How to combat the January blues

Made it through Blue Monday but still feeling down in the dumps? This will cheer you right up.

January doesn’t have the best reputation. If you had to be a month, January would probably be at the very bottom of the list. Everyone hates it. Personally, I think February is far worse, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. I do understand, though. The comedown from Christmas, the never-ending rain, the return to work. It’s dreary, but I’m here to cheer you up and provide tips to sustain that long lost yuletide glee.

You know what would instantly eradicate the winter slump? Winning the lottery. I’m entering twice as often this month and I’ve got a really good feeling about it. Someone told me recently that I look like the type who would win the EuroMillions. That’s a good start, I reckon. Dream big and all that. You don’t want to win the jackpot in December because your win would be overshadowed by festivities, but win this month and all eyes will be on you! I would definitely go public with my win – I’m in it for the fame, not the 44 mil.

My point is, money can’t buy happiness, but it would definitely help if you could jet away to Hawaii for the next few months. Going on holiday is the best cure for January blues. A few years ago, I thought it would be nice to go on a solo self-care vacay, which I booked while very drunk on New Year’s Eve. I woke up to a Booking​.com confirmation email telling me I was off to Madrid the following week for one night only. My flight was delayed and I arrived at 7pm, checked into my hotel, had a bubble bath and the next day, flew home. An expensive albeit lovely bubble bath.

I was once running so low on serotonin that I went and sat in Hamleys on Regent Street for half an hour. Soaking up other people’s joy is effective and probably even scientifically proven in some medical bod’s PhD”

If you can’t afford to go abroad, there are other ways to escape hiding right under your nose. Getting a local train or the tube to the end of the line always makes for a good day out. Once my friend and I were so bored that we went to Cheshunt on the Metropolitan line, got off, took some selfies on the platform and returned. Welwyn Garden City is a suburban paradise I’d also recommend for a day trip. It’s got a record amount of charity shops in close proximity to one another and, considering it’s a fairly grassy town, I’m certain the air is cleaner. That’s bound to feel revitalising.

If I’m feeling down, I try to make lots of nice plans with my friends. You can find the fun in anything if you pretend hard enough. My best friend and I have run out of activity options after so many years of friendship – even mini golf, once a staple, doesn’t quite have the same allure anymore. Lately, though, we’ve started taking part in long black coat night”, which simply consists of spending an evening gossiping over drinks while wearing long, mysterious black coats. Chic and uplifting.

I was once running so low on serotonin that I went and sat in Hamleys on Regent Street for half an hour. Soaking up other people’s joy is effective, and probably even scientifically proven in some medical bod’s PhD. But be warned: you can only stay in Hamleys for a limited amount of time before you start getting funny looks. The staff are also very persuasive, which might make it hard for you not to leave with an unwanted (and probably quite expensive) magic sand kit in your bag.

Now that we’ve reached the midpoint of this miserable month, you can start looking forward to small signs of spring, which does wonders to lift the spirits. Listen out for the sound of birdsong, keep an eye on blossoming buds and slowly sprouting flowers. Cadbury Creme Eggs will start popping up in your local offie in no time. Next thing you know, the clocks will have gone forward. The more we suffer in January, the sweeter spring will feel once it finally comes around.

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