Without wanting to wish our precious time away, I think it's safe to say I'm very glad to see the back of the first week of January. With two too many hangovers for one year let alone one week, getting through the poignancy of Mummy's birthday and having to break the news to my Dad that one of his oldest friends had died of the same cruel disease that is slowly taking his own life, you'll see where I'm coming from. This and all the usual trappings of January.
Yet, despite all this and the dark mornings and the rain and the daily, muddy dog, I'm not allowing things get me down. Why? Well one of the biggest things I've learnt in the last twelve months - thanks to my sister and my best friend constantly remind me - is that
I we have a choice. We can choose to look at things in a way that doesn’t
feel good, or we can choose to look at things in a way that feels great. I know
which way I'd rather be looking at things, yet so often our "default"
switches to the negative and we struggle to change our way of thinking.
With all this in mind and despite the slightly shaky start to the month, I am determined to do things a little differently this January. Rather than #beatingthejanuaryblues which just feels like a lot of hard work and sounds like a diet destined to fail after just a few days, I'm going to #bringjoytojanuary in a much more gently, mindful, happy and sustainable way. And here's just how...
WHEN IN DOUBT WEAR RED...
Self-care is hugely important to me and over the years I've come to really appreciate the value in it, more so than having an immaculately clean house! For me putting on my favourite red lipstick and a fresh coat of nail varnish are an instant pick-me-up and I feel ready to tackle anything.
HAPPINESS IS A LONG, HOT BUBBLE BATH...
Along the same lines is a long, hot bubble bath. I have one nearly every day. There's no better way to make myself feel pampered, relaxed and revived than surrounding myself with scented candles and sweet smelling bubbles of both the foamy and drinkable variety! And to bring that lovely spa-like feel to proceedings my bubbles of choice come from the SenSpa Body Therapy Range.
And with that fresh bedlinen and a tidy bedroom. Key to getting my mindset right is sleep. Again something I hugely undervalued for years, believing that I could burn the candle at both ends and still stay on top form. I simply can't, end of. With that the environment I sleep in is equally as important. I don't know about you, but our bedroom often became a dumping ground for "stuff". It's all too easy to shut the door on it and ignore it, until bed time that is. A cluttered bedroom is neither relaxing or romantic and so now I place huge value on keeping our bedroom tidy, the bedlinen fresh and flowers on my bedside. It brings a smile to my face every time I open the door.
FEEL GOOD FOOD
I love cooking and I love good food. My latest source of inspiration is "Simply Nigella", a Christmas present from my girls. Beautiful recipes that allow me to provide quick, easy suppers during the busyness of the week and slow cooked dishes and bakes to linger over at the weekend. As Nigella says "What and how we cook can make our lives easier, make us feel better and more alive". Amen Sister.
Without Mummy in my life, friends have become my family. I've never been one for having or needing lots of girlfriends. Quality is definitely better than quantity in my book and surrounding myself with positive, inspiring women, both off and online, who bring out the best in me (and I hope me, the best in them) is crucial to my wellbeing. A dog walk, quick coffee, lunch or dinner date with them is always a good idea, but on the darkest, wettest of January days can be the perfect tonic. Plans have been made and I have dates in my diary to look forward to.
Don't get me wrong, I love my girls and I love spending time with them and as a family, but time with my husband is precious, prioritised and planned in as often is possible. January is just the best time to do this as it gives you something to really look forward to in an otherwise quiet month and with the only agenda being to relax, it doesn't matter what the weather is doing. I can't wait for our 24 hour escape in a couple of weekend's time!
So raise your mug of coffee/cup of tea/glass of wine and here's to #bringjoytojanuary!
ps - please bear with me as I re-arrange and categorise my blog posts. Clicking on the blog header will always take you back to the homepage. Don't you just love technology!