I love that the closer it gets to Christmas, the more cheerful people become.
The promise of time off work, a lovely meal with family and gifts all help to inject a little serotonin into everybody’s moods. But, that tends to be short lived. Come January, it’s still cold, it’s still dark and we all have a lot less cash available to us than we did in December.
It doesn’t need to be that way. Yes, it’s sad when Christmas is over but there’s a new year ahead to embrace, full of exciting unknowns. And there are ways to keep that jolly, cheerful mood going, a few of which I’ve highlighted below.
There’s not a lot of love for January – I can see why – but a simple attitudinal change can do wonders to change your impression of this month. See it as an opportunity to get excited about the year ahead; the places you could go, the people you could meet, the things you could see. Look forward, not backward.
When I say detox, I don’t mean the sort that bans all tasty food from January onwards. My Christmas detox starts on January 1 with de-Christmasing the house. I get rid of the tree, pack away all of my decorations and get the house back to normal. It’s therapeutic and gets your head in a place where you can focus on the year ahead, rather than being surrounded by an event that’s already taken place.
Don’t make resolutions
Resolutions are why so many people dislike January. They associate it with failure, which is never a good thing. Instead of resolutions, I make goals for the year. And I try and make them as realistic as possible. Whether it’s a country I plan to visit, a new skill I’d like to learn, or a fitness goal I want to achieve, setting goals that can be reached over a period of time is far more rewarding than a short-term objective that you’re likely to fail.
December is awash with nights out, catching up with friends and generally having fun. In comparison, January can seem a little flat, which is why it’s important to make plans. And they don’t always have to cost money. Get a group of friends together and go for a long walk, rather than to the pub. Or check out free things to do in your own city – the web is a never-ending resource when it comes to alerting you to things to do that won’t cost you money. Or, if your budget does allow, start planning your summer holiday. Having things to look forward to does wonders for the mood.
Avoid being too hard on yourself
Remember in December when you were eating all of that chocolate without a care in the world? So why punish yourself for it in January? I find a little bit of acceptance goes a long way. Yes, we’ll all eat and drink too much over Christmas, but that’s part of the fun. But giving yourself a hard time for it in January is not. Be kind to yourself. If you want to indulge a little less in January, then do it, but don’t beat yourself up over Christmas excess. Keep those happy vibes in check with a bit of a giggle over how many chocolates you ate and try not to eat so many in January. Taking that attitude is so much healthier than indulging in whatever fad diet claims to work the quickest.
Those are my tips for maintaining the festive cheer in January and beyond. What do you do?
Chiara is an editor who likes the simple things in life; a cup of tea by the fire, travel, and spending time with friends and family. She also can’t resist the lure of Scandinavian decor and has a penchant for anything warm and cosy. You can find out more about Chiara and follow her adventures on her blog, Wine and Olives.