Blue Monday – the third Monday in January (18th), is known as the most depressing day of the year. Looking at the weather, post-Christmas bank balances, and failed diets, it’s not difficult to see why. But we want to change that, we want to bring a little bit of sunshine back into the mix. So here are our ten tips to a happier January.
Ok so the weather might not be particularly great but there’s deep satisfaction in stomping in puddles isn’t there? So grab your wellies and get as muddy as you can. Take some friends or spend the time with God, enjoy the views, and get those endorphins pumping. You can always change your wet clothes when you get home – there’s nothing better than putting on warm, dry socks.
Invite a neighbour over for a coffee, or take them out – it doesn’t have to be someone you know well, but take a moment to appreciate them and make a new friend along the way.
The one good thing about the darker mornings is that you are more likely to see the sunrise on your way to work – so take a minute just appreciate it, and maybe give a little prayer of thanks.
Try out some ideas in the kitchen – baking, stir fries, curries – anything you can think of. Cooking can be relaxing and a creative outlet so try something new – then bring some friends together to test the outcome.
There’s nothing quite like starting a new book, or, better yet, a series of books. Go on a new adventure with amazing people – who cares if they’re fictional? Why not try a book that challenges you? If you’re interested in development check out Helping Without Hurting by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Or read some chapters from the Bible – there’s always something new to learn.
It’s always great to reminisce – put together a photo album or browse through some old ones. Or how about take some new ones, have a photo-shoot with friends or get creative with angles and zooms? Take time to appreciate your surroundings and the people in your life through power of a lens.
There’s so many things you can do with old jars – make some candle holders, small vases, somewhere to hold all your tea. Or use some old magazines to make bunting? Check out our Pinterestfor some ideas.
We firmly believe that some of the happiest moments can be found in doing things for other people. Go help out at your local church, homeless shelter, charity shop. Or even look into doing some international volunteering – Tearfund have some amazing opportunities abroad and in the UK. Why not help out with our events team at some festivals this summer?
Music can be a great way to worship, why not take some time and listen to some whilst spending time in God’s presence. If you can play a musical instrument why not practice some new songs?
Use a few hours, or a day, to de-clutter – empty your wardrobe and put aside the things you don’t wear any more; sort out your cupboards, your stationary, your books – anything you don’t need, give to a local charity shop, that way you’re giving to a good cause and having a good tidy at the same time – double the satisfaction.
Do you have any tips to make January brighter? Tweet us at@TearfundRhythms
Volunteer image by Pennsylvania National Guard via Flickr/Creative Commons
Bedroom image by Betta Living via Flickr/Creative Commons