Happy New Year! It’s strange to start yet another year full of uncertainty, but that’s even more reason to celebrate small victories and find joy in simple pleasures. If you don’t know where to start, you might enjoy these feel-good activities to do in January.
Be the best at the worst. Take whatever weird little opportunity you have and maximise the f*ck out of it. In a best case scenario, someone cool will notice. In a worst-case scenario, you will notice and feel pride knowing you are doing a good job, even if the task sucks. Simply put: Start where you are without worrying too much about how far you have to go. “
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1. Book something to look forward to
January can seem a bit grim. So why not book one or two things you can look forward to? This could be a trip away, a trip to the theatre or just getting your hair done – I’m looking forward to an NT Live screening of The Book of Dust in February, and ‘Stratagem’ with Alan Partridge Live in April.
2. Drink more water
How can it seem so difficult to stay properly hydrated?! Time to fill up that water bottle and actually use it. Regularly.
3. Unfollow social media accounts that wear you down
Social media can be great, but it can also impact your mood and mental health. Do you find certain accounts annoy you, make you feel bad about yourself or affect you in a myriad of other possible ways? Time to mute, block or unfollow now – when I was wishing and hoping to have a baby I muted a few people whose joyous images of motherhood made me sad, and it was a great relief. Now I’m gradually unmuting, as I need all the help and advice I can get now he’s here!
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4. Buy a proper diary and fill in important dates
It may sometimes seem easier to save everything onto your phone, but there’s nothing quite like buying a diary you really like and filling in birthdays, appointments, and exciting plans. I’ve just bought a gorgeous one from Badly Made Books, and am in the process of adding in the details for 2022.
5. Deep clean your oven
Unless you have the inclination to do a cleaning blitz of the entire kitchen, it’s good to pick one job a month. As we recover from Christmas, January is a great time to deep clean the oven. For a (mostly) chemical-free approach, cover the inside of the oven in a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water and leave for a few hours, then wipe off using slightly diluted white vinegar. A moistened dishwasher tablet can be magical for removing tough stains on the oven door glass if you need extra help. Check out YouTube for detailed demonstrations, and relish the satisfaction of a job well done afterwards.
6. Listen to the Off Menu Podcast
I’m a big fan of listening to podcasts on my walks and am currently addicted to Off Menu, a food podcast hosted by comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster. They ask guests to choose their dream Starter, Main, Side, Drink and Dessert. Now I can’t stop pondering what my choices would be.
7. Use the nice stuff
I’m often guilty of ‘saving’ the nice candles, fancy body lotion and vouchers, but what’s the point?! There’s no use waiting for a special occasion, so why not wear that gorgeous dress, light a candle and pour yourself a favourite drink? We just bought the ‘Homebody‘ candle from Clean Slate and it smells delicious.
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8. Watch Queer Eye
New season alert! A few episodes of Queer Eye on Netflix are bound to boost your mood, and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
9. Make cauliflower cheese soup
I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe for cauliflower cheese soup – perfect for cold winter days. If a full cauliflower would be too much to get through, you can buy good quality frozen florets in most supermarkets (or just freeze some of the soup when you’ve made it.)
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10. Write thank you letters
Emails and messages may be quick and easy, but nothing beats receiving proper post. So why not show just how much you loved your Christmas presents by writing thank you letters? Especially if (like me) you couldn’t share the joy of opening presents with your family this year.
And yes, this is still on my to-do list. I may be overthinking the stationery