“It’s a Trap!” shouted Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars, and that’s just what I feel like doing every time I hear another person talk about their New Year Resolution to lose weight, do more exercise, achieve healthy living, cut out the sweet stuff, detox, give up drinking or smoking. I mean, seriously, people, IT’S JANUARY FFS. The month of the Worst Day Of The Year, Blue Monday*.
Here’s a bit of free advice. Make your “good” resolutions in January – I will be more generous, I will volunteer more, I will be 100% present when listening to my children and partner etc etc. Then you can sit on the sofa, in front of a roaring fire, eating chocolate, drinking wine and making lists of the great stuff you want to do. Wait until the sun starts thinking about coming out, and you can see the summer approaching before you inflict real discipline on yourself. It’s depressing enough at this time of year without guilt and failure to add to the mix. Be kind to yourself.
Here’s some more good ideas from around the internet to feel better without making resolutions you will fail to achieve:
- When it stops raining, go for a walk. The fresh air feels so good.
- Take an umbrella and walk in the rain, and jump in puddles.
- Eat healthy stuff, homecooked if you can manage it. That doesn’t mean low calorie, or nasty processed food, it means lovely rich stews with green vegetables and dumplings, crispy baked potatoes, soups – real warming stuff.
- Get a daylight bulb and take Vitamin D to conquer the blues.
- Talk to someone if you can’t shake the glooms. You may not realize how bad it is until you talk about it, or it may help to just have a moan.
- Book some fun. Put it in the calendar – silly game night with friends, cinema trips, meals out, days out. Even if you don’t feel like it, go.
- Watch silly movies and shows to make you laugh and smile. Then spread it by smiling at someone else.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Treat your hair, hands and skin well.
- If you can, get high. Up a mountain, that is. On a gray day, it there might even be bright sunshine up there. If it’s not, there is at least clear air.
*I love the fact that the Wikipedia entry on Blue Monday explains that this was all a load of bunk, but it feels right. Allegedly, the date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. Since the announcement in 2005 the date has been around January 23rd, but this year it got changed to January 6th, which doesn’t work for me. On January 6th you are still pretty convinced you can manage your resolutions, on a sugar high from Christmas, haven’t broken your gifts yet, and probably haven’t received your credit card statement. January 23rd 2014, however, is a Wednesday – pretty depressing all by itself, but on top of that, it’s ages until the next public holiday, it’s time to pay that credit card bill, the weather sucks and you are really, really sick of your diet, you’ve missed the gym for a week and feel like all you really need is a glass of wine, a cigarette and a box of chocolates.