Of all the months in the year, January always feels like an unwanted guest at a party.
Nobody looks forward to it arriving, and when it does appear we try to ignore it as much as possible in the vain hope that it leaves as quickly as it arrived.
Blame it on ‘blue Monday’ or the fact that our purse strings and waistlines are all a little tighter, but January really does have the worst reputation.
As a society, we’ve become accustomed to associating January with back-to-work dread, restrictive diet regimes that make us all miserable, and grey rainy days that make us want to curl back under the sheets and emerge when sunnier times arrive.
After spending an entire month rejoicing and celebrating life with our loved ones, gorging on our favourite foods and breaking off the shackles of routine, it’s no surprise that we all feel sorry for ourselves when January comes around. It’s the ugly sister that has to make an entrance after the sparkling Cinderella has wooed us.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. If we applied the same zest for life that we all put into making December memorable, then perhaps January wouldn’t seem like such a drag.
I know we all come up with the excuse that ‘everything costs money’, but doing fun things doesn’t actually have to cost money, and we shouldn’t leave making plans with family and friends to the season of goodwill. We do have another 364 days that can do this too.
In a bid to banish the January blues I’ve created the below list to get you feeling merry again and full of life once again. I know we can’t completely replicate the joy of December, but at least we can give it a good bash and set the year off to a positive start.
Walk it off
We all seem quite happy accepting the traditional ‘boxing day’ walk without so much as a complaint. Despite the rain, the wind or the nail biting cold, we rally the family together to get outside and walk off the gluttony that’s occurred.
Fast-forward the act a few weeks, and we look at the great outdoors as though it’s ridden with the plague. Choosing instead to hideaway and glue ourselves to the latest offering on Netflix.
But getting outside with friends and family, can be great for the soul, and give you the opportunity to socialise with your loved ones without any cost or pressure.
Throw on your wellies, take a long a good old flask of your favourite hot beverage, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon of free fun.
Make a friend date
If you’re anything like me, in the past you’ve probably filled the festive period with lots of friend dates and then not seen them for a good few months afterwards.
Not because they’ve offended you in anyway or given you a crap Christmas present, but because we all get caught up in life and busy ourselves. And before we even know it, months have passed.
I decided to change this, and rather than doing extravagant events all the time, I simply meet up with a few of my friends over a drink at once a month at a local coffee shop.
It costs me £3.00 every month. It doesn’t break the bank, and I get to have some quality catch-up time with my friends. Simple, but so much more achievable than attempting to organise a girlie holiday or a spa day.
Have a one dish dinner party
Food is by far my favourite thing about the festive season, and this year I’ve banned the word diet from my vocabulary because I believe we shouldn’t keep making ourselves so miserable by removing all the things that make us happy.
Dinner parties are always a fabulous affair in December, and it seems tradition to create enough courses and canapés to feed a small village for a week. Even when you just have a couple of friends over.
But rather than remove the joy of fine foods and inspiring conversation, why not bring together your friends still, but enlist everyone to bring one dish each.
That way you’ll still have a banquet to enjoy, and it reduces the cost for everyone involved.
Get life listed
There is fun to be found even in the ordinary, and I’m a strong believer that we don’t need bucket loads of cash and unlimited time to find some fun.
Last year I discovered Danny Dover’s Life Listed, and my months have remained interesting since.
Danny sends you one simple email newsletter every month of things that you can try. Sometimes it’s weird and wonderful like, clean your feet in the bath, and sometimes it’s totally inspiring like finding a local project that you can volunteer at.
Give it a go here, and open yourself up to a more curious world.
Organise some fun
I’m aware that I’ve written this blog a little late in the month, but if you really cannot find the motivation to get your positive pants back on, why not just start planning in all the fun things you want to do this year. That way each month you’ll have something to look forward to. I’ve already fully booked out my March, July and September. I just have a few months to work on.
The fun doesn’t stop once the clock chimes on new years’ eve, so make the most of all your time, and not just the one that’s marked in the calendar.
If you’ve got a tip for rejuvenating January comment below!