It has reached that point in January where it is officially a bit tough; “blue Monday” – the most depressing day of the year. As an antidote, I’ve gathered some ideas to improve January. To make it kinder. Some would fill a day; taking a long walk or visiting the sea. Others are quick fixes; a new lipstick or long bath. Things that spark a little joy. Pep you up a little. Don’t just survive the month, thrive in January. For some people, a long walk relaxes and clears the mind, for other’s that it is the perfect ‘hell’. An hour in a bookshop or by a fire in a pub suits may suit you better. Tempting as it is to hide under the duvet, or just not leave the house. In January it is good to carve out time, to do things that make you feel good, revive the soul. What ever makes January a little better.
Maybe, January is the month you love, please leave me a comment and let me know why, or tell me your best tips for surviving cold days.
There are signs of spring, in January florists, and greengrocers, sell hyacinths. Near me small pots of indoor hyacinths sell for a couple of pounds. Pop them in a pot, at home. I like one in the bedroom, the first thing I see in the morning. Within a few days the flower opens, delivering a lovely scent. Happiness in plant form.
17 ideas for improving January
1. Buy spring potted flowers, there are some care tips for hyacinths and indoor bulbs here.
2. Sort out a cupboard or a drawer, always satisfying.
3. Spend an hour browsing in a bookshop, many have sofa and are happy for you to spend time getting lost in books.
4. Watch a Ted talk, Alison recommends some good ones here to help ‘win at life’
5. There is a joy in ‘growing your own’. Watching tiny leaves, push through soil. January is the time to sow seed indoors for early crops eg: lettuces, cauliflowers, spinach, salad onions and turnips.
6. Make soup, easy and delicious; root vegetable soup.
7. Buy a new lipstick. Sali Hughes (and me) recommend Rimmel, Kate Moss 15th Anniversary collect, inexpensive and good.
8. A long hot bath, with a Lush bath bomb.
9. Ramble, a proper country walk, find a walk or a walking group with the Ramblers association.
10. Stop at a pub with a real fire (google a place name and ‘pub real fire, the are loads of lists on-line).
11. If you’ve been for a long walk or not – winter is made for home made puddings; Bread and butter pudding.
12. Create a travel wish-list board on Pinterest and plan for summer. My Cornwall board reminds me of sunny days.
13. Watch starlings. The birds gather in large numbers in January and fly in formations called a murmuration. Nature’s wonders.
14. Connect with water, walk by a river, visit the sea, there is something wonderful about the emptiness of beaches in winter. I find the vastness of the sea gives life a bit of a re-balance.
15. Take yourself out of your comfort zone: Register with Meet ups and meet new people.
16. A change of scene. I’m writing this in a cafe I’ve never visited before, trying a new tea, checking out a whole new world of cake and enjoying some different background tunes (currently Aretha Franklin).
17. Play music loudly and sing. I suggest Aretha Franklin.