Beating the January blues

I must admit that I have been very lucky this January, spending a lot of time at home with my family and friends, eating all my mum’s great food, and in general having very few responsibilities. I don’t really have much to complain about. But in having such a wonderful January so far, I somehow forgot how blue it can be.

The first month of the year tends to get a bit of a bad rep, your skin’s dry, the weather gets even colder (somehow), your bank balance is tilted in the wrong direction, and every day feels like a Monday. Fortunately, I have mostly skipped this part of the month, but there’s nothing like a freezing, rainy Sunday spent scrolling through Instagram to remind you that January isn’t always that fun.

I always knew I had a good reason for not updating the software on my old iPhone. I didn’t want to be reminded by the new ‘screen time’ feature of how horribly attached to my phone I am on a rainy January Sunday. However, as I upgraded to the iPhone X, I had no choice but the face the music. I don’t enjoy seeing my weekly reports, but there is just something about this month that makes endless scrolling so inevitable.

So, tucked up in my blankets and clutching my best friend (that comes in the form of a hot water bottle), I am doing one of my favourite things: making a list. When it comes to motivating myself, making a list is essential, not to be too much of a Monica Geller, but there’s just something about writing things down in an orderly fashion that relaxes me and clears my mind. So what better way to beat these, perhaps overdue, January blues?

I want to direct my attention away from my phone. In all honesty, I don’t actually mind how much time I spend on my phone as long as it’s productive. But when it comes to that typical Sunday scrolling for hours on end, I just can’t stand it, yet I also can’t stop. Isn’t this what Black Mirror warned us about? In the interests of surviving the rest of winter with a healthy mind, this list is comprised of mini goals that I want stick to, because it seems that right now, the only thing I can commit to is a Netflix series.

 

READ A BOOK

Read a book. More importantly for me, read a French book. I recently finished my first French novel which took me a shamefully long length of time to read because I’m lazy. As a literature student, reading should be pretty natural for me, but life (and technology)  tends to get in the way of it. I want to buy my next French novel soon and read it, but like actually read it, over the next couple of months.

 

BLOG, BLOG AND BLOG SOME MORE

This is actually something I have really been dedicating myself to lately, because I love it so much. I used to write things and take photos as I went, usually ending up a few steps behind myself. But I have actually managed to be productive this January and get way more ahead in terms of writing and photos (thanks to my lovely mum being my photographer). My blog Instagram is going through a bit of a glow up thanks to this, so feel free to give it a follow here. I really want to keep this up because I’m enjoying it so much and I really want to interact with more bloggers!

 

EXERCISE

I told myself I’d do it so I really need to bite the bullet some time soon. The thing is, if joining the gym wasn’t daunting enough, having to sort out a contract with a French receptionist makes the whole process suitably nerve wracking. But there are worse things in the world, and having not exercised in SO long, this is needed. Feel free to shout at me if I don’t do this asap.

 

CAFÉ DE LANGUES

I’m not a huge fan of New Years resolutions but I have sort of made one with my housemate. One that of course, I am yet to follow through with. In recent months my French speaking has declined quite a lot and I really want to pick it up again, so we have vowed (and I used the word ‘vowed’ loosely here) to go to the café de langues once a week to practise our speaking. Only time will tell if we will continue with go-to line of ‘we’ll go next week’, but I do really want to try this time. No, really, I do.

 

Those are four pretty simple things. Four things that I want to do to help me beat the January blues. In this month I don’t think you necessarily need to do anything drastic, there’s no need to dye your hair or get a tattoo (but by all means do those things if you want to). I just think that by listing a few small hobbies and activities that you can do in your spare time, it will help you to get out of a social media black hole and fight off the negativity associated with January!

Happy January to you all, roll on the rest of 2019!