There’s no denying, January can leave most of us feeling more unmotivated than inspired. The festive celebrations are over and the cold weather can leave some of us feeling a bit down in the dumps.
However, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf and look to the year ahead with fresh optimism, so we’ve come up with 11 handy ways to make sure you kick start your 2017 with a bang.
Food can be the perfect pick-me-up for a cold January day, and what better time of year to experiment with new flavours and dishes. Break out of your weekly teatime rut and pop into your local Chef & Brewer pub to try something new.
Our Feta & Horseradish Risotto, with added beetroot, brings a fresh twist to a wholesome dish, and is the perfect remedy for those back-to-work blues.
The New Year is great opportunity to break away from your typical routine and start a new hobby. If you’re feeling creative, why not take up pottery, join a cookery class or even learn a language? The world is your oyster!
It may seem a little cliché, but exercise really does lift your mood and help combat the drag of returning to work after the festive break.
If you struggle to motivate yourself, try joining a local sports club or find an activity you really enjoy to make exercise fun.
As soon as you start releasing those endorphins you’ll feel a whole lot happier through the grey, winter days. Have a look for National Trust gardens and parks, for walks that’ll put a spring in your step!
Another common pledge made at the beginning of January is to lose all of the Christmas weight you’ve gained during the festivities, and embark on a gruelling carb-free, sugar-free diet. However, inevitably, most people fall off the wagon and end up feeling worse about themselves.
Instead of setting unrealistic expectations and restricting your diet, why not make some simple changes, such as substituting regular pasta for wholemeal pasta to help increase your energy in a healthy, sustainable way.
Tuck into the Superfood Salad Bowl at your local Chef & Brewer, it’s packed full of flavour with roasted butternut squash, cucumber ribbons and pomegranate jewels.
Reading is a great way to unwind and relax after a long day, and studies have shown that reading for pleasure reduces the levels of unhealthy stress hormones.
Rather than scrolling through your newsfeed or browsing the web on your tablet, switch off and pick up a great read for some serious rest and relaxation.
Days always feel much brighter if you have something to look forward to, so why not start planning a special trip?
Whether it’s a holiday abroad or just a day out, it’ll break up your typical routine and give you something to look forward to through the working week.
The planning is also part of the fun, and you can shape an itinerary around the types of things you’ll do and the places you’d like to see.
The benefits of getting some fresh air can be reaped all year round, but in the winter months, it’s especially important to enjoy the great outdoors. Fresh air is great for clearing the mind and for improving general wellbeing.
Take in some natural beauty and go on a walk in the scenic British countryside. You can find a selection of our favourites here.
Change is good, particularly when you’re trying to shake off the seasonal blues. So, whether it’s redecorating your home or ditching a bad habit, address some of the things in your life you’re not happy with and act to change them.
Not only will it give you a focus, but it’ll also give you an end goal to work towards.
Make no mistake about it, everyone gets a bit wound up in January, so it’s important to give yourself a break and take the time to do the things you enjoy. Daily relaxation helps reduce stress levels, improves our mood and helps you sleep better.
Whatever activity helps you switch off, make sure you give yourself the time to kick back and unwind.
January can be a busy time, particularly if you find yourself with a backlog of work leftover from the Christmas holiday. However, it shouldn’t be an excuse to miss out on sleep.
Sleep plays an important part in physical and mental wellbeing, so aim to get between seven and nine hours a night to feel well rested.
Music has many therapeutic benefits and is a good way to improve your mood. Classical and meditative music is known to be particularly uplifting, but if that’s not what you’re into, just put on some of your favourite tunes, sit back and enjoy.