17 Ways for a Better January

It has reached that point in January when 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 hot 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. Or maybe an hour browsing in a bookshop works for you.  Tempting as it is to hide under the duvet, or just not leave the house. In January it is good to carve out the time to do things that make you feel good and 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.  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. I like one in the bedroom, it is the first thing I see in the morning.  Within a few days the flower opens delivering a lovely scent. Happiness in plant form.

Ideas to improve January, tips to survive and thrive the cold, grey days of January. Reminders that spring and summer are on their way.

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 a 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’ to find recommendations).
11. 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. The wonder of nature.
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 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.

Ideas to improve January, tips to survive and thrive the cold, grey days of January. Reminders that spring and summer are on their way.



  1. Ben

    Agree on being by the sea, we went on 2nd January for the first time in a long time and it was fantastic, you always feel better after a day at the sea, it’s like the strong wind blows all your worries away. We’ve both resolved to get to the coast more often this year.
    I like singing in the kitchen, we’ve got into a bit of a habit of putting on music after sunday dinner and having a dance around the kitchen with the kids. Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker is the current favourite.

    1. helloitsgemma

      Thanks for the comment, the sea does make a difference, especially in winter. Here’s hoping you get to the sea many times this year. I will seek out Wagon Wheel!

  2. Pingback: Lovely things February | Hello it's Gemma

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