How’s your January shaping up?
I’m pretty thankful January is nearly over as we are starting to feel a bit like wading through treacle here. The kids never really got over their pre-Christmas tiredness and often refuse to get up because “it’s the middle of the night”. I know how they feel! Spring is coming but still seems like a long way off. January has a bad reputation and it’s easy to see why. We are still in the bleak mid-winter period but without any festive cheer to give us a lift.
I think that mid-winter is a time for hibernation and navigating through the cold weather and days of minimal sunlight. I think it’s about survival and coming through rested and clear-headed when spring arrives. Here’s what I’m doing here to make that happen…
Putting self-care at the top of my list.
Early nights, getting lost in a book, looking after my winter-dry skin and indulging in treats as a priority.
Being realistic about what I can achieve when I there’s minimal sunlight and warmth to energise me.
I’ll be honest with you, I wrote a list of 31 areas I wanted to de-clutter in January, one for each day. By Day 3 I was behind on the schedule and feeling pretty sad about it. The I ripped up the list and decided to focus on the areas that were causing me immediate pain – the food cupboard with 4 bags of opened pasta in, the overflowing toiletries basket, the toddler toys that the preschooler is no longer drawn to, the too-small clothes in the kids’ wardrobes. So, far I’ve tacked the toys and the wardrobes anyway…
Cutting others slack and not being the keeper of too high standards.
I do this in December – too tired for dance class? Ok, let’s skip it. Can’t face reading tonight? We’ll just catch up tomorrow. I’ve decided to employ that approach for the foreseeable future to be honest. This plan means the 3 year old has had her first trip to McDonalds instead of rushing home for something more nutritious after swimming lessons – she was pretty thrilled!
Spending time outside.
I try to do a weekly walk with a friend and it’s a blessing for getting fresh air and having a good chinwag too. I’m trying to get an average of 10,000 steps in a day in 2018. The long walk helps to add some extra steps to balance the more sedentary days.
I always hold back some festive social plans for January, I can’t bear an empty calendar and love the excuse to get dressed up again. It does take a bit of a push to get myself out on dark evenings though but I never regret it.
Lights, candles and all the sparkle.
We always keep some of our fairy lights up after Christmas and we’ve been making sure we light candles every evening too. Something about the twinkly lights and glowing flames really cheer me up on the dark evenings.
One of my favourite things about December is longer family meals, chatting and – sometimes – playing games afterwards. Now that our little one can sit still for longer, these occasions are becoming more joy and less strained. We light candles at dinner time too.
Soaking up signs of spring.
I’m not sure there’s a season so eagerly anticipated as spring! It’s still 2 months away but I’ve eagerly bought hyacinths and muscari for the house and their sweet scent beckon to light, warmer days…
I hope you are making it through January without too many blues or illnesses – lighter days will be here soon!
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About Hue Me Happy
Hue Me Happy is a happiness journal, memory jar and bright idea space. Written by Sian, a 40-something Mancunian living in north London. After, 15 years working in corporate marketing roles, I took a career break after the birth of my second daughter in 2014. I’ve been trying to regain a sense of calm, creative balance every since!