January is a fresh new month in a fresh new year, and it brings with it a sense of calm after the fuss of Christmas festivities.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but by the new year I do feel the need for a break from the rich foods, plentiful drinks and the clutter of decorations - especially if you get a ridiculously large Christmas tree to put in your small house, like we do. There are many great things to enjoy in January, and these are a few of my favourites...
No social obligations
Throughout the Christmas season everyone is busy catching up with family and friends, so by the time January swings around it’s perfectly normal to feel a bit tired from it all. Combine that with the fact that many of us are feeling the pinch after an expensive December, and it becomes perfectly acceptable to shun any and all social obligations throughout the month of January.
The dawn of no resolutions is here
This is the first year that I’ve noticed a significant drop in the amount of “new year, new you” campaigns and it’s a huge relief. Finally, there seems to be a realisation that you can’t - and shouldn’t - overhaul yourself to become a completely different person overnight. It’s also recognised that radical, quick change isn’t actually that great an approach and it’s one that’s often left by the wayside come February. That’s not to say that health and change are bad things, but they should be managed safely, gradually, and in a way that is sustainable for you and your lifestyle.
It’s OK to do absolutely nothing
It’s cold and it’s dark, making it the perfect time to go into hibernation mode. Curling up on the sofa and box-setting your evenings away is completely acceptable and no-one will judge you for it. If TV isn’t your thing, you could read, bake, or sit in a bubble bath until you’re wrinkled, but anything you choose to do should involve only as much effort as you’re willing to give it.
Talking about exercise is OK too
Year-round gym goers finally have an audience that is willing to listen to them, and it’s one that will even be enthusiastic about exercise regime tips and protein shake recipes. All the health kicks and good intentions that come about in January make exercise a welcome conversation for many, so if you’re an exercise enthusiast, this is your time to shine.
Getting out and exploring
If you like being active, it’s the perfect time to layer up your thermals and woolies and get out there. January brings plenty of bright, crisp days, which are perfect for getting out into the hills or woodlands to explore and get some much needed fresh air.
Enjoy winter in its own right
Christmas claims many of our winter favourites as its own, but they’re actually just as valid throughout the rest of the winter months too. Make the most of cosy pubs with logs fires after a bracing walk in the cold (or not - you could just go to the pub). Wrap up in thick winter woolies (that don’t have Rudolph or Santa faces on), or curl up under a thick blanket and enjoy a good hot chocolate in the peace and quiet of the winter nights.
If you’re still feeling social enough, the new year is a great time to try out new restaurants, or to make the most of your favourite ones. It’s a relatively quiet month for the food and drink industry, so lots of restaurants and bars have amazing offers in January - like 50 per cent off your food bill, for example.
The kids go back to school!
If you have children, it can be a bit of a relief to have school take them off your hands and keep them busy for a few hours each day after a hectic, and sometimes exhausting, Christmas break.
It’s always a shame to say farewell to the festive season, but January brings plenty of things for you to make the most of - I hope you enjoy it this year.
Jo Murricane is a freelance copywriter and blogger, based in Leeds. Read all about her food and lifestyle investigations on her blog, jo-blogs.co.uk.