Finding Joy in January

January is not a month that features on many, if anyone’s, list of favourite months!  Getting back into the routine of things after Christmas and New year is hard enough, without having to deal with dreary weather too!  But January is also the ideal time for reflection, planning, establishing healthy habits for the year ahead.  So, perhaps it should be a month that we embrace, rather than wish away!


Here are seven things to do this January to turn it from a month of deprivation and depression to one of joy and jubilation!


1 Book a holiday

Research shows that just the act of planning and anticipating your holiday will give you a boost in happiness.  Just imagine yourself with a drink in hand, sitting on a sofa, looking out onto rolling green fields, a tranquil lake and the sea in the distance.  Enjoy the awesome spectacle of the sun setting on the sea, followed by the twinkling of millions of stars, in the deepest dark night of one of the very few Dark Sky reserves in the world.  Listen to the fire crackling in the wood burner, the babbling of the stream below the lodge, the wind rustling the trees and not a single sound intrusion from the modern world: just Mother Nature’s pure, relaxing soundtrack.  Now quick, before we run out of availability, book your stay at Longlands!


2 Declutter

A good tidy and sort out is the best way to launch yourself into the new year.  Marie Kondo is a Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner.  In her book “The life changing art of Tidying” she explains that the key to success is the order in which you tackle things.  Clothes first, in case you were wondering!  It’s a quick read with sensible advice and should inspire you to turn out your cupboards and get rid of all those things you really don’t want or need, but can’t bring yourself to part with.


3 Get Organised

Not just in terms of stuff in your house (Marie Kondo will take care of that – see above) but start to plan out the year ahead.  Map out a new weekly routine that builds in time for exercise, time to plan the meal’s for the week, time for friends and family, time for hobbies and interests, and most importantly some time to relax and unwind.


4 Ditch the Diet

Read Mimi Spencer’s “101 Things To do Before you Diet” and learn how dieting is the problem and not the solution.  Her fantastically entertaining and inspiring no-diet book is filled with tips on how to lose weight and feel better about yourself.  She teaches you how to stop judging and start living and covers topics such as: Eat more and weight less; Dress thin and look gorgeous; Change your mind to change your shape; Banish body blues and find body balance. How fantastic does that sound?


5 Get Active

Twenty minutes of heart pumping exercise will not only burn calories and help you get back into your jeans, but it will also release a whole host of lovely feel-good endorphins into your system that will make you feel on top of the world.  If you can find time in the morning you have the whole day to enjoy that happy feeling and the increase metabolic rate!


6 Learn about yourself

Where better to start than understanding about how your brain works? David Rock’s book “Your Brain at Work” explores strategies for overcoming distraction, regaining focus and working smarter all day long!  It might just change your life and not just how you work!  So far I have learnt why it is important to prioritise prioritising, simplify, do one thing at a time, remove distractions and clear your mind & find the right amount of stress for peak brain performance…and that’s just the first chapter!


7 Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the experience of paying close attention the present in an open and accepting way.  It is the practice of living “in the present”, of being aware of an experience as it occurs in real time and accepting what you see.  Research has shown that not only will it reduce stress and make you healthier, it will, quite literally, change how you see the world.  Whilst it isn’t difficult, the hard part is remembering to do it!  I am using “The Little Book of Mindfulness” by Dr Patrizia Collard to help me find 10 minutes each day for peace, calm, relaxation and brain training!


Wishing you a joyful January and a great start to 2019!  We do hope to see you at Longlands: take note of point 1!