5 ways to fall in love with january…

9th January 2024
Happy new year!

I don’t know about you but I feel like January gets an unfair reputation. Every year, the same conversations emerge in small talk about how depressing this time of year is and captions sounding a lot like ‘hurry up Spring’ make their rounds online. As someone who (genuinely) looks forward to January though, I find myself wanting to jump to its defence.

Which is why I’ve listed 5 ways to fall in love with January below…

Should you fall into the ‘I wish I could find more joy at this time of year’ camp!

1. Make a list of all of the benefits this time of year brings

Before you write January off as a ‘depressing’ month, pause and consider what the benefits of this time of year bring your way. For me, these include a welcomed excuse to pause and reset before the year ramps up. An excuse to learn from nature and hibernate for a while. An abundance of seasonal produce that lends itself to hearty, comforting meals. A blank canvas to plan your goals and dreams for the year ahead. A noticeably quieter social calendar that lends itself to lots of rest and relaxation! The perfect excuse to put the winter wardrobe to good use! I could go on…

2. Choose your language carefully

Year on year, we’re told that January is gloomy, miserable and/or depressing. Grey, drear, bleak, blue… the list goes on. And let’s face it, it’s easy to get caught up in that narrative when every man and his dog is saying the same thing. Which is why I chose to start thinking about the words I use to describe January a couple of years ago and these days, consciously challenge the idea that January equals doom and gloom. For instance, instead of calling a stormy day “grey” and “miserable”, I see it as dramatic, cathartic and liberating (especially when I’ve got my waterproof and wellies on and can pace the fields with the rain on my cheeks!) Rather than write off the dark nights as depressing, I welcome the comfort and cosiness that they provide. We each have the power to change the way we think about pretty much everything! Personally, I prefer to focus on the positives as much as possible.

3. Embrace being the odd one out and use it as an opportunity to spread joy!

Closely linked to the above, don’t be afraid to be the odd one out when the topic of January crops up. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had funny looks when I say that it’s one of my favourite months.  We’re so used to being fed the idea that it’s the “worst time of year” I totally get why people look at me like I’m cuckoo! (Thankfully my team agree with me so I’ve got some moral support at home!)  There’s few things as satisfying as highlighting why I feel that way though and watching those around me soften to the idea that January might not be as bad as they think! With that in mind, next time you get tempted to join in with the negative January talk, I dare you to challenge the conversation with some of January’s benefits, spread the joy and see how those around you respond! 

4. Commit to starting something for you this month

Whether it’s going for a run, starting yoga, signing up to the paint class or organising the cupboards that you’ve been wanting to tidy for months, use January as the motivation you’ve been seeking and commit to starting something for you this month. Not only will it provide you with a sense of immediate satisfaction (prioritising your wellbeing always feels good right?) it’s also a great way to establish new habits for the year ahead. After all, committing to just one month sounds less intimidating than a whole year (I’m quietly confident you’ll want to keep the new hobby up once January comes to an end too!)

And finally…

5. Get outside daily

An obvious one I know but it’s easy to overlook the basics and for me, this one is about as basic and helpful as it gets. Whether it’s January or February or July or August, getting outside never fails to provide me with a sense of calm and always makes me feel better than had I stayed indoors. Obviously the temperatures are chillier and the weather, wetter, in January. With good quality waterproofs on though, the great outdoors is your oyster! 

I’d love to hear how you embrace this time of year! Let me know in the comments below.

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