I was very tempted to start this post with the classic ‘you would have to have been living under a rock to not have noticed…’ but I decided against it (while I do love brackets and the odd pun I think steering clear of classic cliches is a resolution for 2017 (potentially)). Anyway, getting back to the subject in hand, if you are a rock-dweller you may have missed that Monday 16th January 2017 was Blue Monday (judging from that website the cynic in me says that Blue Monday was a 2012 marketing invention). Regardless (whether you have a rather stony home or not) you probably are suffering a bit from the January blues.
Personally I love January. Probably due to the fact that not only was I born in it (and if that’s not justification for the occasional afternoon tea, what is?) but my big brother, my cousins, and my Uncle Dave were also born in January. There is a lot going on to keep the family going throughout the month.
But you might not be feeling quite the same way. I don’t even need to list the obvious (but I will anyway) that we’re all patiently waiting for payday, we’re on the Christmas comedown, the nights still seem dark and gloomy, and it is a long way until payday and the chance to buy something to lift the spirits. Oh I forgot that we might all be sticking to resolutions to give up smoking, chocolate, cheese, bread, beer, wine, alcohol, and trying to embrace a healthier way of living (admittedly it might currently be making us want to hit something rather than stick to it). And we might all need some sort of cheering up.
Be kind to yourself: sometimes it should be all about you
I think January is the perfect time to be kind to yourself (it is something that can be hard to do) and I feel a gift to yourself (self-gifting perhaps?) is one way to do exactly that.
Now, before I get into the details please don’t think I am trying to make light of depression or mental health in general. For those dealing with those issues I’m not the right person to give advice (obviously) but I would always lend an ear if someone needed me.
For those of us who are simply dealing with a bad case of the January blues (being in a funk or a bit of cabin fever) hopefully these self gift ideas will do something to add a bit of colour back. So, why not:
- Run a decadently hot bath and steam away the cobwebs?
- Plan a new walking route to discover something new in your lunch hour?
- ‘Borrow’ a book from your local coffee shop and immerse yourself in your favourite subject or author?
- Download a language app for free (a self gift for self improvement perhaps?)? Richard West-Soley is the ideal polyglot to turn to for this.
- Donate your time/clothing/unwanted items to charity to boost the soul and declutter your personal space at the same time?
- Make a list of wants/goals/challenges for 2017? And set about project managing them to success as well?
- Stick a pin in a map and choose a holiday/road trip/mini-break?
- Send someone a message (or pick up the phone) and let them know you are thinking about them?
- Experiment with a new genre of music and dance the blues away?
- Bake biscuits, cakes, muffins, donuts, pastries and take them into the office to share the calories?
- Try a new workout for free every day on YouTube and get the endorphins going (be kind to yourself if it isn’t every day you do it though!)?
January can be quite relentless with the return to work and what feels like a slog until pay day. It is always important to self gift (this is starting to sound wrong to me now) and be kind to yourself (something that is easily forgotten).
Why not chase away the January blues and set a resolution to just take a little bit of time for yourself now and again (whether it is simply sitting down with a strong brew and nothing else for a few minutes to reboot and recharge), you never know, it might be the one resolution that you manage to keep all year?