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It was 10 o’clock in the morning but the sun had yet to fight its way through the thick, dark cloud. 

As I wandered the now Christmas-free flat in the dull half light I caught myself humming a rather maudlin tune.

After a few seconds I realised it was ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’, which seemed a bit odd (and not just because I’m not particularly an Elton John fan). While my life isn’t perfect (whose is?), most of the time I’m more than happy, indeed very grateful, for my lot so I couldn’t work out what the problem was.

When that strange feeling continued for a few more days and still nothing really sprang to mind, I started to think, could it just be that it’s January?

It might be the new year, a time for resolutions and fresh starts but it’s also seemed like a massive come down after the excitement of December and prepping for Christmas. Even though ours was pretty uneventful and, much like last year, Freya struggled to cope, it still took up a lot of head space. Instead of feeling excited about 2019, I just felt a bit… deflated.

So, I set about ridding myself of the January blues – and I’m happy to say eight days in, it’s worked.

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Start small.

I’m not keen on buying things in a bid to cheer myself up but I saw some bright yellow tulips and they instantly made me smile. I couldn’t resist them. They are still lifting my mood three days later as they flourish, despite the lack of light, so I’d say they were worth the few pounds. 

I then looked for more little things that I know make me happy – music, taking photos and reading being the ones I turned to. Listening to some of my favourite songs worked their magic. As did spending a Christmas voucher on some of the books I’ve been lusting after.

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Get outdoors.

I’m terrible at being stuck inside and while less inclined to head out in the cold, I think I needed to (we all did). We hit the beach, went to the park and even a walk to the shops in the fresh air (and cold rain) felt invigorating.

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Health.

As you might already know, I had an op on my shoulder on Dec 19th and haven’t been able to do much in the way of exercise since then. Who knew I would miss it so much? Actually, I think the trouble is I haven’t toned down my eating and I can feel all that hard work (relatively speaking) being wasted. I’m still not completely healed and don’t want to risk making things worse but I know this is one of the things that will increase my happiness so I’ve tried to get back into healthy eating again (damn you, Christmas chocolate).  I’m also thinking about doing the C25K (for the 50th time) when I can get back to running.

A change is as good as a holiday.

Money is tight, as it is for most people at the moment. It wasn’t just Christmas but also having to buy a new boiler last month. I really wanted to get my hair cut but couldn’t justify the cost so… I did it myself.

I quite often cut my fringe and, after watching a couple of YouTube videos, thought ‘why not?’. My hair is bobbed so it’s not the hardest style to replicate. My mum was here so I asked her to do the back but then I remembered the butchery haircuts she used to give my brother and I and just a few second after she’d hacked off the first inch, I took the scissors back from her and did it myself. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good and, more importantly, it feels swishy.

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Made some plans.

At the start of 2019, I didn’t have a single thing firmed up in my diary. In fact, because of the aforementioned financial situ, at the end of  2018 I’d had to cancel the only thing I had planned – a trip to Paris to see the blossom with my running buddy.

Instead, we’ve decided to make the most of cheap train tickets and will be heading off to London for the day. Can you believe I’ve never been to the V&A so we’re going to go there (entry is free).

My mum and dad also want to go away for a week at Easter – though NOT in a caravan this year (cry) so that’s also something to look forward to.

Do you suffer with the January blues? What helps to cheer you up?

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