It’s January! Yay! Not for me usually. Perhaps a more accurate word is “meh.”
January, AKA Misery Month : Christmas is a distant memory, the credit card bills are looming, I have eaten and drank too much throughout December, and my clothes seem to have all simultaneously shrunk in the wash.
Every year, I wake up on 1st January feeling miserable and dreading the next few months until spring. Being a Christmas loon, it’s hard to come down after the festive highs. Once all the decorations are down and put away, I usually get a real sense of emptiness and start to wallow in January misery. I’ve done this for years. Probably as long as I can remember. It’s dark. It’s cold, the weather is miserable, holidays are months away and there is no hope of any spare money to treat myself. Result: World class wallowing on my part.
But not this year. This year, I was determined something was going to change. January was going to be different. I was going to view January in a different light, (pun fully intended.)
This year I have embarked on …. (drum roll please)….Project January!
Project January is something I have come up with for myself. A project to make me feel better. It gives me something to aim for, something to concentrate on and something I can achieve. And what happens when we achieve? YES! We feel fabulous! Exactly what I need! I have already made my resolutions so the project was not about trying to keep year-long promises to myself. Project January is more about a short term project/ challenge in aid of my mental health/wellbeing/self esteem/winter happiness. Of course you can choose whatever ‘project’ you like, but mine is in 3 parts.
Go Vegetarian for January
Alcohol Free (Dry January)
30 Day Yoga Practice
Firstly, going veggie for January: Both my (grown up) children are vegetarians, so I am surprised that I have not had a go at this before. I’ve dabbled certainly, but never committed for a period of time, but I got Jamie Oliver’s new book Veg for Christmas, decided to try out a few recipes and really surprised myself! And I started to think that I could actually try giving up meat completely for a month or so. Now, you may think ‘Well, that doesn’t sound too difficult,” but for a dedicated carnivore like me, it’s a big deal. But I am absolutely loving it! Food has never been such fun, both preparing and eating!
Here are a couple of pictures of vegetarian meals that I have produced this week. The first one is Allotment Cottage Pie from Jamie’s book. The second is an Ainsley Harriot receipt called Mighty Mexican Tortilla Cheese Cake. Both gorgeous!
Secondly, Dry January. Yes I know, everyone does it. Except me usually. I’m the one in the corner scowling at the non drinkers, gamely downing even more alcohol than usual to try and get me through ‘misery month’. The problem is I drink too much generally. I can’t help it! I love it! I don’t usually over indulge, but the problem is I regularly indulge. I LOVE red wine. It is one of the great loves of my life. I dread to think how many units I drink in a week and this creeping worry that I’m drinking too much for the good of my health has finally shaken me into doing something about it. I don’t want to stop drinking completely… but I would like to re-set my drinking habits (and ‘habit’ is the key word), so that a drink is a treat at the weekend, not an everyday occurrence as I’m making the dinner. I’m nine days “dry” now and feel pretty great about it. I wobbled a bit on Saturday night when I saw someone drinking red wine, but Andy gave me a quick pep talk and I held on! Every morning I wake up feeling pleased with myself that I have done another day. It’s a great feeling! And noticeably NOT my usual January morning feeling. I have even downloaded the Dry January app and joined the Facebook Dry January Community page!
Finally yoga. I have never done any yoga, well except the one time when I was about 10, I went to mums yoga class with her as she couldn’t get a babysitter. I remember feeling rather smug as the teacher pointed out how flexible I was. Roll on 43 years and not quite so flexible. But I’m quite fit and yoga is one of those things that you can take up at any age. I didn’t fancy a class, so emailed a few local yoga teachers to see if anyone did 1-1 lessons so I could try some individual tuition to start with. I couldn’t find anyone and I’m glad now, as someone suggested that I search YouTube instead. And that was when I found Adriene Mishler. She is fabulous! I feel like I’m having an individual class with her. After just one session I felt absolutely incredible. I’m doing Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Practice. It’s wonderful, making me stretch muscles I never knew I had, and providing some much needed meditation and spirituality to boot. I only wish I had done this years ago!
So there it is! My ‘Project January’! It’s a long way to go yet, but I’m feeling pretty confident that I can continue these new practices until the end of January.. and who knows? Perhaps even beyond… ❤️
The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New beginnings, new attitudes”