5 ways to cure the January blues!
I have to say, the stereotype that English people talk about the weather a lot is true – Charlie and I have not stopped complaining about the miserable weather this January (can you believe it’s still only Jan 10th?!); however, it’s time to stop the complaining and embrace the opportunities for cosiness that this weather brings! Read on for 5 ways that we are getting rid of the January blues!
I know that it can seem like the entire internet is awash with advice and mixed messages, but there a few fail safe things that we love to do that instantly make us feel better – and yes, cuddling up with Dexter and Dickens would absolutely be my quickest ‘go-to’ for feeling better in an instant!
1 – Eat a wholesome and hearty meal
I’ve never, ever been one to go on a diet. I believe that for most of us, they’re really not a healthy way of changing how we look or feel, and a ‘restriction’ mindset is something I just can’t seem to get onboard with, but something I’d been conscious of for the latter part of last year especially, is being conscious of improving the quality of the ingredients that I eat, and that’s something that is a key focus for me this year.
Linking in to increasing the quality of the food we eat, both Charlie and I are trying where possible to eat mostly organic food – and make our meals from scratch. It’s more expensive and time consuming, that can’t be denied; but it’s an area that we are choosing to place more of a priority this year – as I mentioned on YouTube recently, it’s all well and good getting that promotion at work or running a successful business, but if we don’t have good health – then what’s it all for? It may mean cutting back on other luxuries, but to me, investing in the food we eat is of utmost importance this year more than ever.
As far as combatting the January blues goes, eating well can quite literally make you feel better especially if you understand the principles of having a healthy gut, and healthy gut microbiome which literally help you to feel good. A healthy gut will ensure you have more energy, feel better, and feel more positive, as well as many more long term health benefits.
The best meal at this time of year for me has got to be a delicious vegetable soup made with simple, wholesome ingredients including organic vegetables and microbiome-boosting spices such as turmeric and cayenne pepper. We love to buy our vegetables from Daylesford Organic, as many of you know, but any organic vegetables will do. I’m still on the hunt for a place to buy good-quality spices from, so leave your suggestions in the comment section below!
2 – Find a great podcast to listen to!
When I listen to podcasts that teach me about a new topic, my mind is stimulated and I feel more motivated to be productive. Podcasts make for the best companions while you’re performing your daily tasks such as wardrobe clear-outs, dog walks, and driving. The podcast that I’m binge-listening to right now is the ZOE Science & Nutrition Podcast. I’m also loving Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee.
Learning about eating well, as you have probably guessed, is a huge passion of mine at the moment, and every spare moment that I have I’ll be listening to a podcast. I was so thrilled to see Tim Spector on the Diary of a CEO podcast recently, and some of the messages that he articulated during the interview are so so important to making us feel good, and look good too.
Not everyone loves such intense topics as this, I totally get it! And sometimes I also like to listen to a podcast just to completely chill out, so I also adore listening to the Sheer Luxe podcast; they’re always sharing fascinating snippets and it’s just like listening to your girlfriends have a good old catch up; from their favourite things to binge on Netflix, to where to buy the latest Isabel Marant boots in the sale!
Sometimes podcasts can be great for an instant mood booster too; I love Jaime Liang and Sophie Haboo’s ‘NearlyWeds‘ podcast – even if you’re not planning a wedding, it is absolutely HILarious – in fact, in the past I’ve had to pull into a lay-by because I’ve been cry-laughing so much that it was almost dangerous for me to drive in that state!!!
3 – Have a relaxing bath
Nothing beats a warm, relaxing bath, using my favourite products. I love Elemis’ Skin Nourishing Bath Milk and Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish Exfoliator. Charlie’s favourites are the Westlab Epsom Salts which are great after a strenuous workout and Neal’s Yard Aromatic Foaming Bath.
While in the bath I like to switch off, but not necessarily without a screen!! I’ll sometimes take the iPad in and catch up on something on Netflix, or leave a podcast playing while I soak.
Having a bath before bed is a fantastic way to relax and can really help you to get a better nights’ sleep as well. I love to have a full body pamper and exfoliate, body brush, deep condition my hair – the full works!
4 – Go on a brisk morning walk
Get your boots on and get out in the fresh air for a walk! Even when I * really * don’t feel like it to begin with, I know that getting my body moving first thing in the morning is a real key to having a better day. As well as being great for the body, it’s great for the mind too – and while I absolutely love my Reformer Pilates and gym sessions, you really can’t beat getting out into nature first thing in the morning.
Linking back to my new love of listening to the Zoe Science and Nutrition podcasts, I’ve been listening to the experts discuss the wellbeing benefits of getting out into nature every day. The act of ‘grounding’ ourselves by connecting with the earth directly is so beneficial – I know it sounds bonkers, but you need to literally touch nature so whether that’s by going out into the garden barefoot, or placing your hands on a tree – getting directly in touch with nature has been proven to increase our Oxytocin which is a hormone responsible for helping us feel calm and emotionally balanced! You might feel a bit silly too, have a giggle, you’ll instantly feel happier!
My Amazon favourites for walking are the welligogs boots (pictured); this lovely camel gilet; these cashmere-lined leather gloves which come in a variety of colours; this super-cosy wool scarf; and these uber-flattering yoga pants which, let me tell you, I do not only wear for yoga!
5 – Snuggle up in front of the fire
Every evening after dinner, Charlie & I put our cosy clothes on and snuggle up in front of the fire to watch some TV. Recently, we’ve been watching Treason on Netflix – a great 5 part drama if you love things like Line of Duty or The Bodyguard; as it’s all the drama that goes on behind closed doors at MI6! We also absolutely love to see which new films are out on Sky Cinema, there’s something new every week as well as the humongous library of classics – recently we’ve loved watching The Estate which is about two sisters who try to win over their terminally ill aunt in the hopes of becoming the beneficiaries of her huge wealthy estate!
It can also be great to snuggle up with a good book in front of the fire. A book that I’ve loved recently is J.P Delaney’s Believe Me. An all-time favourite book of mine is Manifest by Roxie Nafousi, which is a guide to creating the life that you want through manifestation. I’ve even just ordered Roxie’s new book, Manifest: Dive Deeper. I’ll report back once I’ve read it! Of course if you want to know more about gut health, then pick up a copy of Spoon Fed – yep – the book that Charlie has been raving about for the past two years!
Have a look at my amazon store to see the full list of my current favourite reads.