15 January 2018

January sucks?

So everybody knows January sucks, right? We are all on a come down after the Christmas and New year festivities, the weather is usually pants, we've got no money and it's ages until payday, there is never any daylight, it's all doom and gloom right? The media has declared today 'Blue Monday', so all of this must be true, right? WRONG!

I do not believe this crap, and I won't have some newspaper, blog, tv programme or everyone on social media telling me it's ok to be sad and down and unhappy this month. Negativity breeds and we don't need this justification to bring down our moods.

I love January, I love the cold weather, I adore cold crisp frosty walks and bike rides. I even love the rain. I love being able to wear a thick woolly jumper under my huge duffle coat. I love January because it is a start, it's fresh, it's new and to me it is nothing but positive.

I'm also not one for writing off whole years, I hate people writing 'my 2017 was a nightmare', 'I'm glad that year is over'. Well a bunch of bad things doesn't shape a whole year, I bet there were a million wonderful things that happened too! Some utterly devastating things happened to my family in 2017 but I've not written off the whole thing.  We as humans tend to focus on the negatives and forget the good times. As much as I love the start of a new year, I'm also so aware that one day follows the next and years are arbitrary, we have a new chance every single day to be positive and make change.

So, I'm reclaiming January and I'm feeling super positive for 2018.  Let's think happy thoughts, let's be excited and let's do our bit to raise the general mood of those around us. I firmly believe that keeping a positive attitude and outlook to life can dramatically improve your mental and physical health and can have an effect on those around you too.

Here's how I am ensuring I don't give into the media generated doom and gloom 'hype' and how I am keeping myself happy this month and this year.

1. Big cardio

This is my number 1 because this is the thing that pushes me from feeling happy to feeling amazing.  Cardio is always my favourite type of exercise, I love the feeling of having done a huge workout and pushed myself. I love the process, whether it's running, walking, biking, I love pushing myself and realising what my body is capable of. The high after a good big cardio session is simply unreal.

2. Being outside

It is one of my 2018 goals to be outside everyday. Fresh air, daylight, beautiful scenery, usually coupled with some cardio, bike rides, big walks, running, just instantly lifts my mood. Even just sitting in a pretty spot and taking the time to appreciate it helps. Never ever let the weather stop you from being outside, it is one of my favourite things to go for long walks in the rain, being outside works to lift my mood each and every time.

3. Eating well

I will always crave chocolate when I am blue and I cannot deny the happy feeling it gives me as I bite into it.  But the feeling after chocolate is not so good,  the lethargy, the 'guilt', the sick feeling.  Sometimes too much sugar can leave me anxious and down as well. What keeps me truly happy is being a bit boring, rigid and structured with my eating. Making meal plans and sticking to them, focusing on some specific rules and eating fresh. I love the feeling of control with food and how my body works better the better I fuel it.  I firmly believe you are what you eat; eat crap and you will feel like crap, simple.

4. Be a radiator not a drain

I consider this one a lot. How much through the day, in the office, with your friends and family do you moan? Do you have friendships entirely based on moaning to each other? How often has a friend's moans and groans or negative attitude had an effect on yours? We can all try to be a radiator; radiate positivity, be a fun person to be around, let your moans and groans go or at least reduce them, don't be a drain on those around you.

5. Spending time with people you love

This one is easy and super obvious. I'm a yes person, I will always say yes to plans with family and friends and I will seek out lots of opportunities to spend time with people I love. As much as I am someone who likes and needs alone time, I will always favour the company of those I love to my own. Often if feeling a bit blue a day spent with amazing people just takes me away from it all.

6. Enjoying the process

This is one I am trying to get better at. I'm a very impatient person, if I want something I want it now. I make a decision and have to have it. I want to get good at running, so I get frustrated I cannot run a marathon after only a week of training. I want to loose weight and I get disappointed I'm not a size 0 after a day of eating lettuce. I can easily give up and get fed up with things. But I'm learning to pick goals, to pick things to spend my time on in which I can enjoy the process. Make less demands on yourself, don't set rigid targets and unrealistic goals just chill out a bit and enjoy the activities in the moment and at each stage.

7. Realising the petty frustrations

Another huge one I am focusing on lately. I'm really trying to notice what things throughout daily life are simply petty and stupid, things I shouldn't be worrying out, stressing over and wasting my time thinking about. I love writing a diary to look back on and see what I've been doing over the years. But diaries for me can get bogged down in being an outlet for whinges and negativity. I don't want to look back and read in 5 years time how that person did this, and how grumpy I was because of the traffic or some politician or slight sniffle I have. Who cares? How often do petty frustrations rule your emotions? Are they worth it? Life is too short all all that! Ask yourself, will you care about it tomorrow, in a week, in a month? NO! Let it go.

8. Being grateful

I write down on a daily basis (ish) three things that I am grateful for. Sometimes it is difficult if I'm feeling really blue, but even on those days I can easily think of the obvious ones: My family, my health, the nice roof over my head. Positive experiences happen every single day and you can sort of get better at spotting them and appreciating them if you do this little 2 minute exercise. Taking the time to appreciate what I have and all the good things in my life takes the stress of constantly wanting more or feeling a need to improve. I love my life, I'm pretty content just the way I am.

9. The 1 minute rule

I get easily bogged down and stressy and irritable with those little jobs, you know the broken cupboard you see around the house, the dirty clothes pile that is beginning to resemble a mountain range. Those little jobs that are tiny but add up to huge inconveniences in your head they all add to a negative and stressed out mood. So I try the 1 minute rule. If there is a job that will take 1 minute just do it now, don't put if off, emptying the washing machine, picking those clothes up etc, just do them when you think of doing them. Then there will be no annoying jobs left to do!

10. Meditation

This is a relatively new one for me and a habit I am really keen to get better at. The benefits it reportedly gives you are vast and I can already see them as a novice. I am not entirely sure about the science behind it, I am not entirely sure I'm not just asleep on the floor for 15 minutes per day but something is working. It might yet be the placebo effect but I feel a lot more calm, kind and ready to start my day when I spend only a teeny amount of time meditating.

So that's my little list, I am sure there must be a million more ideas to fend off those times when you find yourself getting a little down.  I would love to hear what your strategies are in the comments below.


  1. 😊😊❤️❤️xx👏👏👏

  2. I like January too and the fresh start it brings. Its exciting to look ahead at the year in front of you and make plans.

    Your list is brilliant, and I will be adopting a few of the habits myself. The one minute rule is genius and I really like the point of being a radiator not a drain! xx

    Lynsey || One More Slice

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