Today, Blue Monday, is traditionally the most depressing day of the year and the winter blues have well and truly kicked in by now. Once Christmas is over and done with I am that person who automatically expects it to be Spring and am always a little disappointed when January doesn’t greet me with radiant sunshine and birdsong. But rather than wishing away the days, looking to Spring, I’m trying to enjoy every month for what it is. And as always I am a big believer in simple things and little treats to get me through.
Treat yourself to fresh flowers and a coffee – or if you can’t stretch to that, make a hot drink in a carry mug, go for a walk and forage some nice greenery and wild flowers.
Wear red lipstick – in fact anything red. I always surprise myself with how much red lipstick instantly brightens both my face and my mood. I’ve heard really good things about Urban Decay lipsticks and Elizabeth Arden reds but good old Topshop and M&S is a good place to start too. And if you can’t be bothered to do your hair and makeup, a swipe of lippie will look like you’ve made an effort even if you haven’t.
Likewise, I’m feeling drawn to red a lot at the moment. Maybe it’s a hangover from Christmas but I’m hankering for red shoes and have also treated myself to this rather racy red skirt in H&M which will brighten things up a bit.
Plan a holiday, day trip, weekend away or catch up with a friend. In January, when all the whizz, pop and bang of New Year’s eve has fizzled out and your calendar looks like a hermit’s, you really need to get some dates lined up. Research your Easter or summer holiday. Make a plan to spend some time with a friend who you didn’t manage to catch up with over the festive period. Greig and I have got a night away in a hotel planned for the end of the month and I tell you, it’s like a shining beacon of hope in my diary!
Take a walk / go for a run / plug in your headphones / listen to a great podcast. Exercise. Everyone’s at it in January but have you seen the weather? Not tempting. On days when I can’t face a run, I’ll try to do some simple yoga or stretching exercises in the comfort of my own bedroom. Or I wrap up really warm and pound that pavement to get the blood pumping (any speed will do, even a fast walk). It’s a great chance to listen to your favourite music or squeeze in a podcast (my current faves are the Pandolly podcast or catching up on Woman’s Hour).
Watch /read something uplifting, that you know you love (Sex & The City, Gilmore Girls, Amelie…) Try to avoid the news or box sets about serial killers if you can (just my view).
Wear something slightly inappropriate i.e. a dress you normally save for best, a twirly tulle skirt, something sparkly, a hat or just your favourite lingerie (I’ve got my eye on this M&S set that’s just launched). Doing something a bit brave, pushing myself out of my sartorial comfort zone always gives me a buzz and switches up my mood.
Likewise, put on your most expensive perfume. Don’t save it for best. These are the days my friends!
Grab a walk-in hair appointment; get a trim, a re-style or a just-because blow dry. If you think it will be wasted then organise a lunch date or evening out to show it off too.
Have a bath with all your favourite treaty products: candles, hair/face mask, bath oil – stick the lot on! I tried the new Rituali-Tea face masks by Origins recently and they felt really invigorating!
Hope this helps, it’s all about the self-care, especially in January!
MORE WAYS TO TREAT YOURSELF: