I’ll admit, January and I have never really seen eye to eye. I resent the end of the Christmas season, and the return to the dull monotony of normal life, with a lighter purse and a thicker waistline. January, for me, has always been the darkest month, almost like a month of mourning post-Christmas – short, cold, gloomy days without the compensation of a festive atmosphere, and months to wait for spring and summer to bring the world to life once more. It seems to rain all the time, and all the work and problems I put on hold or pushed to the back of my mind over Christmas are coming back to bite.
The first post I ever did for this blog was January last year, and I thought it would be nice to post it again, with a little 2016 refresh. We can all do with a little positivity on a dark, cold Monday evening in January, and a gentle reminder that it isn’t all bad. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only seeing the things we dislike, and feel that they are overwhelming us, but a shift of focus to see the positives can make all the difference. December is a hard act to follow, but someone’s got to do it!
- A fresh start
This one’s pretty obvious, but it does feel good to have a clean slate.
- Hot baths
Though relaxing and rejuvenating all year round, they aren’t nearly so comforting or satisfying in the heat of summer, are they? I like to light scented candles, play music in the background, and put a few drops of natural oils like sweet almond oil or sandalwood into the water for beautiful scents and silky-soft skin.
- Snuggly jumpers, woolly hats and long socks
And pretty much all winter clothing. Warm, snuggly, baggy clothes are so much more comfortable – and aesthetically forgiving – than crop tops and shorts.
- Soups and stews
Winter food is just so warming and comforting!
Nothing radical, but it’s actually quite nice and restorative to eat a little cleaner and let your body recover after weeks of excess and overindulgence.
- The landscape
Rugged, wild and untamed. It’s exciting out there!
- Wintery walks
Linked to no. 7; wrap up warm and explore, it really is beautiful.
Not technically guaranteed, but even the possibility is quite exciting, isn’t it?
- Seasonal produce
It might be one of the coldest months but there is still a wealth of delicious and nutritious fruit and veg in season. I love root vegetables – they’re great roasted as healthier chips, or as a mash; cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato are delicious roasted in olive oil, spices and salt; and citrus fruits lend an exotic and summery flavour to the cold days.
- Fires crackling in the hearth
Possibly more a Dickensian ideal than a daily reality, but still counts.
- You can stay indoors all day and not feel guilty
- Lots of popular TV series return/begin in January!
Mr Selfridge, Endeavour, Death in Paradise, Ripper Street and War and Peace are just a few of the ones I’m excited about.
- It’s a good time to get fit
Gyms are doing reduced price membership, fancy workout gear is on sale, you have the motivation of it being a New Year and summer is ages away, so you can take it at a steady pace.
- Hot Chocolate
Get the best recipe here.
That’s my little list of things to be excited about in January – if you have any other suggestions add them in the comments below! K x