So as discussed in my last post I wanted to share a few things that have helped me this January, things that have lent a hand in allowing me to escape the January blues this year.
Typically as I sat on my sofa on Tuesday morning, sipping my coffee, writing my goals and plans for 2020 blog post and feeling smug with myself that I’d managed to stay positive and happy throughout January, I could feel my period arriving and BHAM the blues hit me like a tonne of bricks.
Ain’t nothing like the woes of womanhood to bring you back down to reality eh! But that being said, the last few January's have been somewhat awful for me so this year has been a very different story entirely, so despite that, I still feel confident in sharing how I managed to shake the January blues, for 21 days of the month at least.
These things are small things that together have helped to make this one of the happiest and relaxed January’s I’ve had in many, many years.
For the past four January’s I’ve been seriously low, last year being the lowest of my life, a low that resulted in my first ever panic attack and left me a shell of my former self for quite some time afterwards. Once I’d pulled myself out of that negative place, I vowed that I wouldn’t allow that to happen again, not in January 2020 at least. So I set to work with the below and I feel they’ve really helped make January a much better place for me.
First up was identifying the cause of the lows.
For me it was both January being quiet and the negativity that comes with doing what I do.
January sucks for everyone, that’s a given. The sparkle and shine of Christmas is over, we’re all a little skint, we’re trying to be better, do better and eat better, we’re trying to drink less, stay in more and it’s all just one big boring, dark and miserable month, both with the weather and the lack of activities.
January is always very quiet for me and my work, I think it is with a lot of people but in the past I’ve been convinced that it’s so quiet because “my career is over”... not a healthy attitude to have. After three years of this attitude and after three years of my career continuing after January (obvs) I’ve learnt to realise that it really is just quiet, that is just the way it goes.
Budgets are being finalised, events and trips planned and it’s just a quiet and reflective time for everyone, not that nobody wants me anymore and my career is over... Silly, silly Megan. Once I’d learnt to accept this I learnt to embrace the quiet time and just be a little more relaxed with things. Rather than feeling low about work, I’ve used the quiet time to work on other goals such as getting stuck into my goal of reading, or simply doing things that make me feel good like watching countless episodes of Gilmore Girls in the bath at 3pm in the afternoon because lord knows this won’t be a possibility in a few months time. Embracing the down time and the beauty of working for yourself rather than seeing it as a negative thing and worrying if the quiet patch will ever end has worked wonders at keeping me afloat this January.
Embracing the quietness allowed me to evaluate the other common threads in my yearly January sad times and that was YouTube. YouTube is a platform I’ve battled with for a while now and I finally decided to let it go once and for all... or for now at least.
Negativity on that platform sucks, even if not directed at me but in the comments of other creators, it’s not something I want to see or be a part of. That negativity goes further from YouTube and onto other nasty spaces on the internet that when you’re feeling low, sometimes the brain wants more, it wants to punish you further so you go looking for it. Reading mean things about yourself whether true or not (usually not) naturally makes you lower but since leaving YouTube I’ve left the nasty voices and false opinions of others firmly in the past and it’s been bloody glorious I tell you!
Next up I created a list on my phone of things I wanted to do this January. A list made up of small work related tasks like brainstorming ideas, designing pieces, pitching to brands and tidying up my website, things that I may usually put off or don't have the time for as the year hots up a little. A list made up of menial tasks around the house that I’d never prioritise at any other time of the year, things such as going through the bedding chest and recycling the older bed sheets and towels that are no longer looking their best. Also on the list was booking a trip for later in the year, sorting through paper work, painting my office, booking a dentist appointment, booking a hair appointment, reading a book and starting at the gym again, all such small things that have kept me busy when it’s been a little quieter and all things that an organised workaholic like me loves ticking off and feeling a sense of achievement towards as she goes through January.
Whilst the majority of my pals are doing dry-January this month there’s been a lot of hibernating at home going on. However, for the past two weekends we’ve had dry- Jauary-ers and non-dry-January-ers over for a chilled movie night or a games night at ours and it’s been totally gorgeous and has meant we’ve been sociable whilst allowing our friends to stick with their January goals too. Seeing my pals and being at home are two things that make me super, duper happy so naturally it’s helped me to stay on top this January. Get your pals together for a cosy night in and I’m sure it’ll have you feeling better in no time.
Keeping cosy is something that has helped me a lot this January and whilst it might not be the most inspiring thing to be, it’s certainly left me a little happier this month. Snuggle up in your comfiest of get ups, similar to this one, cashmere hoodie, tartan trousers, trainers and a beanie, so super snuggly yet still totally me. Style rut’s make things a hell of a lot harder at this time of the year so prioritise what means the most to you right now and if it’s comfort like me, then rock it! Sometimes it’s best to save the dresses and knee boots for a little later in the year, no matter how desperate I am to rock them now.
And finally, look to the future. January is just one month after-all, be it a very long and depressing month but it is just one month. Make plans for the future whether it be in February when things are a little more relaxed and we’ve all been paid or perhaps a trip a little later in the year to give you something lovely to look forward to.
I hope you find these little ideas somewhat useful and I truly hope your January is going smoothly and if, sadly it’s not, then remember it happens to everyone at some point and things will always get better.