Let’s be honest, most of us find January a drag. After the excitement of Christmas and the boost of the whole “New Year: New Me”, things get pretty slow, pretty grey and pretty damn dull. Even for me and it’s my birthday month. It is easy to see why the January Blues have become such a prominent thing these days. So how do you beat the January Blues and live a happy, vaguely productive month?
Make Lists is one of my biggest issues with January is there just seems to be so much to do. I would have thought that with the Christmas madness over it would all calm down, and in some ways it does. But in others it is busier than ever. Without the festivities I feel a greater pressure to get the cleaning done, writing done and to have my menu plan on point. This is to name just a few things, and I don’t feel like I have the busy excuses December offers.
Lists are my friends (I’m just that cool). They can help break down any job into much smaller more manageable pieces which removes the sense of overwhelm and also means I can easily tick off and track my progress as I go. A bit like an adult star chart; it can be very motivating.
A Clean House
Personally, I find a clean house is a happy house, and if it is a happy house it is more likely to be a productive house. There is nothing like sitting down to write in a clean and tidy home, or to start cooking for that matter. Really, doing anything in a clean house is better. I’m not talking going all Marie Kondo on the house. I haven’t yet jumped on that bandwagon because I am still working my way through my other January to-do lists (although I intend to jumping on the Kondo train in February).
I would highly recommend giving The Organised Mum Method a go. Gemma breaks down all the cleaning chores into half an hour jobs each day. Seriously just half an hour a day and your house will be immaculate. After you have boot-camped of course, which is Gemma’s own personal Kondo method.
Take a chance to relax. Even if it is only for five minutes, make sure you take a little time for yourself each day. This can be reading, having a hot bath (without a child audience) or sitting in front of daytime TV with a hot cup of tea. Whatever your method take some time and relax. And do not let that guilt creep in about doing it. We are all guilty of burning ourselves out, so in the interest of a “New Year: New Me” make the Me part important.
Get Some Fresh Air
Yep, it is pretty damn cold, so wrap up warm. But go and get that fresh air. Take a twenty minute walk and fill those lungs. You don’t need to have a cardio workout to feel refreshed and awake, just let that air blow away the cobwebs of the mind. Maybe even listen to a podcast or audio book as you walk. Perhaps you can even coincide this with some quality time with your partner or children (Bahahaha… Yeah I know I just said that… But maybe, right?).
Buy Yourself Some Flowers
Go on, treat yourself. Flowers really brighten up any room and especially during the grey January days. They don’t even have to be expensive. I picked up a beautiful bunch of tulips for £2 the other day and soon all the daffodils will be in the shops and they can be even cheaper (and brighter). If flowers really aren’t your thing then get yourself some chocolates or a little cake. I know many of us are on diets after the Festive Binge but sometimes denying yourself all treats can be more detrimental than allowing yourself a small bar of chocolate on occasion.
I am usually very good at staying productive during January but this year I have really struggled. Over the past couple of weeks I have been doing all these things and now, after a couple of months of not writing anything and avoiding all but essential jobs and errands, I am finally finding my mojo again. All of these methods have really helped me find my positive. I would love to know what helps you?
I feel it is really important to add that these things will help anyone and everyone but if you feel genuinely depressed, not just a little blue or unmotivated, then please do go and get some professional help. No one needs to suffer alone or in silence.
Happy New Year to you all, I hope your January is more happy and productive than before reading this. And if not, there is always February where we can start again.