January. Who’d have it? Can’t we just skip it in the calendar year and head straight from the day after New Year’s Day (to give the hangover a chance) and straight to February?
You see, the thing about January is that is has nothing going for it. It’s like an under-achieving student whose meeting with the career guidance counsellor is going like this:
“Your pal Christmas pulled out all the stops to pitch itself at the top of the class rather successfully. It offered us mulled wine, presents and the opportunity to stuff vegetables and bread crumbs up a turkey’s arse. February isn’t doing too shabby either – it does it’s best with Swarovski-encrusted underpants and the likelihood that your four-year-old will send you a soppy card about how much they love you. You, on the other hand, are a disappointing underachiever. All you have to say for yourself is ‘start eating horseradishes and get thee to the gym’. You are expelled, January”.
While I normally power through January, rebelling against all resolutions by emptying the house (via my gob) of all booze and sugary foods.. I just fucking hate it this year.
In saying that, I am doing my best to be kind to myself during this feud with the first month of the year by attempting the following;
Yes, yes, everyone says get outside for some exercise and fresh air when you’re feeling a bit shit. But when you ARE feeling a bit shit, it can be hard to get out for a walk. So let’s call it what it really is; look your dog in the eye and feel guilty about not walking them enough and reluctantly bundle up to go for a walk around the block every evening. You might be a bit allergic to it but it will definitely helping your mood, I swear.
Get into bed as soon as you absolutely can and sleep it off. Having the January Blues can leave you feeling all kinds of exhausted so add at least an hour onto your usual routine – you need it.
‘Better Out Than In’ is my motto – there is nothing wrong with having a good cry so release some of that sadness or moodiness if you want to. I always squeeze out a few tears over a really powerful song that means something to me so will get the earphones on when I need to have a little tear to myself.
Dancing with the kids to fun music always makes me feel better so we are listening to the Trolls soundtrack daily and are having a good boogie.
5. Kissing and Hugging
Having small kids around when you’re not feeling yourself is brilliant because they just love giving their parents hugs and kisses. Every now and then I just pack in the organising/cleaning/cooking malarkey, get to the couch and demand hug parties. They really work.
I have been listening to the Mortified! podcast when I’m out walking and it is really making me guffaw at the old diary entries that people are reading out. It just makes you forget yourself for a few minutes and releases some of that tension or anxiety.
7. Being Quiet
I’m normally talking and organising and texting and rounding up and chattering and discussing and planning and generally being hyperactive all the time, so at the moment, I’m just being quiet. I’m reading books, I’m taking time out to myself, I’m sorting through paperwork and I’m turning down events that require me to be too social at a time when I don’t feel like it. Peace and quiet is rather lovely.
8. Talking it through
The best thing for anyone to do who is having a hard time is talk to someone they can trust about it. Even if they are letting that person know that they just need a bit of quiet time to themselves at the moment, at least that person can keep an eye out for them. And when the blues lift – WHICH THEY WILL – you and that lovely person you confided in can head out for a pint or a hike or a big piece of cake and you can laugh about how January got expelled from school for being SUCH a pain in the hole.
*We hope January is being kind to you. If not, please look after yourselves as much as you can or talk to someone if you feel too overwhelmed. Loads of people love you, including us, so remember that!*