week early in December, and therefore everyone’s a little bit more skint and fairly reluctant to go out in January. But after all the festivities and parties of December, you can’t just go cold turkey, or January will seem even more dreary and dull than it already is. Whether it’s dinners, coffees, cinema dates or trips to your local museums and galleries, make sure that your diary is stuffed with places to go and people to see! I’ve got 4 separate celebrations lined up just for my birthday, not that I’m being a birthday princess or anything…
Have hibernation days
Yes, I know this goes against everything I just said, but at doctors say, everything in moderation. I have spectacular family and friends who never fail to get me laughing and give me a warm, happy glow, but at the same time I’m a bit of an introvert so spending lots of time in social situations can really sap my energy. It’s important to get out, but it’s equally important to make time to recharge. Besides, there’s nothing more satisfying than listening to a storm raging outside and knowing that you don’t have to leave your duvet until long after it’s over.
Go for brunch
Ah, brunch. Brunch is my new weekend heaven. Brunch combines two of my favourite things; extravagant breakfast foods and not having to get out of bed at the crack of dawn to enjoy them. But above all, brunch is such a positive way to start your day. Instead of waking up late, shuffling to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea and spending half the day in your pyjamas, you wash your hair, put on a nice outfit, and enjoy a good old natter and some delicious food with some of your favourite people. Two of my current favourite brunch spots in Leeds are White’s Deli and Ox Club, but I have many more places to try out in 2016.
Find some inner calm
I often find it hard to clear my mind and switch off, and it’s always worst when I first go back to work after a break and have loads of new information ticking over in my brain. This is going to sound a bit douchey, but a few years ago I did a short stay at a Buddhist temple in Japan where we practised meditation several times a day, and it really does help you feel more balanced. Meditation is hard to stick at without any guidance, but I recently downloaded the Headspace app and their Take10 programme is really helping!
Clean out your room
Forget spring cleaning, January is the time to do a big clear out. You’ve just got loads of new stuff for Christmas and if you’re anything like me half of your presents are still sat in gift bags in a corner of your room because you don’t have anywhere to put them. I find it really hard to throw things away and therefore constantly live in semi-organised chaos, but the lack of storage space in my current flat means I’ll have to do a proper clear out, or leave my christmas presents sitting on the floor forever.
Make a photo album
With the rise of photo apps like Instagram and Snapchat we’re sharing our experiences more now than ever before, but when was the last time you printed out some photos and browsed through them, not to show them off to your social media followers but just for your own enjoyment? Last year I went on several trips and took so many photos, but now they’re just sitting in folders on my laptop. One of my January projects is to print off my favourite photos from 2015 and put them in a photo album, or possibly even make a scrapbook if I’m feeling crafty.
Get some fresh air
Yes it’s freezing cold, yes it’s raining practically every day at the moment, but that makes it all the more important to get outside when we get the odd dry day. I don’t know about you but being shut up inside day after day gives me serious cabin fever, and the only way to fix it is to layer up, grab your cosiest scarf and bobble hat, and get out in the great outdoors! I’m lucky enough to live close to the Yorkshire Dales, where there are plenty of beautiful places to get some fresh air in your lungs.
Book something to look forward to
Making exciting plans for the future is one of my favourite things to do – I can waste hours just browsing Skyscanner’s ‘Anywhere’ search and checking out travel site sales. Whether it’s a two-week holiday, a city break or even just a spa day, booking a trip to look forward to is a sure-fire way to make getting through January easier. If your plan happens to involve a beautiful beach or luxury hotel resort that you can print off a picture of and stick to your fridge, mirror or work computer, all the better!
Are you suffering from the January Blues? Comment below and tell me your survival tips!