We’d like to say January gets a bad rep, but we have to say, the start of the year is arguably the worst.
A clean slate always feels good when the ball drops at midnight, but then the month begins and you’re suddenly back at work with a severely depleted bank account, some extra pounds around your waistline and a severe case of the January blues.
January is also tarnished with transport failures, icy roads and a depressing lack of social plans – so it’s no wonder many of us are down in the dumps.
That being said, there are ways you can make January feel less of a slog. Try a few of these tips to turn around the start of the year…
1. Have a big clean
OK, so the cleaning itself isn’t very fun, but there’s nothing more satisfying than giving your space a refresh. Take a feather duster and some antibacterial spray to your home’s trouble spots, sell or donate items you haven’t used in the last year, and use this time to tick off any DIY projects you’ve been putting off. It’s amazing how much lighter and happier you can feel having swept away all that grime and clutter.
2. Spend your weekends outdoors
A brisk walk in nature is a great way to boost your mood and shake off bad vibes. In fact, studies have found that spending just 20 minutes in greenery is enough to improve your wellbeing.
You don’t need loads of money to enjoy the outdoors either. Even if you don’t have the budget to book an overnight stay somewhere remote, simply getting out into your local park can do wonders for your mental health.
3. Try a new hobby
If you’ve decided to take part in Dry January, a new hobby is a great way to fill up all that extra time you have on your hands, now you’re no longer meeting up with friends at the pub.
Take up crafting, join a painting class or finally learn an instrument. Or why not try making jam, learning to dance or launching your own podcast?
4. Go for a spa weekend
When it’s dark and cold outside, what you really need is a little bit of self-care. A spa retreat is a great way to recharge your batteries, and who can resist a hot stone massage?
If you’re on a tight budget, treating yourself to some nice toiletries and running yourself regular hot baths is just as therapeutic, and can make those dark, damp evenings a lot more uplifting.
5. Set yourself a reading challenge
January is a quiet time of year, which means you can get stuck into a good book without feeling guilty that you should be doing something else.
To get you started, find out more about our suggested titles to kick off the new Winter 2020 Silversurfers Book Club Season…
You could try and read all the books on the hottly tipped best sellers list likely to make waves in the book world next year, revisit an old favourite, or even start a book club with your mates. Getting lost in a fictional world on the sofa is a cathartic way to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon.
6. Get the endorphins pumping
Getting your body moving helps release endorphins which can combat stress and put you on a feel-good high. Studies have found that exercise can improve sleep, lower anxiety and reduce symptoms of depression – so there are plenty of great reasons to get stuck into a class.
If treadmill running and bootcamp fitness are your idea of hell, try and branch out into something else – like rock climbing, rollerblading or ballet dancing. As with most things in life, the trick is finding the niche that works for you.