Fixing the January Blues

I really hate January for a number of reasons. Most people take down the pretty decorative lights, most people hibernate and so the invitations to dinners and parties fizzle out and money is tighter than my trousers post-Christmas.

This year I have a funeral to attend, our car is off the road waiting for vital work and the weather is really rubbish.

I don't mind crisp icy days and snowy days, especially if the schools close and we have an excuse to stay in PJs or go sledging then drink hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows.

I loathe damp, drizzly "meh" days and in the Home Counties that seems to be what we have mostly had recently.

Luckily after years of experiencing "Sad January" I have learned what gets me through. Here are my top 5 tips for coping:

  1. Friends. Meals, wine even coffee with friends really helps combat my winter gloom. Last year I was feeling the financial pinch particularly badly and so avoided inviting people round as I felt I couldn't afford to host. This year a group of us in the village have realised its more about the company that the menu so we've already got together a few times.
  2. Laughter.  This often comes as a natural bonus to the get-togethers but even if you can't drag together a comedic crowd there are always TV show, movies, podcasts, blogs and radio shows to raise a smile on a grim day.
  3. Food. OK so this might not work for everyone but personally I'm happy to trade a few lbs of added weight for comfort food. I adore roast dinners, pies and crisps to add to the fun at the meet-ups with friends. Exercise is a great mood-lifter for most people so maybe add in a few extra walks or a bike ride or two to counteract the extra calories. I'll be here minding the cookies until you get back,
  4. R&R. December can be hectic and exhausting plus January seems to be peak season for colds, flu and stomach flu bugs. Make the most of the dark evenings to get in a few early nights and use the dreary, drizzly days to indulge in a box set binge or some other relaxing activity.
  5. Plans. Make sure you have something to look forward to even if that's just a cheap Air BNB overnight stay somewhere or a night out. If you can afford to make a holiday booking that is a great way to dispel the January blues, or maybe you fancy a festival. I've booked a bargain coach trip with good pals to a Christmas Market in Bruges for December and we are already looking forward to it. Im also hoping for a little winter sun in Cyprus in February although knowing my luck it'll probably rain the whole time I am there visiting my mum.
So there we have it. My guide to dragging as much happiness into the worst month of the year (IMHOP).

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