January, the first month of the year, otherwise known as the longest, most dreary, draggy, crappy month… unofficially of course.
This year January is particularly bleak for me, as I used approximately 91% of my wages immediately on saving to move, bills and train fare, leaving me with a pretty disgusting amount to for everything that didn’t come under the very tightly monitored category of ‘absolute basic necessities’.
Pair financial woes with dull weather, a lack of daylight, and friends who are also skint and it’s easy to see why for a lot of us January is just a bit, well, crap.
Today is officially the most depressing day of the year, otherwise known as blue Monday.
Be kind to yourself
Self care is about more than bath bombs, body lotions and a colouring book. It’s about being kinder to yourself. It’s about not beating yourself up because you made a mistake at work or said something awkward at the checkout or ate a bit of chocolate after a crappy day.
It’s about listening to what your body needs. This time of year is rife with ‘new year new me’ mottos, which is fabulous and a great excuse to change something you’ve always wanted to, but it can also be a time of restriction, about eating less, spending less, giving things up. Listen to your body, whether it needs a bubble bath, some fruit and veg, a long walk, a bar of chocolate, a duvet day.
I like to make a point of pampering myself more than usual in January. I make sure to fit in lots of evening baths, make sure to use the good razors, not crappy disposables (I use a Cornerstone one which is fab, and the blades can be delivered as a subscription so I don’t have to remember to go out and buy them. I’ve written about them before, you can find my review here). I like to moisturise properly, and make sure my skincare routine is on point.
Whilst a bubble bath and a candle aren’t the be all and end all of self care, sometimes it can be just what you need. Put down the phone you use to scroll social media and feel bad about your body/face/life/family/car/bank balance/hair/makeup/fashion sense/blog/personality. Put on your favourite songs, the ones that take you back to the nights out with your pals at 18. Use the expensive bath soak you never find a special enough time to use, you deserve it.
Let your thoughts run away with themselves. Find out where your mind takes you when you’re not days deep into the latest twitter spat – it might surprise you. Let the stresses of the day melt away, because believe me – everything seems more doable after a good bath and an even better night’s sleep.
The dark nights, for me anyway, equal hibernation – lots of blankets, hot chocolate and netflix, and well, not much of anything else really. The only thing I want to do after work is go home and get comfy, and that’s okay.
Because I spend my weeknights being boring cosy at home, I try to make plans at the weekend with my friends. I’m not talking meals out every weekend or a ton of partying, just make sure to schedule in some time for fun regardless of the lack of funds. It’s January, we’re all skint, but sometimes a night in with your friends, a cheap bottle of wine and a crap film is exactly what you need to make the month feel less bleak.
Those are a few ways I’m trying to enjoy January despite its gloomy air. How have you found January so far? How are you making it through the dark mornings and rainy evenings?