Banishing Winter Blues - 14 Ways to a Happy January

Short days and long, dark evenings, freezing weather with plenty of rain. That's a British winter for you and it can very easily get you down. But, there are lots of things I love about winter and lots of ways to embrace the dark evenings and cold weather. I thought I’d gather up the simple things I do over the winter months to fend off the cold and the dark (which sometimes feels like it drags on forever).

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Here are 14 ways to banish your winter blues when you start to get a little tired of winter.

1) Cuddle up with a hot water bottle

There’s nothing more warm and cosy than cuddling up with a hot water bottle and if you can, pile a few dogs or a purring cat on your lap as well.

A frosty morning - 14 ways to indulge in the winter months and banish winter blues

2) Bring in signs of spring

Spring is slowly awakening and you can bring these exciting signs of spring into your home with cut daffodils or some hyacinth bulbs planted up in one of your favourite pots or even in glass vases with a little water in the bottom (make sure the water doesn’t cover the bulb thought because it starts to go a bit gross)..

3) Embrace the dark evenings with candles and fairy lights

The long nights can feel like a real drag but if you embrace them they can become something to enjoy, use the excuse to read more or journal. Light a candle and put up fairy lights to add some magic.

Old man's beard in the snow - 14 tips for keeping your happy in the long winter months

4) Get cosy next to the fire

If your’re lucky enough to have a fire or log burner, light it up! You can't beat the warm glow of a fire. You can snuggle up next to it and chat long into the evening with a glass of wine or two. If you don't have a fire, use candles to get that warm glow and dim the lights. 

5) Make plans

A big part of January for me is reflecting and making plans – in particular holiday plans to look forward to. You don’t have to wait for summer, I always go away for my birthday weekend in February, which doesn’t feel long to wait. Plot out where you want to go this year and when in a notebook and start doign some research. 

6) Curl up with a good read

If you don't very often give yourself the permission to just sit and read. Find a cosy spot and  indulge for a few minutes in a classic with a steaming cup of tea.

Swan on a river in the snow - 14 tips for a happy January

7) Indulge in a glorious bubble bath

One of my favourite winter blues remedies! It’s bubble bath day on the 8th January – do we really need an excuse?  I'm going to celebrate by running myself a super bubbly bath and soaking it it for a long time with a magazine and a cuppa.

8) Go for a walk and look for signs of spring

Get outdoors – the crisp January air is perfect for blowing the cobwebs away and as long as you pile on the layers you’ll keep warm and toasty. Look out for snow drops and when you get back in treat yourself to that bubble bath.

9) Cosy-up your home

Just because Christmas has been and gone doesn’t mean that it’s time to put away the cosy blankets. Sometimes when the decorations come down your home can suddenly feel quite stark so stick up on cosy blankets, big squash cushions or even rearrange your furniture so that you can create more of a cosy space.

Snow on the Ivy in January

10) Make something

The longer evenings are ideal for getting crafty. Whether it's knitting something cosy or making some decorations for the new season, perfect if you're missing your Christmas decs.

11) Plan your garden

This is the perfect time of year to start getting excited about your garden again. If it's not too bitterly cold you could clear any weeds or leaves from the flower beds, or stay warm inside and plan out  what flowers and veg you're going to grow this year.

12) Lighting

The perpetual darkness can really bring you down if you let it, so invest in good lighting. This could be an led work lamp or a cosy, warm lamp for your sitting room, even fairy lights are great for bringing some sparkle to a dull winter evening.

Banana bread with icing on a wooden board

13) cook up some delicious snacks

Make yourself some comfort food to indulge in. Why not give my recipe for delicious vanilla fudge a go?

14) Journal

Putting pen to paper and journaling things out is the best way to understand and dig into your thoughts and as we're generally feeling quite reflective in January, now is a great time to get started. I've created a list of journaling prompts for creatives to help you get started. 

I hope some of the ideas above will help you banish your winter blues. The good news is that the evenings are starting to get longer and there’s plenty to look forward to with Spring on the way.

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