14 Dang Good Ideas to Clean Away the January Blues.
Beat those January Blues.
Several reasons can exist for feeling the January Blues. There can be such a build up to the holiday season and then when it arrives there can be numerous celebrations and plenty of socializing. An abundance of eating and drinking can take place together with late nights and lazy mornings. We enter a world at the end of December and on first of the New Year that can be substantially removed from our normal routine. No wonder so many of us can feel a little flat through January. It’s back to work or back to our regular lives which may not seem quite as exciting.
In addition, the scales show we’ve overeaten. The bank account shows we’ve overspent. Colds and Viruses are prominent. And in Calgary Alberta, we tend to be entering into sub-zero temperatures that make us want to huddle up by the fireplace and watch television.
Are the January Blues Real or Imagined?
This blog post is written for those of us that feel that small but harsh jolt of reality after our festive indulgences and need some inspiration to snap us out of the doldrums.
However, for some the “winter blues” can be more serious affecting the ability to function properly on a daily basis.
Ideas to boost your Spirits in January
January need not be the doom and gloom month it’s often made out to be. Outlined below is some food for thought for clearing away the post-holiday cobwebs.
1. Pack up those Holiday Decorations
You may feel that your festive decorations should be removed as soon as your holiday celebrations are over. Or your focus might be on doing it before the traditional 6th January, but we simply suggest you do it when you are ready. Nevertheless, the act of clean up might help you feel ready for a fresh start. So, if you haven't done it yet, now might be a good time.
If you are procrastinating somewhat, here are a few tips that might help…
- Don’t throw away boxes and bags from presents until after you’ve packed away your decorations. They can come in handy.
- Gather together any spare storage boxes you might have. Alternatively, you could buy some inexpensive cardboard file storage boxes with lids from your local office supply store.
- Plastic Garment Bags can be very useful too.
- Remove any batteries before storing ornaments so that they don’t corrode.
- Get some labels and a marker for labeling boxes and bags. Masking or Painters Tape can be useful both for labeling and for sealing boxes.
- Baubles can be delicate. Use Egg Boxes to store them. Or you can wrap them in tissue if they are extra fragile.
- Elastic bands can help hold the branches of an Artificial Christmas tree together. Store trees in their original boxes or in super large Ziploc bags. Some people use industrial strength plastic wrap wound around the tree. Others buy tree bags.
- To keep Christmas lights tangle free, wind them around cardboard. The tube from a paper towel or a roll of gift wrap works well too.
- Have a dedicated box to store tissue, wrapping paper and gift bags.
- Make gift tags for next year using old Christmas cards cut with Pinking Shears.
2. Eating Healthy
The idea of dieting off the pounds can seem a little daunting. For me personally, if I want to lose a few pounds, I start a diet in February, when it’s that much closer to Spring. Instead I use January to prepare for the diet rather than actually be on one. I look at ways to cut back on the carbs and sugar, replacing them with more nutritious options such as fruit and healthy fats. Looking at healthier food choices will give you a boost.
Maybe you still have lots of irresistible left-over goodies. You know you wouldn’t eat them if they weren’t so easily available. If they pose such a temptation how about giving them away? Or re-wrapping them as a gift ready for that unexpected birthday?
Stock up on the following healthier alternatives.
- Fruit – in particular Berries
- Oily Fish (Salmon, Sardines)
- Nuts, Seeds
- Greens – Lettuce, Cabbage, Green Beans
3. Think about starting a new hobby
Cooking and Baking can be fun especially if it’s not something you normally do. Maybe it’ll help you prepare food for the freezer for that February diet I talk about above.
Essentially, find something fun to do that won’t break the bank but can help break up the routine.
Not everyone is a fan of vigorous exercise or wants the expense of a gym. However, simply getting out of the house for a bit can be stimulating. Maybe just a walk or trip to a coffee shop to give you a different outlook on things. Fresh Air is good for you provided you dress appropriately. It can very be cold outside, but the snow can be interspersed with some sunny days. Ironically a sunny day is sometimes referred to as a Blue Day – as in a cloudless blue-sky day. You could also get out and try some hot yoga.
If getting out is not so easy, you could put on an Indoor exercise or dance video. Or simply playing some upbeat music that you’ve not listened to in a while.
5. Pampering – A Massage, Spa, At Home Spa.
Is some spoiling in order? A massage perhaps? If you have health benefits through work, they could well include massage as an option. Check your policy for conditions. You might be able to take advantage of the benefits cycle starting again in January, making funds available.
If pennies are tight perhaps a Home Spa. Soaking in a hot bubble bath may appeal to you.
6. Socializing and Laughter
Volunteering can get you out of the house and may give you a sense of purpose.
Or how about arranging a get-together. Perhaps a post-Christmas potluck party which keeps the cost down but allows you to spend some quality time with friends. How about making it a themed potluck: such as a fun focus on sunshine and have everyone dress in yellow.
If you are going to stay in…. Try watching some funny videos. Or watch your favorite upbeat TV shows. Whatever you decide to watch be deliberate about your TV selections.
7. Declutter, Reorganize, Tidy Up
Clutter can add to that feeling of being overwhelmed.
It’s been said… “a tidy house, a tidy mind”. Or is it the other way around? Either way you will feel better if you are in control of your environment. Does the idea of decluttering seem daunting? Doing just some organizing is better than doing nothing. How about taking baby steps? Take a few minutes at a time to clear away part of a room. Then later, a spend few more minutes organizing and so on. Then before you know it, you’ll have tidied the whole room. Or pick just one area of a room that bugs you or one item to clear away that is constantly on your mind.
January can be the perfect time to organize the food in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Look for food with old sell-by or best-before dates that need discarding. Or have fun sorting a cupboard. You may be surprised how much more room you could end up with if you do.
A Journal can help get your thoughts in order. Taking stock can be therapeutic. Or start a Gratitude Journal. It may take your focus off your perceived lack and instead make you appreciate just what you do have.
Take time to read. Whatever you enjoy. Whether it is a great work of fiction. Or perhaps like me you love the latest self-help advice or motivational tips.
You could learn something new. Your Local Library can be a perfect place to start.
10. Plan a trip – even if it’s for a long way out
A trip doesn’t have to be expensive. Use the quieter time in January to be creative and do your research. Or plan for a later date to give yourself time to save up. Its great to have something to look forward to.
11. Budget – don’t bury your head in the sand (or the bills)
The Government of Alberta has a great article on Creating a Budget. It may seem scary to focus on exactly where you are financially but facing it will be better for you in the long run.
12. Ignore the Myth of Blue Monday
The so-called “Blue Monday” usually earmarked for the 3rd Monday of January is often hyped up to be the gloomiest day of the year. However according to MedicalNewsToday the term originated as a marketing campaign and was not intended to make people dread any day in January. On the contrary perhaps it is time to get a different outlook on those 31 days of January. They don’t have to be defined as the January Blues. Give them a more positive nick name instead. How about ‘January Rainbows?’ Additionally, how about using every day to design a Vision Board of your aspirations for rest of the year?
13. Vision Board
According to Jack Canfield: “A vision board is a visualization tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and pictures that represent your goals and dreams." He also has a video on How to create a Vision Board.
14. Finally, Did I say Clean? Or get someone to clean for you 🙂
There is no reason in my humble opinion to wait for Spring to start Spring Cleaning. Cleaning House in January might be very cathartic. A perfect treat to beat the January Blues. Have you thought about starting with a Carpet Cleaning or Furnace Cleaning? You might want to evaluate the cost by checking out some of our Deals.