There is no getting away from the fact that January can be a dull old month. In fact the dullest old month of them all. But actually, I’ve learnt that the only way to survive the bleakest month of the year is to actually embrace it.
Instead of feeling down that it hasn’t got light all day, use it as an excuse to light your favourite candles. Give yourself the afternoon to hunker down under a big blanket with a purring cat for company. Wrap up warm and go out for a long brisk walk with a coffee to go.
I can never for the life of me understand why come January, so many people insist on punishing themselves by going on ridiculous diets or starting gruelling exercise regimes. I honestly can’t think of a worse time to start. For one thing, I don’t know about you but we are still drowning in Lindt reindeers and Christmas cheese on 1st January? But then again, I am not a new year’s resolution kind of person.
I don’t really get the whole ‘new year new you’ nonsense. I mostly like the way I am thanks and if I want to change something then I tend to do it throughout the year because I want to, not because the calendar dictates so. And to those of you that have already fallen off the diet/exercise/dry wagon, please don’t be too hard on yourself. You probably went wrong by starting out in the hardest month of the year that’s all. January of all months should be the time when we are kind to ourselves.
If I’m being honest my instincts tell me to curl up in a ball and hibernate until January is over. But I’ve learnt that unfortunately, that’s not really an option unless you are a real live bear or something. So instead I’ve taught myself to find my own sunshine. I go out of my way to make January a happy month and do you know what? It kind of works.
For me, it is all about finding happiness in the little things. Little things like finding the dress I had my eye on is now in the sale, or treating myself to some flowers with the weekly food shop. Giving myself the afternoon off to watch The Affair with crumpets and a bucket of tea or sneaking out for tea and cake. Spending time in the kitchen to go back to basics with proper comfort food like lasagne, roast dinners, stew and dumplings. There really is no greater pleasure than us sitting down to eat dinner as a family every night.
When you think about it January gets quite a bum deal, doesn’t it? Imagine having to follow in the footsteps of December with all her sparkle and joy? Tough gig. And just to make it even worse, everywhere you look, you are either being told that January is all about punishment for daring to enjoy the weeks that came before or it is being pronounced as the dullest month of all. Yeah, guilty as charged on the latter. Sorry about that.
But maybe it’s time to rethink January? We might sometimes forget to look for our own sunshine but it’s there under the gloom if you look really hard. Promise.