January gets a bad reputation with dates such as Blue Monday and all the talks of a New Year, new you, how to be healthier and then throw in back to work, school and housework routines.
It’s easy to see how you can try and throw yourself into all these and then come the third Monday of January you can see why everyone can be a little blue. It’s that overwhelmed feeling of trying to change what you really don’t need to change overnight or at all.
So I have decided to focus on ways to try to be positive and find simple ways for the family to beat the January blues. I would like to add that a lot of my ideas are more aimed at us parents of the family. You can adapt some of my ideas to include the children in. That said I think if the parents and household are happier then so is all the family, which is why I have written this post to ecompass family January blues.
I’m presenting you with a handy checklist on keeping the blues at bay. Some are obvious pointers but ones that are easy to forget can bring joy when we’re busy getting order and routine back in our homes.
Firstly I think it’s important to remember that just because Christmas is over it doesn’t mean that Winter is. Yes we all start to crave Spring but Winter in January and February can be comforting if we embrace it.
Also I wanted this post to contain the practical and maybe mundane household tasks as they can also help keep a steady mindset, as well as add in the luxuries that we deserve.
Not just for Christmas, embrace the hot cocoa and wean yourself slowly off the festive sweetness. On an evening or snatched cold afternoon curl up under a blanket with a mug of steaming hot chocolate.
If you want to feel like you’re moving forward in January sit down with a new pad and make some to do lists, journal etc but try and do this with a hot chocolate. It’s far more comforting!
Flowers- Replace the Christmas tree and decorations with lots of greenery and some simple florals.
I love white flowers in January as they are lovely and clean and pure after the elaborate Christmas decor. They remind me of frost and snow. Lots of greenery as well with some indoor bulbs and eucalyptus.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with a big to do list but I know that the urge to declutter as much as possible happens after Christmas. Take it slowly and add one task at a time.
Take any unwanted items to a charity or homeless shelter, coats and warmer items are much needed at this time. Maybe follow a decluttering plan or helpful tips list. I documented what worked well for me last year in my Decluttering tips checklist
Dust off your proper camera or take your smartphone out on a walk and take photos of nature, buildings and the everyday.
Just taking a few arty snaps can remind you of the simple things that bring you joy. I don’t see myself as having a creative photographic eye for things, I just give it a go and wing it and if the photo makes me pleased then that’s all that matters. So don’t let that inner voice tell you that you’re not creative with photography. I find it comforting to look back at photos and associate it with a memory from that occasion.
I am certainly guilty of hardly ever printing out photos and having them in frames or photo books. January is a good time to spare some time to organising some of your recent, most loved snaps.
It can be tricky to motivate yourself into getting outside when the wind is bitter and the sky is grey. Yet once you have, the cold air can be really refreshing and give you a chance at getting some natural light.
I find it helpful to follow other likeminded outdoors social media accounts such as Northumberland Family Diaries who recently wrote a book ‘A life celebrated with kids’with really fun and practical tips on outdoor activities for the family.
With lots of pressure to detox in January we tend to try and not think of food as much as we did over December. Yet this is the time of year where our bodies crave some sort of comforting dish. So whether it’s a winter warmer or a cake for the whole family, it’s a great time to expand your recipe knowledge and make a few more dishes or bake.
I also find that this time of year is perfect to get the family involved in cooking and baking as you’re naturally indoors more. Therefore spending time with your kids at the same time as preparing a meal or snack is a win!
It’s a lovely way to show gratitude or that you’re thinking of someone. Knowing that a hand written note will cheer someone up is a lovely feel-good thing to do.
I know lots of people who keep their handwritten notes and cards, so they can really mean a lot to some. Also I find it good to get writing a few sentences rather than just writing my signature now and then.
Swap those well loved Christmas films for some non-festive old favourites. We sometimes forget to watch old favourites and just reserve that for Christmas time.
Also get asking for some Netflix recommendations and the odd comedy to get you through the darker nights.
Maybe reserve a little bit of spare money and treat yourself to a beauty treatment. My skin, hair and nails are never that great at this time of year.
I have left it so my hair needed cutting after Christmas, just to enjoy some peace in the salon. If you’re on a no-spend month then do a home spa with any toiletry gifts you may have received over Christmas.
I have kept a few fairy lights up in corners of our home to give us that lovely twinkly look at dusk and dawn, it always makes me enjoy hibernating when the light is right.
Also burn any of those candles you received for Christmas. My Mum saves her candles up for special occasions, probably more a generation thing, but burn those candles every night if need be to get you feeling in a brighter mood.
It sounds a bit of a cliche but when you’re out and about just look up. I know that the trees and landscape can seem barren at this time of year but you will soon start to see signs on the trees of the first buds coming out.
You also may note things about buildings and your surroundings when the sun is not brightly shining in the sky. It just reinforces the little things in life.
Now is the time that birds are really needing food to survive. We found making some bird feeders a great Sunday activity with the littles and now I’m sat typing this blog post whilst looking out at my tree covered in homemade bird feeders. What a lovely sight to see on a Monday in January.
With the recent devastating bushfires in Australia it’s yet another horrific reminder that we need to make looking after our planet a priority. So keep finding those eco switches in your home and sharing them with others.
There are so many helpful tips I have come across from others on social media for switching products in the home. One of mine this month will be to try out a shampoo bar.
See my Eco family living posts here
This is a lovely indulgence for a dark winter morning. Pick a weekend day where you have no commitments and enjoy a breakfast in bed either alone with a book or with children.
Daisy and I have had some lovely girls mornings before having breakfast and watching kids cookery programs together, something she really enjoyed doing. Meanwhile the boys and Florence ran amok downstairs with Daddy!
Make that pinterest board come alive and make something you have been meaning to get around to.
I would love to learn how to crochet or make a macrame plant pot. Ideally I would love to learn something that I can then share with the children. Whether it be a small or large project or a workshop or even a pottery cafe. Now is the prefect time to create to bring you some self love!
I know several adults who spend their January evenings with a cuppa finishing their Christmas jigsaws off.
Now I’m no expert at jigsaws so just getting some of the children’s jigsaws out that sit in the cupboard will be plenty for me. It’s something that we don’t do in the warmer months and forget to do if I don’t take them out.
Carry on the Christmas games afternoon/ evenings with a few family games nights. Or even a quick game of charades after dinner, it will bring me to my next pointer!
If you can tick of some of these lovely activities then you’re life will be richer and you will find yourself smiling and laughing more. January is a month where laughter really helps you all feel lighter and happier.
Lastly look at things that make you happy, jot them down and focus on achieving some of it. Maybe not all of it as that can feel overwhelming too. Just keep in the back of your mind what makes you happy and instantly you can turn around the January Blues and make it a positive start to a blank canvas of a year.
I hope that this list has given you some ideas and inspiration and if anything made you think about how Winter can give you coziness, happiness, hygge, family time and self care time. Do let me know if you have any tips or ideas to make your January more enriching and find those ways to beat the family January blues.
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